Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saudi marriage laws may change within a year

Saudi laws regarding a minimum age for marriage could be changed within a year, a prominent human rights activist in the conservative Muslim state said on Tuesday.

Ibrahim al-Mugaiteeb, founder and president of the Human Rights First Society, recommended the minimum age should be set at 18, as the government reviews marriage of underage girls amid growing international criticism.

There is no legal age limit for marriage in Saudi Arabia. It is not uncommon for men in their 40s and 50s to marry girls as young as 10 with the agreement that the husband does not consummate until the girl reaches puberty.