"WTF" of the day

Relatives of an 8-year-old Saudi girl, married without her knowledge to a man in his 50s, are fighting to get her a divorce.


Catherine Price
August 28, 2008 8:15PM (UTC)

Here's your daily WTF: According to the Telegraph, an 8-year-old Saudi girl is seeking a divorce ... from a man in his 50s.

What's more, the girl does not even know she's married (at least that may mean that she hasn't been forced to have sex). Her father arranged the union in secret, and it is the girl's mother who is actually working to have it annulled. Several of the girl's relatives have also contacted human rights groups in Saudi Arabia to try to get legal help to have the marriage scratched, but the father is refusing to comply, saying, reports the Telegraph, that he has done nothing wrong. And she's not the only 8-year-old bride to be in the news recently -- in April, another 8-year-old girl was granted a divorce from her 28-year-old husband after she ran away from him and went to the main court in Sana'a.

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Like many of you all, I try to keep an open mind about other cultures -- like, for instance, an arranged marriage certainly wouldn't work for me, but when it happens between two consenting adults, I figure it's not my business to argue. But when we're talking about a preadolescent girl being "married" to a man old enough to be her grandfather, I'm sorry. No matter how you slice it, that's just messed up.


Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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