70-year-old man marries 15-year-old in Saudi Arabia
back in the ancient world older men would usually go for very young virgins. it was like that until rules and laws stopped this in more civilised societies.
makes you think if people in society have improved or if people are just too scared of breaking the rules. we havent hanged much in terms of evolution which suggests it could be the latter which is a scary thought.
-Man, 70, divorces 15-year-old after paying $20,000 to marry her
(CNN) – A divorce has been granted in the case of a Saudi teenager who was wed to a 70-year-old man, Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission told CNN on Wednesday.
The man was the focus of outrage this week when he said his bride’s family fooled him into paying a $20,000 dowry but then took their daughter back. The commission said the two fought and she ran away, back to her family.
In Saudi Arabia, no law stipulates a minimum age for marriage. There’s been a push for that in recent years, but extremely conservative religious scholars have pushed back.
The man told CNN that he is 70, but the commission said they believe he is 86. The man also told CNN that he thought his bride to be was 25.
After learning of the marriage, the commission sent an investigator to the girl’s home in Al-Hurath village in Jizan province, in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen.
Dr. Hadi Al-Yami, who runs the commission’s branch that covers that area, told CNN that the group sent an investigator to a courthouse where the man had complained to a local official.
The commission then reached out to the girl’s family, offering legal help, Al-Yami said.
On Wednesday, Dr. Bandar Alaiban, the commission’s president, said a meeting had taken place with the parents, man and the girl.
“A divorce has taken place,” Alaiban told CNN, “and the dispute has now been resolved amicably.”
The marriage angered human rights groups and activists.
Dr. Suhaila Zein al-Abedin of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights — also a government-backed group — voiced concern not only about the age difference, but the circumstances of the marriage.
“When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold,” al-Abedin said. “The girl’s parents need to be held responsible for this.”
Prominent Egyptian activist Mona Eltahawy tweeted, “It’s only when there’s enough public outrage that we can fight #childmarriage. We are not angry enough to help that 15 y/o & others like her.”
Looks like a scheme to get money.
-Half of girls in South Sudan forced to marry
JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — The 17-year-old beaten to death for refusing to marry a man old enough to be her grandfather. The teen dragged by her family to be raped to force her into marrying an elderly man. They are among 39,000 girls forced into marriage every day around the world, sold like cattle to enrich their families.
More than one-third of all girls are married in 42 countries, according to the U.N. Population Fund, referring to females under the age of 18. The highest number of cases occurs in some of the poorest countries, the agency figures show, with the West African nation of Niger at the bottom of the list with 75 percent of girls married before they turn 18. In Bangladesh the figure is 66 percent and in Central African Republic and Chad it is 68 percent.
Most child marriages take place in South Asia and rural sub-Saharan Africa, according to the population fund. In terms of absolute numbers, India, because of its large population, has the most child marriages with child brides in 47 percent of all marriages.
Government statistics in South Sudan show half the girls there aged 15 to 19 are married, with some brides as young as 12 years old.
"The country's widespread child marriage exacerbates South Sudan's pronounced gender gaps in school enrollment, contributes to soaring maternal mortality rates, and violates the right of girls to be free from violence," says a Human Rights Watch report published Thursday ahead of International Women's Day on Friday.
The report blames child marriage in part for an appallingly low female school attendance, with girls making up only 39 percent of primary school students and 30 percent at secondary school.
A UNICEF report this month blamed child marriage in part for poor school attendance figures in Congo, where one in four children are not in school.
Child marriage is not common in South Africa, where prosecutors are investigating what charges can be brought in the case of a 13-year-old epileptic girl who was forced to leave school and marry a 57-year-old traditional healer in January.
Human Rights Watch said that in South Sudan there is a "near total lack of protection" for victims who try to resist marriage or to leave abusive marriages. It called for a coordinated government response including more training for police and prosecutors on girls' rights to protection.
Aguet N. of South Sudan, for example, was married to a 75-year-old man when she was 15 years old, according to testimony she gave to Human Rights Watch.
"This man went to my uncles and paid a dowry of 80 cows. I resisted the marriage. They threatened me," the report said. "They said, 'If you want your siblings to be taken care of, you will marry this man.' I said he is too old for me. They said, 'You will marry this old man whether you like it or not because he has given us something to eat.' They beat me so badly. They also beat my mother because she was against the marriage."
Reducing child marriages is key to achieving U.N. millennium goals to improve child mortality and reduce maternal deaths, according to Malawi's Health Minister Catherine Gotani Hara. She said teen pregnancies accounted for up to 30 percent of maternal deaths in that southern African country.
"By ending early marriages we can avert up to 30 percent of maternal deaths and also reduce the neonatal mortality rate," she said in a statement published by the World Health Organization.
Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are leading causes of death in young women aged 15 to 19 years in developing countries, according to Dr. Flavia Bustreo of the WHO.
Early marriages also will prevent South Sudan from achieving the goal of having women hold 25 percent of government jobs, said Lorna James Elia of the local Voices for Change advocacy group.
She said women activists grouped under a project "Girls, Not Brides," are trying to engage community leaders and traditional chiefs to end early and forced marriages.
Young brides also confront more violence, according to U.N. studies: Girls who marry before they are 18 are more likely to become victims of violence from their partner, with the risk increasing as the age gap between the couple gets larger.
Traditionally, poor families marry off young girls to reduce the family expenses on food, clothing and education. A big incentive can be the dowries older men will pay for a young bride, sometimes hundreds of cows.
Another South Sudan child bride, Ageer M., told Human Rights Watch, "The man I loved did not have cows and my uncles rejected him. My husband paid 120 cows. ... I refused him but they beat me badly and took me by force to him. The man forced me to have sex with him so I had to stay there."
In South Sudan, and some other countries, early marriage is seen as a way to protect girls from sexual violence and ensure that they do not bring dishonor on the family by getting pregnant out of wedlock.
Human Rights Watch called for South Sudan's government to clearly set 18 as the minimum age for marriage. But the country's minister for gender and child affairs, Agnes Kwaje Losuba, said the Child's Act already does that.
"We need to make sure this is implemented," she said.