Most American 8-year-old girls are thinking about The Suite Life with Zack and Cody and not a married life with a man in his fifties. But in Saudi Arabia, girls just can't have fun, and how they're treated is no laughing matter.
According to the BBC, an 8-year-old girl is pleading to a Saudi Arabian court for a divorce. She was married off to the man without her knowledge — by her father. (How do you say jerk in Farsi?)
Child-protection organizations say Saudi children are sometimes given away in return for large dowries, or as a result of beliefs that marriage to cousins or other known persons will protect young boys or girls from illicit relationships.
What should be illicit is selling a daughter before she becomes of age to make her own choices and treating her like property instead of a prized individual.
Now, following the publicity, the child's mother is reportedly asking for an annulment. Although women have limited power in Saudi Arabia, annulments have a precedent with underage children.
Last April, a court in neighboring Yemen annulled the arranged marriage of a 9-year-old girl to a 28-year-old man.
Perhaps the court of public opinion will help make a ruling in Saudi Arabia as well that young brides have an age requirement.