Avaaz Petition: Condemn Child Marriage in Iran

October 23, 2012 • Reproductive Health, Daily Email Recap

With the October 11th, 2012 International Day of the Girl Child now in the rear-view mirror, it is important that concerned citizens from around the world continue to advocate and work against child marriage. PMC has decided to endorse and promote an Avaaz petition created by Studioo Onlus, (Italy) to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, calling on him to publicly speak out against legislation being discussed in the Iranian parliament. Please see below and sign-on.

Worldwide every day, 25,000 girls under 18 are married, mostly against their will.

In Iran, the parliament is considering legislation to lower the legal age of marriage of girls from 13 to 9.  In 2010, 716 girls under the age of 10 were married, a 59% increase in one year.

Ask the UN Secretary-General to condemn this! Click here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Ask_UN_Secretary_General_to_condemn_child_marriage_in_Iran/?ejnFdab

Why this is important?

In Iran, hundreds of girls under the age of 10 are married every year, and the trend is dramatically increasing. Iran’s Association of Children’s Rights reports that 716 girls under the age of 10 were married in 2010, a 59 percent increase in just one year.

Now, the Iranian parliament is considering legislation that would expand child marriage. Presently, girls below 13 and boys younger than 15 can be wed with their father’s consent and the permission of a court, but Mohammad Ali Isfenani, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, wants to lower the legal age of marriage to nine!

Child marriage is a gross violation of human rights. It is prohibited by international conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms against Discrimination of Women. It deprives girls of their adolescence, their freedom, and their future. Child brides are frequently taken out of school and too often raped or abused by their husbands. Child brides are also far more likely to die in childbirth or suffer complications from pregnancy.

Child marriage runs counter to the concept of gender equity, and it is a big problem. Every year, there are another 10 million child brides – 25,000 every day. That’s why, on October 11, 2012, the first International Day of the Girl, UN Secretary-General Ban KI-Moon focused his message on problem of child marriage.  Consistent with that message, the Secretary-General should tell Iran to ban the practice of child marriage, rather than lowering the legal age of marriage.

Petition text:

As concerned citizens from around the world, we call upon you, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to publicly condemn legislation now pending in the Iranian Parliament that would lower the age that a girl can be married without court approval from 13 to 9.  Child marriage is a gross violation of human rights.  It deprives girls of their adolescence and freedom, and it jeopardizes their health and economic prospects.  Instead of lowering the legal age of marriage, Iran should raise it to 18 years of age.


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