A Saudi father’s demand for a huge dowry payment from his son-in-law scuppered the couple’s marriage.
A 19 year-old woman in Jeddah on the west coast married a 24 year-old man a year ago, before the couples families had agreed a dowry payment. She said she would accept 5,000 Saudi riyals from him (£940), but then her father insisted on 100,000 riyals (£18,812). He was unable to pay the much larger sum and was instead forced to divorce her.
The unnamed woman complained to the local Committee on Guidance and Family Reconciliation, telling them:
“I ask you to please re-look into women’s rights”.
She claimed she had accepted the situation but wanted to help other young women subjected to similar pressures, writing:
“I forgave my parents, father and husband. I thank God for everything.”
Committee member Rashed Al-Shalash declared:
“Dowry is for the bride and father does not have the right to demand divorce on that basis. This is a form of control.”
The committee could not get help the former bride “because the divorce has been finalized”, he continued. but:
“The young girl has urged us to help other girls who may be experiencing similar pressure from parents or guardians.”
Image by Juber Al-haddad via Flickr