Iran is witnessing a significant increase in the number of girls under the age of 10 being wedded as such numbers have doubled in the past year.
The increase in the number of divorces in Iran has led to warnings from human rights about the increasing number of psychologically ill individuals, suicides, youths fleeing their homes and girls resorting to prostitution.
Although both sexes are very much hurt from this trend, the damages suffered by girls are far worse. It has been seen that families give in to wedding off their small girls in order to pay their debts.
The non-government organization ‘Supporting Children’s Rights in Iran’ says in 2009 the number of girls under the age of 15 that were wedded reached 43,459. While the year before there were 33,383 such cases.
716 girls under the age of then were wedded in 2010, while the year before there were 449 such cases.
“Families give in to wedding off their children due to poverty. However, cultural and educational poverty is also very effective in this regard,” said the spokesman of the Supporting Children’s Rights in Iran in an interview with the state-run Mehr news agency.
“The number of divorces in young marriage cases is much higher. 15,000 teenage girls between 15 and 19 divorced their husbands from 2007 to 2010,” he added.
The laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran permit marriages for young girls. Despite the fact that marriages of girls under the age of 13 and boys under the age of 15 is only permitted with their parent’s approval and a court ruling, this law is easily violated in many areas across Iran.
“9-year old girls are religiously and legally permitted to get married,” said Mohammad Asafnani, head of the Legal and Judicial Commission in Iran’s parliament.
(Al Arabiya – July 30, 2015)