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Would You Marry Me? Child Marriage in Iran

This week our design intern Patryk has been working with Maral to produce an image that uses data gathered from Ebtekar News  and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child. At first glance the bold numbers jump off the page, leading us to delve deeper into the narratives behind the numbers.

The 13 hidden in the background?

Sharia law recognises girls as adults when they turn nine, and while the minimum age for marriage in Iran is 13 for girls and 15 for boys, younger children can be married off with the approval of their guardians and the court.

85% of the nearly 2 million Iranians under the age of 19 to marry over the past 6 years were girls.

More than 200,000 Iranians under the age of 15 were married; 97% of them were girls.

In 2010, 716 Iranian girls younger than 10 were married.

Who is asking, „Would you marry me?“

The Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Ahmad Shaheed, wrote in his latest UN report that he is ‚deeply concerned about reports that the Legal Affairs Committee of the Iranian Parliament has announced that the law that prohibits the marriage of girls below the age of 13 is considered to be “un-Islamic and illegal”‘.

 

Gender and Society In Iran – Part 1: The Debate Over Child Marriage, Including Child Brides Wed To Adult Men

By: Y. Mansharof and A. Savyon*

Introduction

The past few years have seen an increasing public debate about issues of gender and society in Iran – the woman’s place in the private and public arena, cohabitation of unmarried couples, women’s right to travel abroad without permission of a male guardian, the hijab, and more, as opposed to the Islamic regime’s position on these issues.

One such issue is the phenomenon of marriages involving children, including children under age 10 – especially arranged marriages of girls to adult men, or even to elderly men.

This paper will discuss child marriages in Iran, especially those of very young girls to older men. It is the first in a series on the discussion in Iran on gender and society, and on how Iran’s Islamic regime is dealing with these issues.

One Million Children, Even Under 10, In Arranged Marriages – And 85% Of Them Are Girls

Under Iranian law, girls may marry at 13 and boys at 15, and children under 10 may marry with the approval of their guardian and the court.[1]According to official statistics, about one million children, even under age 10, are married. The statistics also show that 85% of these one million married children are girls – meaning that most of them are married to grown men.[2]

Child Marriage Is Growing, And Poses Great Risk To Society – But It’s Permitted By Islamic Law

Public figures – sociologists, Majlis members, activists, and others – have warned that the number of children marrying is on the rise, and with it the great health and social risks this poses for society, and have called on the regime to tackle it with legal and cultural reforms.[3] According to one sociologist, arranging marriages for children, especially girls, is common among poor and uneducated urban families that seek a way out of dire financial straits; he adds that the girls themselves are severely damaged both physically and psychologically.

Regime spokesmen have denied the extent of the phenomenon, and have also shrugged off the matter, saying that child marriage is legal and that preventing it is against Islamic law.

The following are facts, figures, and main arguments in the debate on child marriage in Iran. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

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