Apparently there is no minimum age for marriage in Saudi Arabia for women although a change is being considered.
The Justice Ministry will soon make an announcement to establish the age of consent for Saudi women to marry, local daily Al-Madinah reported yesterday quoting an official source at the ministry.
Director of the Department of Marriage at the ministry Muhammad Al-Babtain said a decision on the issue would soon be announced following the agreement of departments in the ministry involved on deciding on an age of consent.
"The project was discussed by a number of government departments concerned. The ministry deemed it appropriate to decide a certain age for the marriage of the underage girls taking into account its social and psychological aspects," he said.
Al-Babtain declined to reveal the age of consent for marriage, but said the issue was still being discussed.
He said fixing an age for the marriage of young girls is commensurate with Shariah rules and the culture of the society. "Underage marriages are permissible under Islamic law," he explained.
Al-Babtain pointed out the ministry had prepared a Shariah-based study that confirmed that marrying young girls was not against Shariah rules.
He refuted allegations, however, that the ministry had abstained from fixing a definite age for the marriage of young girls and said the ministry had maintained a solid stand on the issue and would support any move aimed at organizing such marriages to ensure the safety and security of young girls.
Al-Babtain made it clear that it was not only the ministry which would take a decision on the issues but the matter was of concern to many other government departments.