Saudi Court Blocks Marriage to 8-Year-Old Girl

Mother wins appeal against daughter's arranged marriage
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2009 4:08 AM CDT
Saudi Court Blocks Marriage to 8-Year-Old Girl
Member of the Saudi Shura "consultative" council welcome King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, center, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, yesterday.    (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

A Saudi Arabian appeals court has thrown out a ruling upholding an 8-year-old girl's marriage to a 47-year-old man, reports CNN. The marriage—arranged by the girl's father to settle a debt—still stands for now under Saudi law. But the ruling sustains a legal challenge to the marriage by the girl's mother, and the case must be reviewed again by the lower court.

"I feel this is the first real achievement we've had since we started," said the founder of a Saudi women's rights group. The ultimate goal of the group is a law requiring girls to be at least 17 and boys 18 before they can marry. “When that happens, we will really celebrate," she said.
(Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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