(8 Apr 2019) LEADIN:
Inheritance and marriage laws were debated in the Jordanian Parliament Monday morning.
The vote resulted in the laws remaining unchanged.
It is a busy day at the the Senate and the House of Representatives in Amman, Jordan.
The debate at this joint session focuses on two issues: marriage and inheritance for grandchildren.
The proposal is to raise the youngest possible age for marriage from 15 to 16 and to bring in equal rights to inheritance for grandchildren.
The MPs vote – and choose to keep the laws unchanged.
Supporters of the current laws are satisfied by the outcome of the vote.
“My personal opinion is also with the House of Parliament that there should be an exception in the age of marriage that takes into consideration all the different aspects in society, the different needs and it should be decided by a judge and not open for only personal and individual opinions,” says MP Dima Tahboub.
The legal age of marriage in Jordan is 18 for both men and women, but the law allows some exceptions for girls aged 15 to 17, if the judge says it is in their interest.
On the other issue, the descendents of daughters do not have the same rights as the descendents of sons when inheriting from grandparents.
“Thank God today, the Parliament decided that according to the Islamic sharia and according to our environment and circumstances, what was already in the personal status law,” says Abd Al Kareem Al Khasawneh, Chief Justice of the Supreme Sharia Court Department.
A sit-in was organised by a women’s movement in front of the Parliament, and was attended by women both for and against the amendments.
“Here we are standing to say to the whole world that we won’t, we don’t want to change our legislation system,” says one protester.
“This legislation system is the family, it’s one of the pillars of the family,” she says, “and if it’s changed it will be good to the enemies of the Islam.”
A member of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, Nuha Zaideh, says she was disappointed with Parliament’s decisions.
According to her, the amendments do not go against Islamic law.
“This is unfortunate that they got misled like this,” she says.
“The dispute between them is not based on any ideology that goes against the sharia law because the age of 15 years-old didn’t come from the sharia but was put in the law,” she adds.
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