Child marriage has been a cultural practice in Saudi Arabia as no law was against this and men are seen as those with the responsibility to guide the women. This also means that a woman’s decision is made entirely by the man. In the past, many have been forced into marriage in Saudi Arabia.
However, in what seems like a breakthrough for the Saudi Ministry of Justice, the marriage of persons under the age of 18 has been banned. This is means that the minimum age for marriage in the country is 18 years.
Sheikh Walid Al-Samaani, the Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council issued the new directive in a circular that was delivered to all courts in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia making it legally effective.
Things seem to be changing in Saudi Arabia as old practices especially against women and children seem to be losing its place. On 26 September 2017, women were allowed to start driving in Saudi Arabia.
In 2016, The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report ranked Saudi Arabia 141 out of 144 countries for gender parity.
However, since 2017, Saudi Arabia has been making significant progress on women’s right. In 2020, Saudi Arabia was ranked as a top reformer on women’s right at work.