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Saudi Grand Mufti: No Minimum Age for Marriage of Girls

Saudi Grand Mufti: No Minimum Age for Marriage of GirlsSaudi Grand Mufti: No Minimum Age for Marriage of Girls

Saudi Arabia’s religious leader, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Asheikh, has said that he does not plan to restrict the minimum age for marriage for women to 15 years, contravening a recent proposal from the country’s Ministry of Justice.

In an interview with the Al Riyadh, reported by the Saudi Gazette, the Grand Mufti described the marriage of girls below that age as “permissible”.

The issue is a controversial one both inside and outside Saudi Arabia, where the Ministry of Justice two years ago submitted a proposal to limit the marriage age of women to 15 years old. In 2011, the kingdom’s Shoura Council was also reported to recommend the introduction of an age limit, but nothing concrete has been heard since.

Cases of child marriage, including brides as young as eight years old, have made headlines in local and international media in recent years.

In 2010, the Saudi Human Rights Commission, a government-affiliated group, hired a lawyer to help a 12-year old divorce her 80-year old husband.

Saudi Arabia is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, which considers those under the age of 18 as children.

 

Financialtribune.com