It's a case that has the potential redefine an entire nations views and finally provoke Saudi Arabia into enforcing a minimum age limit for marriage.

The Human Rights Commission was set up on September 12th 2005 by King Abdullah and tasked with improving conditions for women in this largely male-centric society. Several government reforms have met with heavy resistance when they attempted to give more rights to women, but the HRC is making slow progress.

In 2009 an eleven year old girl was forcibly married to her fathers eighty year old cousin for a dowry of approximately twelve thousand pounds. After the girl protested her marriage pressure from foreign news coverage caused the Human Rights Commission (see boxout) to step in and represent the girl in court. However, the girl's family eventually came to an "understanding" and a divorce was agreed upon privately. The Human Rights Commission has stated that it will use the publicity gained by this case to attempt to establish a minimum age limit of sixteen for marriage. Three committees, comprising social workers, child psychologists, and scholars in Islamic law, have been set up to debate the matter and this particular case is central to the debate.

The main aim is not to allow cases like this to happen again. Of course, there will be some opposition, but we feel that public opinion has changed on the matter. We want to gather all the public support we can for a minimum age for marriage.

There has previously been difficulty in establishing a minimum age limit for marriage in Saudi Arabia. The country has a male dominant society in which women cannot drive (but bizarrely can fly planes), vote, show off their bodies or even leave the house without a male escort. Combined with the fact that the entire population of the country is Islamic by law and that the Islam prophet Muhammed married a nine year old girl (my own research into this matter uncovered that the girl was seven years old when he married he but he waited to consummate it until she was nine years old), this has bred a certain disregard for such a limitation into the society. However in January, Sheikh Abdullah al-Manie (a highly respected Saudi cleric) spoke out against child marriages, saying that Muhammed's wedding in the seventh century could not be used to justify current child marriages, and forced many to take another look at what they'd never once questioned.


11 thoughts on “Divorce

  1. My observation is religions are more socio-political ideologies which are biased against a gender or a group of people, than a way to worsh god. It's like if someone is an employee in the railways or bus department he get's himself yearly free passes. If someone has made religion his occupation he can give concessions to himself and his family in the name of god. If someone is in charge of religion, and is a misogynist or wanted a woman on any condition, the chances are he can create religious scriptures which fulfill his intention. In Devdasi tradition poor girls were married the idol of god and then used by priests. Nowadays I hear about child traffic from India to the Sheikhs of the UAE.

  2. Hopefully this is the beginning of a change in Saudi Arabian law. While I respect their religious beliefs, it's only to a certain extent. Forcing anybody to do anything goes way beyond my tolerance, particularly when that force concerns children.

  3. I usually don't comment on other countries' politics, but I've also touched this subject on my own blog, because what's happening there is outrageous!

  4. Religion aside, what kind of father would consent to or condone such a marriage on behalf of his daughter? :mad:.The prophet Mohamed (S.A,W.) also had fourteen wives after his first wife died. But he set a limit of four wives for other muslims.

  5. Do as I say not as I do. It's a recurring theme that truly unifies all religions. šŸ˜† Seriously speaking, this could be the first signs of change for that country and it's about bloody time. Given that so many countries in that region are increasingly concerned with how they appear in the West, it could actually cause a massive change in their dynamic.

  6. You know, in past people who were older than 40 were considered very old. Having kids in 18 was usual thing, because people was dying young, comparing to what we accept as "young" today. This could be an explanation why this happened, say, 500+ years ago. But a world is changing, moral norms are different now. Who can`t see that will remain blind for entire life.

  7. Marriage in olden days was political more than anything else, the tying of two families rather than two people. A young girl (sometimes boy) would be married off, usually to someone older. One family would gain prestige and the prospect of benefitting from increased land in the future, and they'd pay a dowry up front. The family that gained the dowry and child would usually raise that child until they were of age, when the marriage would be consumated. It was very rare for a girl or boy younger than thirteen or so to be expected to consumate a marriage with them counting as of age a lot later on usually, and periods usually used as a way to tell when a girl was of age. Of course, in those days most girls didn't have a period until much later an age than modern girls do so it's a bit better than it sounds, but there were always people who'd take advantage of the youths in their care and not bother following the unwritten etiquette and expectations of care.

  8. Yes, it isn't that long ago marriage in the western society was political – at least among the higher societies.This is positive news, but I can't help feeling disgusted by the fact that an eighty year old would want to marry a small child.

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