08/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Saudi Arabia: Child Marriage Annulled

Two families in Saudi Arabia have agreed to annul the marriage of an 11-year-old girl due to pressure from a lobby group, AHN reports.

The girl was married to a 40-year-old man, but her three elder siblings appealed for her marriage to be abrogated.

Saudi Arabia's National Human Rights Society, who last year lobbied for a minimum matrimonial age to be set in the kingdom, is hailing the decision as an important victory for children, according to AHN.

The Gulf News quotes the group's Dr Hussain Al Sharif as saying that they had "managed to secure an undertaking from the girl's father not to get her married until the girl reaches 18 years of age. "

Recent media reports surrounding particular child marriage cases have increased the level of debate over the issue in Saudi society, encouraging human rights groups to call for bans to child marriages, writes the Gulf News.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch recently criticized Saudi Arabia for failing to adequately improve women's rights, reporting that women still require permission from men while conducting "their most basic affairs".

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