The marriage of a 90-year-old man to a 15-year-old girl has again sparked complaints in Saud Arabia about the continuing existence of child brides. Social media and human rights activists are calling for reform in the country’s legal system and the establishment of a minimum age of marriage — 18 years for women seems to be the preferred line.
While the Shoura Council has said (for years) that it is concerned about the issue, it has not taken any steps to curtail the practice. Perhaps this new push might get them moving…
Marriage or rape? 90-year-old Saudi weds 15-year-old girl
Reem Hanbazazah | Al Arabiya
The recent marriage of a 90-year-old Saudi man to a 15-year-old girl has sparked condemnation from human rights and social media activists in the kingdom.
On Twitter especially, activists criticized the parents of the girl for giving her to a man decades older than her.
In an interview, the groom insisted that his marriage was “legal and correct,” and that he paid a $17,500 (SAR 65,000) dowry to marry the girl, who is the daughter of a Yemeni father and Saudi mother.
The 90-year-old told the story of his first night with the bride. He said she entered the bedroom before him, and she locked the door from inside so he could not enter. This, he said, made him “suspicious about some kind of conspiracy” by the girl and her mother.
He vowed to sue his in-laws to give him back the girl or return him the expensive dowry.