Saudi Shura “tightens screws” on early marriages

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Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has recommended four conditions to allow the marriage of girls aged between 15 and 18. The 150-member advisory body added for the marriage of girls above 15 and below 18, the approval of the girl and her mother and a medical report testifying the girl is physically, psychologically and socially fit for marriage are required. The other two conditions are that the age of the groom should not be more than the double of the bride and that the marriage contract should be drafted by expert judges.

In addition, the Shura said in its recommendations to the justice ministry that no girl below the age of 15 should be permitted to get married, regardless of the circumstances. The Shura Council which includes 30 women said that the recommendations were necessary to ensure no party is harmed in the marriage and that they were based on past experiences of underage marriages.

They cited studies which proved that early marriages had negative physical effects on girls’ health, an increased rate of abortion and premature births, an increase in Caesareans and a high neonatal mortality.

Source Credit: Gulf News
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