Saudi court takes over guardianship of woman in distress

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Dubai: 57-year-old Saudi woman finally succeeded in asserting her right to transfer her male guardianship to a Sharia court so she could marry after her male guardian deprived her of her right to marry and start a family , according to local media reported.

The woman filed a complaint with the Personal Status Tribunal in Mecca, which issued a decision transferring her male guardianship to a Sharia court after finding that her brother, who is her male guardian, had refused all of her proposals for wedding.

Her brother, who became her male guardian after her father’s death, has turned down all men offered to her and deprived her of her right to marry and start a family in recent years.

Asmaa Al Zahrani, the woman’s lawyer, said: “Depriving women of their right to marry is prohibited in Islam. Courts are allowed to abandon male guardianship and assume its role of allowing a woman to marry anyone who is qualified. A Saudi woman cannot get married without the permission of a male guardian.

Under Saudi customary law, every woman must have a male guardian, often her father. The guardian has the power to make a series of critical decisions for a woman.

Saudi women are increasingly asking to change the laws and allow adult women to marry a partner on their own.


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