Based on long-term fieldwork in Jordan, this paper discusses two marriage registration practices that have become topics of public debate and locus for intervention projects of development organizations: the early registration of marriages among Palestinian camp residents, and the non-registration of marriages among Syrian refugees. This paper shows how the narratives around marriage registration play a role in the production of identity and senses of belonging and provides insight into the overlaps and gaps between the discourses of development organizations and the concerns of those involved in these practices. In the Palestinian case, the early registration of marriage provides the couple with a limited but important space to get acquainted before the wedding. Women’s organizations and NGOs, however, often blame this practice for the increase in divorce rates before consummation. In the Syrian case, organizations focus on the negative legal and social consequences of not registering a marriage with the state, while conversations with Syrians reveal the obstacles they face while navigating the Jordanian legal system and their need to legitimize their non-registration of marriages.
Buckley-ZistelSusanne and KrauseUlrike (2017). Gender, violence, refugees: An introduction. In Buckley-Zistel Susanne and Ulrike Krause (eds.) Gender Violence and Refugee Communities pp. 1–18. New York: Berghahn Books.
DavisRochelle and TaylorAbbie (2013). Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon: A Snapshot from Summer 2013. Washington DC: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University.
Mir-HosseiniZiba (1994). Strategies of selection: Differing notions of marriage in Iran and Morocco. In El-Solh Camilla Fawzi. and Judy Mabro (eds.) Muslim Women’s Choices: Religious Belief and Social Reality pp. 55–72. London: Berg Publishers.
MoorsAnnelies (2013). Unregistered Islamic marriages: Anxieties about sexuality and Islam in the Netherlands. In Berger Maurits S. (ed.) Applying Shariʻa in the West: Facts Fears and the Future of Islamic Rules on Family Relations in the West pp. 141–164. Leiden: Leiden University Press.
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) (2015 October 15). Registering Rights: Syrian Refugees and the Documentation of Births Marriages and Deaths in Jordan. Cambridge: IHRC, Harvard Law School.
TurnerLewis (2015). Explaining the (non-) encampment of Syrian refugees: Security, class and the labour market in Lebanon and Jordan. Mediterranean Politics20(3): 1–19. DOI:10.1080/13629395.2015.1078125.
TurnerSimon (2017). Victims of chaos and subaltern sexualities?: Some reflections on common assumptions about displacement and the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence. In Buckley-Zistel Susanne and Ulrike Krause (eds.) Gender Violence and Refugee Communities pp. 44–57. New York: Berghahn Books.
Divorce of 5 thousand Jordanian women whose marriage did not last one year (2017 March 13). Gerasa News. Retrieved from http://www.gerasanews.com/article/261630 (accessed 11-01-2018 -Arabic).
NimriNadeen (2017 February 28). To give birth to a child outside of wedlock in Jordan. Raseef 22. Retrieved from http://raseef22.com/life/2017/02/28/%d8%a3%d9%86-%d8%aa%d9%86%d8%ac%d8%a8%d9%8a-%d8%b7%d9%81%d9%84%d8%a7%d9%8b-%d8%ae%d8%a7%d8%b1%d8%ac-%d8%a5%d8%b7%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b2%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%ac-%d9%81%d9%8a-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a3%d8%b1/ (accessed 11-01-2018- Arabic).
Petra (2014 June 16). Concerned entities look into Syrian refugee marriage issues. Jordan Times. Retrieved fromhttps://jordantimes.com/news/local/concerned-entities-look-syrian-refugee-marriage-issues (accessed 11-01-2018).