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Friday, July 24, 2009

Saudi Arabia mulls minimum age for marriage

The good news:
A new law on child marriage from the Ministry of Justice which currently has the issue under study may set the legal age of marriage at 18 while also imposing greater restrictions on persons permitted to authorize the marriage of minors.
OK, the two clauses are slightly contradictory but any way you look at it, the number of sickening marriages of pre-teens to men triple their age in Saudi Arabia would be reduced.

The bad news:
Lawyer Adnan Al-Zahrani was quoted as saying in the report that guardians – the fathers - were permitted to marry off a minor of either sex and could contract marriage for their daughters even at the age of one. Al-Zahrani said that when girls reached the age of puberty they were permitted to choose whether to accept or reject a marriage contract.
At the age of ONE???