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Iran: more than 7,000 under-14 girls married off

More than 7,000 girls in Iran are registered to have been married under the age of 14.
More than 7,000 girls in Iran are registered to have been married under the age of 14.

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, December 5, 2020—According to the quarterly report of the Iran Statistics Center, more than 7,000 girls under the age of 14 have been registered as married. 7,323 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are registered as married, according to the report, adding one girl was married under the age of 10.

The report also indicates that between 2016 and 2019, about 130,000 girls under the age of 14 were registered as married. “That means about 43,300 marriages of girls under the age of 14 each year,” according to a report published by the regime’s Statistics Center on November 30, 2020.

The physical and psychological harm caused by child marriage inflicts irreparable damage to the lives of such young girls, especially those who become pregnant under the age of 18. These include deaths of young mothers, depression, suicide attempts, divorce, school dropouts, and the continuation of cultural and economic poverty.

Mohammad Mehditandgouyan, the regime’s Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth, indicated an increased number of applicants for marriage loans among underage girls. “In recent years, two-thirds of the loan requestees have been underage girls, and this is at times associated with forced marriages,” he said.

Zahra Kasayipour, head of the Women and Family Affairs Department in Markazi (Central) province, said in the last six months 109 girls under the age of 15 were registered as married.

Kasayipour reported the following registered numbers:

-1,157 girls under the age 18 became pregnant from 2017 to 2019
-1,055 girls under the age of 15 became pregnant from 2016 to 2019
-109 underage pregnant mothers registered this year

Child marriage statistics have been increasing in recent years. Child rights activists say child marriages will harm the health of Iran’s society in the future.

Young girls marrying before reaching maturity echoes the widespread disaster in Iran. The official marriage age in Iran is decided based on "sexual maturity," while according to experts, sexual maturity is only part of the full human maturity. Growth, awareness, education, and freedom of choice are the most basic and humane conditions for starting a family.

Also, according to the regime’s statistic center, 95,000 divorces among women under the age of 19 were registered between 2011 and 2015. About 5,760 divorces were related to marriages in which the couple was below the age of 15 at the time of marriage.