How Long Will Child Marriages Continue in Saudi Arabia?

child-brideIt is very disconcerting to continue to learn of child marriages taking place in Saudi Arabia despite attempts to stop such practices. One of the latest to reach global attention is the case of an eight year old girl promised to a 47 year old man. The case was taken to court by the girl’s mother in an attempt to annul the marriage. However the judge who heard this particular case denied the motion stating that “wife” can appeal when she reaches puberty.

In the same timeframe, at least a doctor was able to stop two other child marriages from taking place. A family wished to marry their five year old and eleven year old daughters to cousins in order to protect familial assets. However if the parents are insistent the marriages can still take place. The doctor who was to perform blood tests on the young girls refused to do so when he learned the tests were requested due to their impending arranged marriages.

I’m glad the doctor had good common sense. I wish the same could have been said to the judge who allows a marriage between an eight year old girl and 47 year old man to continue. But before discussing the common sense or lack thereof of the doctor or the judge, what about the parents of the girls (babies, really) as well as the husband who is willing to marry a little girl? What does this say about them, their values, their morals, their common sense (or lack thereof)? Why does the Saudi society and culture still allow such practices to happen? What do these practices say about Saudi Arabia to the international community?


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