The Kingdom has banned Saudi Arabian men from marrying women from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad and Myanmar.
In a move that will do nothing to help Saudi Arabia’s less than sterling reputation for their treatment of women, Saudi men have been officially banned from marrying female expatriates from four countries. Women from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad and Myanmar, making up around 500,000 of the countries expat population, have been called called a no-go for Saudi men looking to marry. This follows new tougher regulations on the marriage of foreign women in general, requiring new levels of bureaucracy such as license applications and a minimum age of 25 for the prospective groom.
This is a move that has caused some anger and confusion in the Gulf area and the affected countries. Comments left on the website of Pakistan’s most widely read English-language newspaper, Dawn, vary from denouncing the move as racist and discriminatory, to celebrations, with some saying that Pakistani women are “safe now.” Some have also questioned whether these new restrictions are compatible with Sharia law. The Saudi government have not commented on these new regulations at the time of writing.