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Between Change and Continuity: Age and Marriage Trends in Gaza

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2008
Author Shehada Nahda,
Project The practice of Islamic Family Law in Palestine and Israel: Text and Context
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Hawwa
Volume (Issue) 6(3)
Page(s) 315 - 350
Title of proceedings Hawwa


In Gaza, one finds both an impressive rate of early marriage and the highest rate of fertility in the world. 42 percent of women marry at 18 years or less whereas half the population is under 15. This phenomenon begs the following question: why is early marriage ever more frequent in Gaza but on the decline in the West Bank? This article proposes to develop an historical and sociological analysis of marriage trends in Gaza based on a diachronic examination of local Islamic court archives and interviews with people practicing this type of marriage today, while taking into account changing economic and political circumstances.