Child Bride Practice Rising In Iran, Parliament Seeks To Lower Girl’s Legal Marriage Age To 9
Hundreds of girls below the age of 10 each year are forced into marriage in Iran every year — and the trend is experiencing a dramatic increase.
According to recent data released by Iran’s Association of Children’s Rights, the number of girls married in Iran under the age of 15 went from 33,383 in 2006 to 43,459 in 2009, a 30 percent increase in three years.
In addition, while 449 girls were married in 2009 before reaching the age of 10, as many as 716 girls were married under the age of 10 in 2010, a 59 percent spike in one year.
These alarming figures were accompanied by an official statement from the Iranian parliament’s legal affairs committee that the Islamic Republic will push to lower the legal marriage for girls to 9 (before they even reach puberty) from the current 13.
The legal affairs committee of parliament told the press that they regard the law that prohibits girls below the age of 10 from being married off to be “un-Islamic and illegal,” referencing Islamic scripture to which describes the Prophet Muhammad — the perfect example of all Muslims — marrying a six-year-old bride, with whom he consummated the marriage when she was only nine years old.
Mohammad Ali Isfenani, the chairman for the legal affairs committee, said matter-of-factly: “As some people may not comply with our current Islamic legal system, we must regard 9 as being the appropriate age for a girl to have reached puberty and qualified to get married. To do otherwise would be to contradict and challenge Islamic Sharia law.”
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