Man, 70, Divorces 15-Year-Old; Husband Thought Teen Was 25
A 70-year-old man has divorced his 15-year-old bride.
As CNN reports, a Saudi Arabian man caused outrage around the world when it was revealed that he had married a 15-year-old girl for a $20,000 dowry. However, the two later got into an argument that ended with the girl running home to her family. The man then complained to a local officer, bringing the case to light.
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The man told the website this week that he believed his divorced teen bride was actually 25 years old.
"She is not 15 as everybody claims," the man said. "She's 25 years old and she's mature enough to make her own decisions ... I was fooled by the girl's family."
However, the man who claims to be 70 years old may actually be 86, according to Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission.
Before this 70-year-old man divorced his 15-year-old bride, the story had sparked anger among human rights activists in particular. Dr. Suhailia Zein al-Abedin of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights told the website that the parents of the teen bride needed to be held accountable.
"When you consider the very large difference in age, it looks more like this was not a marriage, but like the girl was sold," Abedin said. "The girl's parents need to be held responsible for this."
Others took to social media to criticize this marriage.
Saudi Arabia currently has no minimum age for marriage, according to Reuters. However, the country is reportedly considering changing that ruling after numerous similar instances of teenagers marrying elderly men. For instance, a 12-year-old in 2010 enlisted the Human Rights Commission to help her divorce her 80-year-old husband.
This problem is not just limited to Saudi Arabia. CNN reports that there are over 51 million child brides around the world.
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