On Wasila Umaru and Child Marriage

The plight of Nigerian girls recently caught the attention of the world after the kidnapping of several hundred schoolgirls in Chibok over a month ago. Another story did not garner as much attention from either local or international media: that of Wasila Umaru. Apparently forced to marry a man in his thirties, Umaru Sani, and endure the reality of being a child bride, 14-year-old Wasila Umaru took matters in her own hands 17 days after the wedding ceremony. In April, Wasila was detained by the … [Read more...]

The Countdown to the Jaafari Law Decision

Source

On April 30th the Jaafari Personal Status Law will be voted on in the Iraqi Parliament. The Jaafari Law, as it's being referred to, has been controversial because it would enable Shia men to marry girls as young as 9 years old. Whereas the legal age for marriage in Iraq is 18 years of age, the Jaafari Law does not state an age limit for marriage, but spells out the divorce conditions for girls who have reached the age of 9. This piece of legislation, nonetheless, would also legalize marital rape … [Read more...]

Age Is Not Just a Number: A Look into the Recent Controversy about Legalizing Child Marriages among Kerala Muslims

[Source].

The last few months have witnessed an uproar in my home state, Kerala, surrounding the government’s release of a circular legalizing the registration of marriages of Muslim women younger than 18 years old and Muslim men younger than 21 years old. India, though a secular country, allows Muslims to follow the Muslim Personal Law in all civil matters. This is one of the reasons why a Muslim man can legally marry up to four wives, and can divorce his wife with the triple talaq, while a person of … [Read more...]

The #ChildNotBride Debacle in Nigeria

An image from the #ChildNotBride campaign. Via The Stream.

During Ramadan, a great uproar took place in Nigeria over actions by the government that were interpreted as trying to legalise child marriage. During a constitutional review, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima argued that a subsection of Nigeria's 1999 constitution should not be removed as it affects the rights of Muslim women. Section 29 of the Nigerian constitution allows Nigerian citizens aged 18 and above to give up their citizenship. Section 29, 4(b) goes on further to elaborate that any married … [Read more...]

Malaysian Child Brides: Agency or Abuse?

Mohammad Fahmi Alias and Nor Fazira Saad. [Source].

This year saw two publicised instances of Malay Muslim girls in Malaysia, below the legal age of marriage, getting married to boys who were also relatively young. One couple was Nor Fazira Saad (13 years old) and Mohammad Fahmi Alias (19) from Kedah, Malaysia who were married in their kampong in November. Earlier this year in July, a couple identified only as Yana (14) and Syafiq (16) from Pahang, Malaysia, were married in a grand ceremony attended by many guests -- with all of the details … [Read more...]

The Poverty of Marriage

The burdens of poverty affect most, if not all aspects, of social relations. Most prominently (and unsurprisingly), women carry the greatest burden of the social predicaments that arise from a dire lack of economic security.  Women in groups hit hardest by financial strain easily become seen as sources of further strain on their families. Education is often either inaccessible or seen as an unnecessary part of a young girl’s growth and life. This is not always necessarily the case, as there … [Read more...]


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