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Saudi groom hits the brakes on wedding after 'wife must drive' prenup

Saudi Arabia announced the historic royal decree allowing women to drive last month [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 October, 2017

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A Saudi groom made an emergency stop at his own wedding ceremony after the bride's father imposed a condition of allowing her to drive after the marriage.
A Saudi man walked out of his wedding ceremony earlier this week after the bride’s father imposed a last-minute condition that his daughter be allowed to drive after the marriage.

As per Islamic marriage procedures, the bride and her family can set conditions for the marriage, which are then negotiated, accepted of refused by the male.

But for this soon-to-be-groom, his potential wife’s freedom to obtain a licence and drive when the kingdom’s lift on the women driving ban goes into effect next year, was just a step too far.

According to online newspaper al-Marsd, the groom refused to accept the condition and walked out of the ceremony after failed negotiations. Before the lift on the ban, he had already agreed to previous conditions including a dowry of 40,000 Saudi riyals ($10,666) and his future bride's right to work.

As always, Saudi Arabia’s active social media users took to Twitter to discuss the failed wedding, with some backing the man, while others criticised his irrationality.

"It's his right, and if this is what women want these days, spinsterhood is going to be on the rise." 

"It's her right to set conditions, and his right to reject them. The foundation of a happy, successful marriage is built right in those first moments." 

"Good riddance, it's better for her." 

 

"How is it possible for someone to just cancel their own wedding over driving a car?" 

The cancelled wedding comes just weeks after Saudi Arabia made a historic decision to allow women to obtain driving permits under a royal decree, due to take effect in June next year, sparking euphoria and disbelief among activists who long fought the ban.

The Gulf kingdom was the only country in the world to bar women from taking the wheel, a ban seen globally as a symbol of repression.

But many women fear they are still easy prey for conservatives in a nation where male "guardians" – typically their fathers, husbands or brothers – have arbitrary authority to take decisions on their behalf.

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