Marriage Registry: Here’s What The Court Actually Said

A file photo of a signpost of the Federal High Court in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.

 

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has perpetually restrained the Federal Government through the Minister of Interior from further contracting marriages under the Marriage Act, 2004 within four Local Government Councils Areas in four states.

Justice Daniel Osaigor granted the order as requested by four plaintiffs who filed the suit.

The plaintiffs are Eti-Osa Local Government Council Area, Lagos State; Egor Local Government Council Area, Edo State; Owerri Municipal Local Government Council Area, Imo State and Port Harcourt City Local Government Council Area, Rivers State.

They listed three defendants in the suit namely:  the Minister of Interior; the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice; and a firm, Anchor Dataware Solutions Limited (a party joined by order of the court on April 9, 2019).

Our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele obtained a certified true copy of the 15-page judgment dated the 8th of December.

The documents show that the four plaintiffs who dragged the defendants to the court raised a single issue for the court to determine.

They submitted that by virtue of a 2004 judgment of the same Federal High Court delivered by Justice Oyindamola Olomojobi, particularly Section 7.1(5) and paragraph 1(i) of the 4th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and Section 30 (1) of the Marriage Act that “registration of marriages is the exclusive reserve of the Registrar of the Marriage District (Local Government Councils in Nigeria) and in the instant case, the plaintiff”.

They also contended that the Minister of Interior can only grant licenses (and cannot celebrate or contract marriages) which the registrar or a recognized minister of some religious denomination can act on to contract marriage between the specific persons named in the license.

The defendants, however, opposed these submissions and instead argued among other things that “no law either under the constitution or the Marriage Act gives exclusive authority to the Registrar to contract and celebrate marriages in Nigeria.”

Relying on Section 27 of the Marriage Act, they further argued that parties have the option of where to celebrate and contract their marriage and marriages contracted in any licensed place is valid according to the provisions of Section 6 of the Marriage Act.

They, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the plaintiffs’ suit for being an abuse of court process and forum shopping as the issues had already been earlier decided by the courts, per the judgment of Justice Olomojobi and Justice Chuka Obiozor.

After considering all these issues, Justice Osaigor granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Minister of Interior from further contracting marriages under the Marriage Act within the plaintiffs local governments but exempted marriages conducted in the marriage registries of Ikoyi, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Justice Osiagor, however, refused to direct the Minister of Interior to return all marriage certificates issued within the respective Plaintiffs’ Local Government Councils since June 8, 2004, as demanded by the plaintiffs.

The judge also refused to order the Minister of Interior to return all the fees/money paid by couples’ since June 8, 2004 to the Plaintiffs’ Marriage Registries for re-issuance.

Regarding the plaintiffs’ prayer for an order sealing all Federal Marriage Registries in their local governments, the judge granted the prayer in part.

He granted the prayer to the extent that there shall be no Federal Marriage Registry in the Marriage Districts (Local Government Councils) save Ikoyi and Abuja Federal Marriage Registry which predate the 1999 Constitution.

The order, the court held, is without prejudice to the Minister of Interior’s ‘exclusive powers’ to issue license to places of public worship to celebrate marriages all over the Federation.

The court’s orders on the plaintiffs’ seven prayers are as follows:

“Reliefs 1 granted as follows: AN ORDER of Perpetual Injunction restraining the 1st Defendant himself and/or either by his privies, agents or delegates from further contracting marriages under the Marriage Act, Cap. M6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 within the Plaintiffs’ Local Government Councils Area. Except marriages conducted in the Marriage Registries of Ikoyi Lagos and Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

“Reliefs 2 granted as follows: AN ORDER of Perpetual Injunction restraining the 1st Defendant himself and/or either by his privies, agents or delegates from further celebrating marriages under the Marriage Act, Cap. M6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN). 2004 within the Plaintiffs Local Government Councils Area. Except marriages conducted in the Marriage Registries of Ikoyi Lagos and Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

“Reliefs 3 granted as follows: AN ORDER of Perpetual Injunction restraining the 1st Defendant himself and/or either by his privies, agents or delegates from further granting or issuing certificates of marriage under the Marriage Act, Cap. M6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 within the Plaintiffs’ Local Government Councils Area. Except marriages conducted in the Marriage Registries of Ikoyi Lagos and Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

“Relief 4 granted as follows: AN ORDER of Perpetual Injunction restraining the 1st Defendant himself and/or either by his privies, agents or delegates from further registering marriages contracted and/or celebrated under the Marriage Act, Cap. M6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 within the Plaintiffs’ Local Government Councils Area. Except marriages conducted in the Marriage Registries of Ikoyi Lagos and Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

“Reliefs 5 & 6 refused

“Relief 7 granted to the extent that there shall be no Federal Marriage Registry in the Marriage Districts (Local Government Councils) save Ikoyi and Abuja Federal Marriage Registry predating the 1999 Constitution without prejudice to 1st Defendants exclusive powers to issue license to places of public worship to celebrate marriages all over the Federation.”

 

 

 

 

‘No Marriage In Heaven’: RCCG Parish Opens Online Dating Site

RCCG City of David.

 

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), the City of David in Victoria Island, Lagos, has launched a dating website. 

“There is no marriage in heaven!” the church posted on its official Facebook page, days after the website went live. “We are here to help you connect and hopefully meet your better half.”

A visit to the website shows that the dating platform connects adults in preparation for courtship and marriage.

Intending participants must register and have their details processed before approval.  Participants are not expected to pay any fee to access the platform.

READ ALSO: [‘God Is Unquestionable’] Adeboye Condoles Taiwo Odukoya Over Wife’s Death

The aim of the platform is to connect people for courtship and marriage, according to the church. Photo: Facebook/Pastor Idowu Iluyomade

 

In a statement on the dating site, users of the platform were advised to carry out their due diligence before connecting with other participants.

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David Parish makes no representations or warranties and expressly disclaims any and all liability concerning any damages sustained by any registrant as a result of connecting with anyone on this platform,” the disclaimer added.

In a video on its Facebook page, the Parish Pastor, Idowu Iluyomade, said people on the platform are of varying ages.

“We have from ages 20, 25 to 65,” Pastor Idowu noted in the social media post.

The platform is already organising virtual masterclasses for participants where it teaches about key ingredients for a successful marriage.

Nobel Prize Winner Malala Gets Married

Malala fled her hometown in 2012 following attacks by the Taliban.

 

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Pakistani Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education, got married on Tuesday in a small ceremony in Birmingham, central England, she announced on social media.

“Today marks a precious day in my life. Asser (Malik) and I tied the knot to be partners for life,” she wrote on Twitter, where she also posted images of herself and her new husband on their wedding day.

“We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families. Please send us your prayers. We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead,” she added.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Malala (@malala)

A nikkah ceremony is the first step in an Islamic marriage.

When she was 15, Yousafzai was shot in the head by militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an offshoot of the Afghan Taliban, in her hometown in the Swat valley while on a school bus in 2012.

She recovered after months of treatment at home and abroad before co-writing a best-selling memoir titled “I am Malala.”

Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as a 17-year-old in 2014, sharing the award with Kailash Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist from India.

She graduated last year from the University of Oxford with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics.

Now 24 years old, she advocates for girls’ education, with her non-profit Malala Fund having invested $2 million in Afghanistan.

She has also signed a deal with Apple TV+ that will see her produce dramas and documentaries that focus on women and children.

AFP

The Mexican Girls Sold As Brides

The Mexican Girls Sold As Brides
Aerial view of Juquila Yuvinani, a village in Metlatonoc municipality, Guerrero state, Mexico, where girls are given in marriage under an ancestral agreement of buying and selling.
PEDRO PARDO / AFP

 

 

Eloina Feliciano begged her mother not to sell her into marriage aged 14 under an ancestral tradition in their indigenous community in southern Mexico, but her pleas were in vain.

“I don’t want to be sold,” she remembers telling her mother at their home in the mountains of Guerrero state.

“We’re not animals. Animals are the ones who are sold,” added Feliciano, now 23, who lives in the municipality of Metlatonoc in one of Mexico’s poorest areas.

She became one of many girls from her Mixtec community subjected to a tradition that critics say traps women in abuse and leaves the groom’s family mired in poverty.

The Mexican Girls Sold As Brides
Cristina Moreno, 18, holds her baby at her home in Juquila Yuvinani village, Metlatonoc municipality, Guerrero state, Mexico, on May 16, 2021. PEDRO PARDO / AFP

 

 

Today such agreements are still made in dozens of communities in Guerrero, but calls are growing for an end to the practice of selling daughters.

The payments demanded by the brides’ parents, who will only consider men from the region for their daughters, range from $2,000 to $18,000, residents told AFP.

“The girls are completely vulnerable. Their new family enslaves them with domestic and agricultural tasks” and sometimes “in-laws abuse them sexually,” said anthropologist Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Center of Human Rights of the Mountain.

Due to the “growing precariousness” of these communities, he added, “the indigenous ancestral ritual of giving away maidens in return for a dowry from their first menstruation has been lost and girls are now being commodified.”

The Mexican Girls Sold As Brides
A young woman Yuyu Ortiz works at her family’s restaurant in Metlatonoc municipality, Guerrero state, Mexico, on May 16, 2021. PEDRO PARDO / AFP

 

 

Indigenous people represent around 10 percent of Mexico’s population of 126 million, and almost 70 percent live in poverty, according to official figures.

More than 94 percent of Metlatonoc’s 19,000 inhabitants do not have basic services in their homes, and nearly 59 percent have difficulty feeding themselves, according national statistics institute INEGI.

‘Make you suffer’

Maurilia Julio, a 61-year-old midwife, was also sold as a child and made sure her own daughters avoided the same fate.

“They make you suffer for the simple fact of having bought you,” she said in her earthen floor homemade partly of mud and animal dung.

“Many women say ‘I’m going to sell my daughter for 110,000, 120,000 pesos ($5,500-$6,000) because I want money,’ but it makes me very sad to hear because they’re their children,” she said.

Next to a grayish, smelly river, a woman who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals from her neighbors condemned the practice.

“Women who are sold have to take care of their father-in-law. ‘I’ll pay for you and I can do whatever I want to you,’ is what they say,” she said.

A mother of two adolescent girls, she fears that her husband will repeat the tradition.

‘Help us’

More than 3,000 girls between the ages of nine and 17 gave birth in Guerrero last year, some of them after being sold into marriage, according to official figures.

“We want it to change but people say ‘I do what I want because I have my daughter and no one is going to tell me what to do,” said Victor Moreno, a 29-year-old resident.

“We would like someone to help us, to pass a law so that this changes,” he added.

Moreno married under the same kind of arrangement and although he does not mistreat his wife, he opposes the tradition because he had to move to northern Mexico to work as a day laborer to pay the debt.

“Here we’re poor people. We cannot afford to buy a daughter-in-law to marry our sons and we struggle a lot to pay,” said the father of two.

Cristina Moreno, 18, carries her baby at her home in Juquila Yuvinani village, Metlatonoc municipality, Guerrero state, Mexico, on May 16, 2021. PEDRO PARDO / AFP

 

Benito Mendoza, a member of the non-governmental organization Yo quiero, Yo puedo (I want to, I can), gave awareness-raising workshops until the group ran out of funds in February.

Brides’ parents ask for money “because they believe that they must recover what was spent bringing up their daughters,” he said.

So far only around 300 people in the area have agreed to stop the tradition, according to a community leader.

“Most continue to sell their daughters,” said Feliciano.

AFP

Costa Rica Legalises Same-Sex Marriage

 

 

Costa Rica legalised same-sex marriage on Tuesday, becoming the first Central American country to do so and sparking an emotional response from rights campaigners as the first weddings were held overnight.

Celebrations were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but a special program about LGBT rights was broadcast on public television and online after a court ruling came into force at midnight.

“This change will bring about a significant social and cultural transformation, allowing thousands of people to marry,” said President Carlos Alvarado in the program.

Costa Rica is the eighth country in the Americas to recognise same-sex marriage — a group that includes Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina, as well as Canada and the US.

The Supreme Court in August 2018 ruled that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional and gave parliament 18 months to amend the laws. It failed to do that, so the provision was automatically annulled.

“Costa Rica is celebrating today: marriage equality has become a reality in the country — the first one in Central America,” tweeted the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

“We rejoice with you: congratulations to all those who worked so hard to make it happen!”

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, called the change “an extraordinary moment of celebration” in a tweet posted on Monday.

– Strong Catholic tradition –

He expressed “gratitude to the work of so many activists, and of quiet reflection of the lives of those who lived without seeing this moment”.

Moments after midnight, Dunia Araya and Alexandra Quiros tied the knot in a town northwest of the capital, San Jose. The young women, both dressed in white, took their vows before a notary wearing a face mask as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Costa Rica has a strong Catholic tradition and has also seen a proliferation of evangelical churches in recent decades. Many followers of those denominations are opposed to gay marriage.

Alvarado, a centrist, was elected to the presidency in April 2018 by comfortably seeing off a challenge from evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado, who campaigned against same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court decision complied with an opinion given by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, declaring that homosexual couples have the same rights to marry as heterosexual ones.

AFP

Dubai Suspends Marriage, Divorce During Coronavirus Lockdown

A picture taken on March 28, 2020 shows a deserted street in the Emirate city of Dubai amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. KARIM SAHIB / AFP

 

Coronavirus lockdowns may make or break relationships, but in Dubai marriages and divorces have been suspended “until further notice” to avoid gatherings that could spread the disease.

Dubai’s justice department said Wednesday that the decision was among the “measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic” rolled out in the emirate which is under a strict lockdown.

Justice Khaled al-Hawsni of the family court also said on the department’s website that couples who have already completed marriage formalities must not organise wedding parties “even among their immediate circles”.

The United Arab Emirates has recorded more than 2,000 cases of the coronavirus, and 12 deaths.

All citizens and residents other than those in essential services require a permit to leave their homes.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country, has come to a virtual halt with its famous mega-malls and sprawling hotels shuttered.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Pandemic May Spark Global Condom Shortage

Life under the lockdown has raised many questions among anxious citizens.

One Emirati man contacted police to ask whether he needs a permit to visit his second wife, the Gulf News daily reported, without saying what the answer was.

Polygamy is allowed in the country, with men allowed to have four wives at the same time, in accordance with Islamic law.

AFP

It’s Official! Jennifer Lopez, A-Rod Are Engaged

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez arrive for the 2018 Met Gala on May 7, 2018, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Singing superstar Jennifer Lopez and retired baseball great Alex Rodriguez have been one of the most glam celebrity couples in recent years. Fans, get ready: a J-Rod wedding is on the cards. Lopez and Rodriguez confirmed on Instagram late Saturday March 9, 2019, that they are engaged. Hector RETAMAL / AFP

 

Singing superstar Jennifer Lopez and retired baseball great Alex Rodriguez have been one of the most glam celebrity couples in recent years. Fans, get ready: a J-Rod wedding is on the cards.

Lopez and Rodriguez confirmed on Instagram late Saturday that they are engaged.

Both posted a picture of their hands at sunset, with Lopez’s enormous diamond ring.

While the multi-hyphenate singer-actress-dancer-producer only captioned the pic with heart emojis, Rodriguez went a bit farther, writing in lower-case letters: “she said yes.”

Lopez, 49, and Rodriguez, 43, have been a couple for about two years.

Lopez, currently the executive producer and judge on NBC reality dance competition show “World of Dance,” is set to go on tour later this year across North America. She wrapped up a Vegas residency in 2018.

She has been married three times: to Ojani Noa, back-up dancer Cris Judd, and singer Marc Anthony, with whom she has 11-year-old twins. She also had a high-profile relationship with actor Ben Affleck.

Rodriguez retired from Major League Baseball in 2016, after a lengthy career, mostly with the New York Yankees. He won one World Series title with the Yankees and was an All-Star 14 times.

His achievements were tarnished by his admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He was suspended for the entire 2014 season.

Rodriguez currently works as an on-air baseball analyst.

He has been married once. He and ex-wife Cynthia Scurtis have two daughters.

Forced Marriage Victims Asked To Pay Rescue Cost In Britain

Britain Flag

 

Britain is charging young women rescued from forced marriages abroad for the cost of their repatriation, The Times newspaper revealed Wednesday.

Four British women who were liberated from a punishment institution in Somalia were each charged £740 ($940, 820 euros), the daily said.

Victims are reportedly told they have to fund their flight back to Britain, basic food and shelter costs.

Those who are aged over 18 and cannot pay have to sign emergency loan agreements with the Foreign Office.

The ministry helped bring back 55 forced marriage victims in 2016 and 27 in 2017.

The four young women who were found in a “correctional school” in Somalia had been sent to the religious institution by their families and reported being chained to the walls and whipped with hosepipes.

Some had their legs shackled, spent days locked in a small box, were burned with hot sticks and forced to sit in their own urine unless they accepted a forced marriage, The Times said.

The Foreign Office and the Home Office interior ministry run the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), which from 2009 to 2017 gave advice or support to nearly 12,800 people.

Marriages without consent, or their refusal, have led to suicides and so-called honour killings in Britain, with several cases coming to national prominence.

Since 2014, forced marriage has been a crime in Britain carrying a maximum seven-year prison sentence.

In the past two years, the Foreign Office has lent £7,765 to at least eight forced marriage victims who could not pay for their repatriation.

Around £3,000 has been repaid, although debts of more than £4,500 are outstanding.

A 10-percent surcharge is added if an emergency loan is not repaid within six months.

“Given these are from public funds, we have an obligation to recover the money,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

“The FMU provides funding for safe houses and non-governmental organisations to ensure victims of forced marriage can get a place of safety as soon as possible.

“We do not charge British nationals for this service and work with organisations to support them on their return.”

 ‘Compassion and humanity’ 

Speaking from Singapore, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told BBC radio he had asked for advice from officials in response to the front-page story.

“Any interventions that I have had on these consular matters I have always stressed to embassies and posts abroad that they need to use discretion,” he said.

“Of course we should always behave with compassion and humanity in every situation.”

News of the compulsory charges has prompted criticism in Britain.

Yvette Cooper, who chairs parliament’s Home Affairs Committee which scrutinises the interior ministry’s work, said she was “completely appalled”.

“Forced marriage is slavery. For the government to make victims pay for their freedom is immoral. Ministers need to put this right, fast,” said the opposition Labour MP.

In 2018, the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1,196 cases, with 256 (21 percent) concerning men.

“Forced marriage is a hidden crime,” the unit says, explaining that the figures will not reflect “the full scale of the abuse”.

In 2017, 37 percent of cases related to Pakistan, 11 percent to Bangladesh, eight percent to Somalia and seven percent to India. Some 10 percent were entirely internal British cases.

The number of cases relating to Somalia has increased 100 percent year on year, the Foreign Office said.

AFP

China’s Desperate Single Men To Get Married By Just One Click

 

Marriage to a Vietnamese bride is just a click and a few thousand dollars away on a blizzard of Chinese websites promising to solve the “single problems” of China’s men.

A decades-long one-child policy has created a yawning demographic disparity in China, with tens of millions more men than women.

Sites like Zhongyuelove.com make their margin plugging that gap, linking lovelorn Chinese men with Vietnamese women, pressed by poverty at home to marry thousands of miles away.

“Vietnamese women are a blessing for this group (unmarried Chinese men),” the website says, using an image gallery of women in their early 20s backed up by poetic words on the prospective brides to seize the interest of China’s bachelors.

“They (the women) are pure, beautiful, traditional,” it says “and possess the gentleness and virtue of Chinese women but also the romantic exoticism of a foreign bride.”

Its matchmaking fee for connecting bachelors is around $4,000 — which includes non-refundable ‘blind dates’, an unspecified ‘pre-marital medical exam’ and wedding photography if all goes well.

The fee does not cover wedding gifts to the bride’s family or transportation fees for the bride and groom.

For those concerned by the possibility of failed marriages and the shady brokering system that attracts conmen on both sides of the border, Zhongyuelove has an ‘FAQ’ section.

It offers reassurance on the visa process for a foreign bride and warns would-be grooms to be upfront about their income, living situation and any disabilities.

The ‘sensitive questions’ tab delves deeper with blunt queries about the beauty and ethics of Vietnamese women as well as discussions over the likelihood of them running away after the marriage — and the fees have been paid.

Matchmaking is common inside China, but the overseas bride business has exploded in recent years with men fearing a lifetime of singledom while ‘bride-prices’ — doweries — for Chinese women rise sharply.

There are no official figures but experts believe tens of thousands of women from Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia pour into China each year for marriage.

Many go willingly, connected via websites as well as informal and illegal networks of brokers on both sides of the border.

Others are tricked to move for work, kidnapped and forced into marriage.

Websites like www.0084520.com offer and ranks the would-be brides for ‘popularity’ while running a photo ticker of happy marriage ceremonies, complete with Vietnamese conical hats and Ao Dai tunics, bouquets of flowers, smiles, and alcohol.

Several other sites, all with QR code logins and endless photos of women to scroll through, tantalize with the promise of love for China’s forgotten men.

“If you always get the cold shoulder or are rejected, then we welcome you to come to Vietnam… and enjoy a different matchmaking experience,” reads the blurb on one.

AFP

Thousands Of Myanmar Women Forced Into Marriage In China – Study

Rohingya Muslim women ride a police vehicle in Kyauktan township south of Yangon on November 16, 2018 after their boat washed ashore. A boatload of Rohingya Muslims who left a camp in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, arrived in Thante village in Kyauktan township on November 16 after they attempted to sail to Malaysia. Hla-Hla HTAY / AFP

 

Thousands of vulnerable women and girls from northern Myanmar are being trafficked to China and forced to marry, a study said Friday, offering a rare look at an issue that grips the conflict-hit borderlands.

China has around 33 million fewer women than men due to the decades-long one-child policy.

To plug the gap, tens of thousands of poor women from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam are sold as brides each year, some going willingly, while others are tricked or trafficked.

In the first research of its kind, a report by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimated 7,500 women from war-torn Kachin and northern Shan states have fallen victim to forced marriage in China.

Based on interviews with scores of people who escaped and returned to Myanmar, and others still inside China, the study found that the majority of those trafficked were also forced to carry a child for their husband.

Women leave Myanmar because of “conflict, displacement and poverty” said report author W. Courtland Robinson, while “the male-female sex imbalance in China, especially in rural areas” means demand for a wife is high.

One woman told researchers that she was trafficked into China three times, and each time “pushed into giving birth”, said Moon Nay Li of Kachin Women’s Association Thailand, who led the field research in Kachin and Shan states.

“Because of political instability, conflict and land confiscation… security for women is a big challenge,” she said.

Marriages are often arranged and brokered by the women’s own families and village elders, with brides-to-be unable to refuse as they are at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

The youngest women command higher prices of up to $10,000-15,000.

Their matches in China are typically to older, sick, or disabled men in rural areas — people considered undesirable to the Han Chinese — while the women’s lack of documentation plunges them into a legal limbo.

The study found that women were often “hired” to bear children for their husbands and then forced out or sold on to new husbands to recoup money.

Some women have successful marriages and the issue of consent is complex and varies case-by-case, Robinson said.

But all unions should be entered into without “threat, menace or penalty”, he added.

Often daughters “can’t say no to their parents”, said Moon Nay Li, and feel compelled to go ahead with the marriage once “traffickers and agents have given money to their parents”.

Researchers called for Myanmar to end the conflict in Kachin and Shan states, which has displaced tens of thousands of women, and to train anti-trafficking officials to enforce the law and recognise the women as victims.

PHOTOS: Ooni Of Ife Gets New Queen

 

It was jubilation galore at Ile-Ife, Osun State on Thursday, as Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, received his new wife at the palace, a day after he marked his 44th birthday.

This was confirmed in a statement issued by the Director, Media and Public Affairs of the palace, Comrade Moses Olafare.

According to the spokesperson, the marriage rights were done privately in Akure, Ondo State and she was later received at the Ooni’s palace.

“Her Majesty, Olori Moronke Naomi Silekunola Ogunwusi is the new Yeyeluwa Oodua.

“Necessary rites fully performed,” the statement read.

The monarch also took to social media on Thursday to express his joy.

He wrote, “I waited patiently upon the Almighty the King of kings, he eventually did it in the midst of many trials.

“Shilekunola, Moronke, Naomi; the greatest Arsenal you can apply on this highly revered throne with many rules and regulations in the midst of undiluted tradition, heritage and culture is the “Fear of God In You”.

“It is the beginning of your wisdom on this throne of Oduduwa. You are welcome home my beautiful and adorable queen”.

 

The development comes more than a year after his former wife, Zaynab Otiti-Obanor, confirmed that their 17-month-old marriage had ended.

The new wife who is said to be in her 20’s is an evangelist and also the founder of a ministry in Akure.

Saudi Arabia Bars Woman From Marrying ‘Musical’ Suitor

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz                                                                                  PHOTO: STR / AFP

 

A Saudi woman has lost a judicial battle to marry the man of her choice as a court deemed him “religiously” unfit because he plays a musical instrument, a Saudi newspaper reported Tuesday.

The ultra-conservative kingdom requires women to seek permission from male “guardians” — their fathers, husbands or other male relatives — to travel, get married and other tasks.

In some parts of the kingdom, a man who plays a musical instrument is considered of inferior status and having a bad reputation.

Two years ago the suitor, a teacher, asked for the hand of the woman, a 38-year-old bank manager from the ultra-conservative region of Qassim, north of the capital Riyadh, Okaz newspaper said.

But her family objected, saying he was not “religiously compatible” with her because he played the oud, the oriental lute which is popular across the Arab world.

The woman, who was not named, took her case to the courts.

A lower court weighed in on the side of the family, saying the marriage could not go through.

“Because the suitor plays a musical instrument he is unsuitable for the woman from a religious point of view,” the court said, according to Okaz.

An appeals court ratified the verdict, making it final, the newspaper added.

The woman told Okaz she will seek intervention from the country’s “highest authorities” — a reference to the royal court.

The bank manager, who holds a masters degree and is responsible for more than 300 employees, said she was determined to marry her suitor, describing him as “very pious and with a good reputation”.

Saudi Arabia, a major US ally, has introduced a string of reforms over the past year aimed at improving the kingdom’s image, including ending a longstanding ban on women driving.

But it continues to face criticism over the male guardianship system which allows men to exercise arbitrary authority to make decisions on behalf of their female relatives.

AFP