ICBPS MORNING BRIEF Child Marriage Still Happens In Iran 1

ICBPS MORNING BRIEF: Child Marriage Still Happens In Iran

ICBPS Morning Brief– Thousands of Iranian children are forced into marriage at a younger age with fathers’ consent and permission from Islamic Court judges.

The Statistics Center of Iran announced that 7323 girls married under the age of 14 this year. It also declared one girl under the age of 10 and five boys under the age of 15 married in the first three months of this year.

At least 109 pregnancies have been registered in marriages under 18 years of age have been recorded in Markazi province, located in the southwestern Iranian capital Tehran in the first half of this year.

“Since three years ago, 1157 marriages of girls under 15 registered, and from 2016 to 2019, 1055 pregnancies under 18 were recorded,” says the government officials in the province.

Child Marriage In Iran

Child marriage in Iran is based on people in poverty seeking economic gain and is implemented based on Sharia law. At least 30,000 girls got married in Iran under the age of 13 each year, says Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of IRI for Women and Family Affairs.

Sharia-based law, is currently performed in Iran, considers girls and boys adults at nine years and 15 years respectively, and thus ready for marriage. 

Estimates from the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, in 2016 indicated that 17 percent of girls in Iran were married before the age of 18. And according to statistics from the Iranian National Organization for Civil Registration quoted in 2015 by the Center for Human Rights in Iran, over 40,000 girls under the age of 15 had registered their marriages during the previous one year.

The religion-based law, however, states the legal age of marriage is 13 for girls and 15 for boys, but marriages can still be carried out at a younger age with the consent of fathers (or legal guardians) and the permission of an Islamic court judge.

The number of marriage loans by people under 15 has reportedly increased almost 90 times as the number of such child marriage has astonishingly increased.

“Within the last decade, over 400,000 girls under the age of 15 were married off in Iran, the country’s official sources reported,” according to the Kurdistan Report in 2017. The figure has certainly increased since 2017.

The “Prohibition of child marriage” bill in 2019 was rejected by the Islamic Consultative Assembly’s Judiciary Commission.

The real number of child marriages in Iran could be much higher, as many marriages are not officially recorded.

The spouses in unregistered marriages have no civil rights as the children from the marriages have no birth certificates.

Further, child marriage makes girls prone to sexually transmitted diseases and sexual infections. The girls also face often child-bearing problems which can lead them to suicide, self-immolation, and running away from home in some cases.

Child marriage is based on people in poverty seeking economic gain.

In Shah‘s time, the age of marriage was set to 18 by law under family and women reform.

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