Home | News    Tuesday 23 October 2012

NGO decries endorsement of girl child marriage by Sudan’s state-controlled clerics


October 22, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The head of Sudan’s main clerical authority, the Religious Scholars Committee (RSC), has publicly advocated girl child marriage, drawing the ire of women activists rights who called for an immediate ban against the practice.

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SIHA logo.

According to the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA ), a local NGO, RSC’s chairman Mohamed Osman Salih, made his endorsement of girl child marriage in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on 17 October during a debate organized by the United Nation Fund for Population (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Sudanese Ministry of Religious Guidance on Girl’s Child Marriage.

SIHA reported that Salih argued that girl child marriage is an appreciative matter in Islam and has many advantages including the prospect of being able to produce many offspring.

The NGO recalled that in 2009 the RSC issued a Fatwa endorsing female circumcision despite much lobbying by activists to ban the harmful practice.

SIHA further criticized the fact that the Sudanese government has failed to amend the laws that allow girl child marriage, referring to the Sudan Personal Status Act of 1991 which contains an article allowing for the marriage of girls as young as 10.

“As women activists, women’s human rights defenders and community leaders across the Horn of Africa, we are saddened by the lack of progress Sudan is demonstrating and the lack of will to amend and revise the country’s laws and legislations towards respecting the human rights and dignity of women and girls” SIHA’s statement reads.

SIHA called on the Sudanese government to conform the country’s personal laws with international obligations and to immediately ban and criminalize the granting of marriage licenses for girls under the age of 18.

It also called for abolishing all legislation that seeks to undermine and violate women’s human rights.


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  • 23 October 2012 09:19, by Deng E. Manyuon

    Ya mohammed ali, sudani ana and the like,
    What are your comments? What a backward and primitive attitude?
    May Almighty God bless Sudanese girls and women!

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  • 23 October 2012 09:52, by Sudanese123

    Perverts and extermists exist in every culture! You may recall the case of Mr Tombe in Upper Nile state who was forced by his community to marry a goat... You can’t say that all South Sudanese community approve such perversion! Sudan problem is that the perverted minority currently rule the country

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  • 23 October 2012 11:22, by 4Justice

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65: Narrated ’Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that ’Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death)." what you know of the Quran (by heart)’

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    • 23 October 2012 11:47, by Sudanese123

      It is happening in non-muslim South Sudan too with a worrying increasing rate: Globally, more than one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18. a third of them entered into child marriage before they turned 15... Using such topic to score points won’t solve the problem!

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  • 23 October 2012 12:49, by Deng Thiak Adut

    Prophet Mohammed youngest wife was 13 years old. We know that such act is criminal in modern society. Practices of paedophile is heinous crime and criminal must be punish according.

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    • 24 October 2012 01:19, by australian

      Aisha was six, not thirteen. Her new husband "prepared" her for sexual intwrcourse until she was nine, when the marriage was consummated.
      So civilized are these Muslim clerics now, they want the marriage age to be ten. So what’s wrong with six, the age their "Perfect Man" thought appropriate?

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  • 24 October 2012 01:30, by australian

    These clerics want child marriage in order to increase the number of babies born. This is horrifying. They want to risk the lives of children by forcing them to get pregnant too early, for what? Sudan already has too many unemployed people with few prospects for the future. Or is it part of the "jihad", to have children to send out to invade the West?

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  • 24 October 2012 02:15, by Deng E. Manyuon

    Shame on a such religion which abuses minors and condones it!
    Condoning salvage act of stone age at present (modern) age is un-acceptable and should be condemned by all means. Religion like Islam should be separated from the state affairs. The only capable nationalists to separate it is the SPLM/N headed by Malik Agar!

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    As women activists, women’s human rights defenders and community leaders across the Horn of Africa, we are saddened by the lack of progress Sudan is demonstrating and the lack of will to amend and revise the country’s laws and legislations towards respecting the human rights and dignity of women and girls” SIHA’s statement reads
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