Uproar after Somali lawmaker presents bill to legalise child marriage


There is no law mandating a minimum age for marriage in Somalia. A bill introduced in parliament this month by a presidential ally caused a storm of criticism from lawmakers when they realised it would legalise marriage at puberty – as early as 10 for some girls.

Data from a government survey this year shows that nearly a third of girls are married before their 18th birthday – just under half of those before the age of 15. 

“Some families marry off their daughters to reduce their economic burden or earn income. Others may do so because they believe it will secure their daughters’ futures or protect them,” said Dheepa Pandian, a spokeswoman from UNICEF, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund.

Many lawmakers, like legislator and human rights activist Sahra Omar Malin, reject the bill. “Our constitution is based on Islam. It says the age of maturity is 18, this is the right age for voting or for a girl to marry,” she said.

Deputy speaker Abdiweli Mudeey, who presented the bill, did not return calls seeking comment but told lawmakers that it had been reviewed by clerics and “this bill … is the correct one based on Islam.”

Nadifa Hussein, who runs three camps in the capital for families fleeing violence, shelters many abused and abandoned child brides. “Most women here were married at 13 and are divorced by the time they are 20,” Hussein said. 

People who accessed this story via Microsoft News are allowed to comment there. They are well aware that Islam allows men to take a girl of 9 years to bed, as it’s what Mohammed did, and he is the perfect man to be emulated in all things. Elsewhere in context this first comment is being sarcastic. 

  • Muhammad, peace be upon him, had a nine year old wife ‘Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr. If it’s good enough for the founder of one of the worlds greatest religions, then what’s the problem?
  • She was SIX when he married her. But waited until she was NINE before consummating the union.
  • What a star eh?
  • All heart Lesley. And it’s because of his lead that the UK had so many problems with his followers abusing little girls in Luton, Oxford, Rochdale, Rotherham, Telford etc etc etc,
  • Sounds like a decent sort of chap, did he know Jimmy Saville by any chance? For non UK readers Jimmy Saville was a very prominent  BBC presenter and DJ who molested the children he met through his work for decades, and we have not got to the bottom yet of who knew and why was it covered up. He’s dead now. 
  • Know him? He guided him.

2 Responses

  1. It’a wore than that Esmerala. Saville abused girls he met through his hospital charity work. and were patients But, it is said that the bosses turned. blind eye to it because he was so successful in fundraising.

  2. You are quite right – he was an evil little b*****d. I just didn’t want to over do our non UK readers with more information at this stage than they needed to understand that comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend