Problematizing Marriage Registration in Jordan

Tuesday 26 Nov 2019, 16:15 - 17:30
Spoken Language
Room 3.14
International Institute of Social Studies
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Dina Zbeidy
Dr Dina Zbeidy

On 26 November 2019, anthropologist Dina Zbeidy will present this Development Research Seminar on 'Problematizing Marriage Registration in Jordan: Tensions and Perspectives around Nationality, Legality and Traditions'

During this seminar, Dina Zbeidy discusses two marriage practices in Jordan that have serious legal consequences for residents and have become topics of debate and locus for intervention projects of development organizations.

Some Palestinians conclude a marriage contract early in a relationship to indicate the engagement period. Explained by residents as a local custom that provides a limited possibility for the couple to get to know each other before the wedding, this practice is often blamed by women’s organizations for increasing the rate of divorce.

On the other hand, some Syrian refugees in Jordan do not officially register their marriages. Organizations and media outlets have focused on the negative effects of non-registration through the discourses of women’s and children’s rights. Conversations with Syrians show that they have different perspectives on what a licit marriage entails, and that they try their best to act in accordance with Jordanian laws when possible. 

Based on longer-term fieldwork in Jordan, this presentation shows the complexities involved in decisions around marriage registration and the legal issues refugees navigate by revealing the convergences and gaps between the work of development organizations on one hand, and the narratives of Syrians and Palestinians in Jordan on the other.

About the speaker

Dina Zbeidy is an anthropologist, with a long experience working for various human rights organizations in Palestine and the Netherlands. She has published research on nationalism, social movements and refugees in the Middle East.

 Zbiedy is lecturer in social sciences within the law programme at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden, in which she gives courses on criminology, ethics, and law and society. In addition, she is senior research within the lectorat Law and Justice, focusing on the theme of Access to Justice (in Dutch).

More information

The Development Research Seminars present cutting-edge research on development studies by noted scholars from around the world. The Series aims to stimulate critical discussion about contemporary development issues.

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