In Saudi Arabia, Choosing a Husband Without Family Consent Could Become Illegal
That is definitely what is at stake in the case of Samia. The surgeon in her 40s has brought her case to the country's Supreme Court for the right to choose her own husband. Two previous courts have already ruled against her, and if the Supreme Court rules against her, then, essentially it would be against the law for a woman in Saudi Arabia to marry a man without the consent of her male family members.
Samia's father insists that she marry a cousin, who is younger and less educated. When Samia challenged her father, she was locked in her bedroom for weeks, she said, and beaten with a hose by her father and brothers. She keeps pictures of her bruises on her iPad.
The mentality comes from the guardianship system, which stems from tribal traditions and is deeply entrenched in Saudi Arabia's culture and legal system. Guardianship requires women to get their guardians' permission to marry. Although many men respect their female relatives' wishes, some relatives do not.
Under Islam, a woman has the right to choose her partner, provided he is morally upright.
"Forcing a woman to marry someone she does not want and preventing her from wedding [the man] whom she chooses ... is not permissible," Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Asheikh, the kingdom's top religious authority, has said.
Efforts to hear the father's side of the story were unsuccessful. When the Christian Science Monitor reached him by phone, he hung up after saying, "I will not allow any press to interfere. If I get further calls I will take action against you people from the press. You are not allowed to talk to [my daughter] or discuss this."
He later sent a text message saying, "We are a respectable tribal family and this is a private family matter. Respect yourself and don't butt into our business."
It's unknown whether a date has been set for Samia's appeal to the Supreme Court. Sadly, the article from the Christian Science Monitor is the ONLY original reporting out there about Samia's story.