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Dec 26, 2018
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Head of Jordanian Shari'a Lawyers Association Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: Underage Marriage Prevents Sexual Harassment

#7004 | 02:05
Source: Jordan Today TV

During a December 26, 2018 Jordan Today TV debate about underage marriage, Abd Al-Haleem Al-Houshosh, the head of the Jordanian Association of Shari'a Lawyers, said that the marrying off of girls under the age of 18 prevents sexual harassment and that the advantages of underage marriage outweigh its disadvantages. He said: "[Is it better] to leave a girl to be sexually harassed in the streets, malls, schools, and universities, or to marry her off?" Jordanian women's rights activist In'am Al-'Asha, who participated in the debate, said that the problem of sexual harassment should be solved by punishing the harassers, and Al-Oushosh responded the underage marriage should not be treated as a taboo. When asked, he said that under the right circumstances he would marry an underage girl or marry off his own daughter at the age of 14 or 15.

Following are excerpts:


Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: Underage marriage is not the reason for the high divorce rate in Jordan.

In’am Al-‘Asha: But it is one of the damages…

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: According to statistics from 2017-2018, the divorce rate is high even among educated people.

In’am Al-‘Asha: We didn’t say that underage marriage is the sole reason for divorce…

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: But the advantages of underage marriage outweigh its disadvantages.




What’s better? To leave a girl to be sexually harassed in the streets, malls, schools, and universities, or to marry her off? Underage marriage resolves the problem of sexual harassment.

Host: So if a girl gets married she won’t be harassed?

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: The harassment decreases.

In’am Al-‘Asha: They harass all women, whether they are young or old, pretty or ugly, tall or short…

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: But it is not a phenomenon like it is in the case of unmarried girls.

Host: So marriage protects the girl?

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: Of course.

Host:  Let’s get things clear. You believe that marrying a girl off…

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: Marrying a girl off protects her from being harassed, and this is one of the advantages of underage marriage.

Host: Would you repeat that?

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: Marriage reduces the sexual harassment of girls under the age of 18.




In’am Al-‘Asha: The problem should be resolved by punishing the harasser. The problem is the harasser’s mentality, moral values, and behavior. The girls are not the problem.

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: We should not punish underage marriage and regard it as a taboo…

In’am Al-‘Asha: Give these girls a chance to acquire education, to grow up, to work, and so on… Would you like a wife that is still a little girl? Would you rather marry a little girl or a mature, educated, intelligent woman?

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: If both she and I have the justifying circumstances then no problem.

In’am Al-‘Asha: Would you marry your daughter off at the age of 14 or 15?

Abd Al-Haleem Al-Oushosh: There is nothing to prevent that.

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