Saudi youth report draws flak over marriage finding

The way the report was presented was not correct, says one statistician. (AN photo)
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Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi youth report draws flak over marriage finding

  • The report indicated that the percentage of married females in the 15-34 age group was 34.3 percent, while the percentage of employed Saudi youth in the same age bracket was 47 percent

RIYADH: A General Authority for Statistics (GaSat) report published this week has stirred debate over a long-running issue in Saudi Arabia — the age of marriage.
The “Saudi Youth in Numbers” report on marriage and work patterns in the Kingdom’s 15-34 age group drew comment on social media, with some suggesting it painted an inaccurate picture and portrayed marriage before the age of 18 as commonplace.
Its findings were also criticized by a Saudi statistics expert, who said that relying on a wide age range “could leave room for speculation and uncertainty.”
The report indicated that the percentage of married females in the 15-34 age group was 34.3 percent, while the percentage of employed Saudi youth in the same age bracket was 47 percent.
GaSat spokesman Mohammed Al-Dukhainy told Arab News that the 15-34 age group was selected in line with international studies.

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The report indicated that the percentage of married females in the 15-34 age group was 34.3 percent, while the percentage of employed Saudi youth in the same age bracket was 47 percent.

Use of this age group made international comparisons easier, he added.
However, Dr. Melfi Al-Rasheedi, a board member of the Saudi Professional Association for Statisticians and Data Scientists, said that “unbalanced” age groups could leave room for speculation and uncertainty, and lead to unclear results. “The way the report was presented was not correct. Suffice it to say that the report did not indicate the statistical method used and whether it took the level of education as a variable in the study,” he said.
“The age group 15-34 is a wide one. We want to know the number of participants who started working or got married between 15 and 18. This is not indicated in the study and we cannot tell.”
Last year, the Ministry of Justice instructed official registrars not to register any marriage if the prospective spouse was below 18 years of age and to report the case to the relevant court, which would decide if there was any risk to the person involved.
 


Saudi Arabia says escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is "worrying"

Updated 28 September 2020

Saudi Arabia says escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is "worrying"

  • Saudi Arabia calls on both sides to "cease fire and to seek peaceful solutions
  • GCC stressed the importance of taking the dispute to the negotiating table

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said it was worried about the escalating situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan due to their dispute over the Nagrono-Karabakh region.

The Kingdom called on both sides to "cease fire and to seek peaceful solutions to the conflict," state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Naif Al-Hajraf said the council was anxious about he escalating tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Al-Hajraf stressed the importance of taking the dispute to the negotiating table, in a statement issued Monday.

He also called for halting the escalations to maintain regional and global stability.

Armenia’s parliament on Monday condemned what it said was a “full-scale military attack” by Azerbaijan on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The country’s parliament also denounced Turkey’s involvement in the crisis, saying the Turkish “ambitions” in the conflict could risk destabilizing the region.