Unregistered marriage increased in Tunisia
Tunis - Azhar al-Jarboui
The Tunisian Green Party has demanded the Tunisian government and especially the ministries of Justice, Higher Education and the Interior to put an end to the growing phenomenon of unregistered marriage in hard-line Salafi circles within local universities.
In a statement to Arabstoday, General coordinator of the party Abdulqader al-Zaitouny said that there is a rise in unregistered marriages between university students, more than 500 cases. The phenomenon leads to many problems, he said, especially when pregnancy occurs, stressing its prevalence among religious fundamentalist groups.
Urging the Ministry of Justice to find a solution to this problem that does not involve prosecution, al-Zaitouny said his objective is to protect the women and guarantee the children’s legal rights and ensuring the state recognises their parenthood.
The Head of the Openness and Loyalty Party caused a storm in Tunisia recently when he urged Tunisian women to accept polygamy and return to the era of slave girls and concubines. He also asked Tunisians to marry off their daughters as soon as they reach the legal age of 18, prompting Minister for Women Siham Badie to file a lawsuit against him accusing him of diminishing the rights of women.
Human rights and feminist organisations have warned against the reduction of women’s rights, especially after the rise to power of Islamist movement Ennahda and the proliferation of the Salafi phenomenon.