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Child marriages no longer a minor problem in Riyadh

Child marriages no longer a minor problem in Riyadh

Old Oct 11th 2010, 1:06 pm
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Default Child marriages no longer a minor problem in Riyadh

Girls as young as 10 continue to be victimised by child marriages in Saudi Arabia.

The controversy over the marriage of underage girls has become heated lately, particularly after fresh reports of men in their 50s marrying girls as young as 10 years of age or even less.

The social protest against child marriages that violate the rights of childhood, is becoming increasingly vocal. Saudi daily newspaper Al Watan recently reported the case of a marriage official in the southern province of Najran who married a 12-year-old girl.

The official, whose name was withheld, said that the girl's father demanded that he wait a full year before consummating the marriage. "In fact I was surprised to hear the little girl ask why she was brought to my house," he added.

He added that he would narrate stories of Adam [AS] and Hawa to her for a few months and that he never slept with her during those nights. He also said that his mother was angry with him for not consummating the marriage. "There is no woman too young for marriage," she would tell him.

He admitted that he had sexual relations with the girl after two and a half months of being married and after trying for two weeks.

One of the girl's relative said that the father had decided to marry her off for money. "The man has no debts and other known financial problems. He spent the dowry to buy a new car. The registrar who married his daughter used to have many wives and [would later] divorce them," he said.

Saudi rights activist Fouziah Al Oyuni urged the Saudi Justice Ministry to enact laws to protect the rights of underage girls. "The violation of girls rights, including minor marriages, could be stopped by enacting laws that would penalise marriage officials who register child marriages," she said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-...iyadh-1.694592
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