Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bride Attains Divorce

Not an unusual occurrence I hear you say. Possibly not, but when the groom is a 50yo man and the bride and 8yo girl, then this is a noteworthy event.

From the Weekend Australian:
An eight-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia has won a divorce from her 50-year-old husband at the third attempt.

The girl, who has not been named and who has been living with her mother in the city of Onaiza, was given to the older man in marriage by her father to pay off a debt. Neither the wife or the child was told the marriage had taken place.

A previous judge, Sheik Habib al-Habib, refused twice to annul the marriage but said he would look again at the case when the child reached puberty. He also imposed a condition that the marriage should not be consummated until the girl reached puberty.

The case has reopened the debate in Saudi Arabia on whether a minimum age for marriage should be introduced.

Human rights groups in Saudi Arabia and abroad have condemned the practice of child marriages. The divorce rate in Saudi Arabia has risen from 25 percent to 60 percent in the past two decades.

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