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23 guardians sued for refusing their consent to marriage

Riyadh had the most cases at 11

Source : Arab News / 04 Jul 2014

Twenty-three Saudi women sued their guardians last year for refusing to let them get married, a source at the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) was quoted by the local media as saying.

Riyadh had the most cases at 11, followed by Madinah with four, and two each in Dammam, Makkah, Jeddah and Jazan. The cases are known in Arabic as "adhl."

Suhaila Zain Al-Abideen Hammad, a rights activist and member of the NSHR, has called on the government to introduce a law to protect women from adhl. “It is imperative to introduce legislation that would give women the power to marry once they reach a certain age, without getting approval from their guardians."

She said women are now at the mercy of their guardians. The NSHR recently dealt with several cases where guardians refused to allow women under their care to marry because they disapproved of the suitors' tribe, or wanted to live on the women's salaries, she said.

Hammad said adhl could cause severe psychological trauma for women including depression, suicidal tendencies and drug addiction.


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