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Child marriage in Iran

Iranian Regime MP Defends Parliament’s Failure to Pass Child Marriage Bill

Child marriage in Iran

Photo Credit to IranNewsWire: The Iranian regime promotes child marriage rather than protecting young girls from forced and early marriages.

The Iranian regime parliament’s Legal Commission defended the rejection of a bill which would have completely banned child marriage in Iran. The “Child Spouse Bill,” which was introduced into the regime parliament in 2016, would have completely banned marriage for girls under the age of 13 and boys under the age of 16.

Hassan Nourozi, the spokesperson for the parliament’s Legal Commission, justified the bill’s failure in comments that were broadcast on state-run media.

“For a girl who is alone and has no one, marriage is definitely a game changer,” he said.

The Child Spouse Bill

The Child Spouse Bill would prohibit marriage for girls under the age of 13 and boys under the age of 16. Girls between the ages of 13-16 and boys between the ages of 16-18 would need parental consent and permission from the court to marry. Girls over the age of 16 and boys over the age of 18 could marry without permission.

Child Marriage Statistics

Official sources cite at least 37,000 registered marriages of girls between the ages of 10-14 in Iran in 2017. There are 24,000 divorcées under the age of 18 in Iran. 15,000 of those women are under the age of 15.

A 2017 Iranian media report said that 17% of girls in Iran married when they were under 18 years of age.

Contradictions in Current Law

In his defense of Parliament’s rejection of the bill, Nourozi said, “In our opinion, there are some problems in the proposed bill because many of the criteria are not acceptable. According to the representatives in the Legal Commission, a 15-year-old girl is not considered a child … and is fit to marry.”

Nourozi noted that Sharia law, Qom jurisprudence, and Iranian and Lebanese experts all say that girls enter puberty at the age of nine. He compared the experience of his grandmother with Iranian girls in 2018, saying, “My own grandmother was married at 9 years of age and did not have any problems.”

 

He added, “Our point is that if a girl who does not have a father and has problems can marry a 17-year-old young (man), and there is no problem with that.”

 

Statistics contradict Nourozi’s contention that girls marry 17-year-old boys. Most underage girls are forced to marry much older men. In 2013, over 41,000 girls under the legal age were registered for marriage, but only 300 underage boys were registered.

 

Shahnaz Sajad, an official at the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs, said in an interview with the state-run ILNA news agency that child marriage results from poverty, cultural deprivation, and addiction.

“What percent of 13-year-old girls or under 13 year-olds in our society think about marriage with a 14 or 16-year-old boy?” Sajad asked. “These cases are very rare.”

She added, “When the father of a 12-year-old girl forces her to marry because she does not want to marry, the legitimacy of such a marriage is legally and religiously problematic.”

The MEK is opposed to the regime’s oppression of women, including child marriage. The MEK and the Iranian Opposition offer a democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship, in which men and women can have equal representation in government. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Opposition, has a ten-point plan to restore democratic rule to Iran after the fall of the mullahs’ regime and to ensure that child marriage is a thing of the past.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Child marriage in Iran

Child Marriage in Iran.

NCRI Exposes Epidemic of Widowed Children in Iran

Child Marriage in Iran.

Child marriage in Iran, another aspect of women’s suppression under the religious extremism ruling Iran

A May 30th report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is the largest member, shed light on the plight of child brides in Iran. According to the report, which came from an earlier interview with Masoume Aghapour-Alishahi, the “Representative of Women” at the regime Parliament, and was published on the website “Khane Melat,” (regime’s parliament’s publication) there are currently 24,000 widowed children in Iran.

 

A widowed child is a girl who was married at age 12 and then lost or was separated from her spouse before the age of 18.  The legal age for marriage in Iran is 13 for girls and 15 for boys, but it is permissible under Civil Law to marry earlier with parental and court consent. Child marriage is common in Iran, particularly in villages, because of both poor economic conditions and a lack of access to educational and cultural opportunities. As a result, thousands of children are robbed of their childhoods through child marriages, which usually end in divorce. According to Alishahi, “[D]ue to the absence of secondary and tertiary schools in our villages, girls are unable to continue their education beyond the primary level; and are consequently forced by their parents to get married”.

 

Alishahi said that some parents marry off their girls at nine or ten years of age in order to provide for the basic needs of their households. These children are then pressured to have children of their own, with many girls becoming pregnant before they have fully reached puberty. This leads to complications when delivering or breastfeeding their children, along with mental anguish. Some of these girls turn to abortion as a result, which can be deadly for them.

 

Alishahi also spoke of another problem that these children face. Adults “can take advantage of these children for sexual pleasure or for other unethical intentions such as drug smuggling.”

 

The popular Iranian television show “Paytakht” aired an episode in which a character considers proposing to 12 and 13-year-old girls. The situation was played for laughs. Farshid Yazdani, director of the Protection of Children’s Rights Committee, gave an interview to the website “Faravar,” in which he discussed this episode. He said that these shows promote violence against children and went on to add: “Whilst the National Organisation for Civil Registration reports of nearly 13000 widowed children in 2015 alone, our country’s National Television is promoting violence against our children, by covering child-marriage in its popular shows like Paytakht.”

 

Child marriage is no laughing matter. Girls who are married as children become dependent on their spouses and never develop the skills they need to function as independent adults. Many, if not most, of these girls, marry addicts and often go on to become addicts themselves. Widowed children face additional emotional pressure, as they are often fleeing domestic violence and can easily become victims of further violence after their marriages end.

 

Children will continue to face these grim conditions as long as Iran fails to provide for its citizens’ financial and social well-being. The MEK supports regime change as a means to address these and other issues. The Iranian people deserve better treatment.

Staff Writer

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