Beirut - The 16-year-old winner of the annual Amal Clooney Scholarship said on Tuesday that she wants to combat child marriage and marital rape in Lebanon, where there is no minimum age to wed.
Kamar Omary will head to Armenia's UWC Dilijan College in August to enrol in its two-year international baccalaureate programme - the fourth Lebanese teenager to receive the award set up by the prominent Lebanese-British human rights lawyer.
"We need a minimum age for marriage and marital rape should be criminalised," Omary told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Lebanon.
"Sexism and abuse of women and children is still widespread ... Women are stigmatised. They are generally seen as weaker than men and we need change."
Religious communities' personal status laws in Lebanon allow girls younger than 15 to marry, leading many Syrian refugee families, who cannot afford food or rent, to marry off their young daughters, rights groups say.