KSA's Shoura Council recommends banning marriages for girls under 15

Members of the Saudi Shoura Council want the Justice Ministry to ban marriages for girls under 15. (SPA file photo)
Updated 24 July 2017

KSA's Shoura Council recommends banning marriages for girls under 15

JEDDAH: Several Shoura Council members have sent a recommendation to the Justice Ministry saying that no girl under 15 should marry, according to sources quoted by Okaz Arabic newspaper.
The recommendation, drafted by Moodhy Al-Khalaf, Latifa Al-Shaalan, Noura Al-Musaed, Issa Al-Ghaith and Fawzya Aba Al-Khail, stressed the need to have strict conditions that would allow girls between 15 and 18 years old to marry.
Shoura members explained that these conditions include the approval of the mother and bride-to-be, as well as a medical report by a specialized committee stating the girl is physically, psychologically and socially able to wed. The age of the groom-to-be should not exceed double the girl’s age. The final condition is for the marriage contract to be officiated by a judge specialized in these marriages.
Shoura members explained that this recommendation falls within Shariah rules protecting human life from harm, explaining that it has been proved that minors’ marriages cause psychological, physical and social damages.
Members added that regulating marriages does not fall under worship and religious issues, but a life issue that is subject to change, highlighting that there are many Islamic countries that regulate ages for marriages, such as the Egyptian law that prevents any marriage if the girl is under 18 years of age.
The Shoura Council stressed that early marriages not only compromise health issues, but also cause women to drop out of school, which is the main repercussion of early marriage, leading Shoura members to stress the need to empower women via education and to change the traditional social and cultural roles that undermine them.
The relationship between poverty and early marriage is a multi-layered complicated cycle; not only is poverty one of the reasons behind early marriage, it also leads to the continuation of poverty, particularly when these young mothers become responsible for their families in case of divorce or the spouse’s death.
International treaties signed by the Kingdom prevent allowing minor girls to marry, including the 1988 UN Convention on the Rights of Children. The Kingdom signed the 1979 Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which states in Article 16 that the engagement or marriage of children has no legal basis, and identifies the need to have a law that states a minimum age for marriage.

GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.