Caption reads: “Marriage has no age, just conditions”
The text further differentiates between “short-term” and “long-term” nuptuals.

Child Marriage in Iran: Another Indication of Persecution of Women and Girls

Etemad online, an official newspaper of the Islamic Republic based in Tehran recently published a report regarding the astronomical rate of child marriage in Iran. At least 5,500 for girls between the ages of 15-19 are believed to have been wedded in a 12-month period. The reported number of marriages involving girls under the age of 15 may be as many as over
27,000.

The staggering statistics are likely a source of conflict and even embarrassment for the country. “Reformist” and “hardline” media outlets have provided conflicting reports, disputing the rate of
marriage in girls under 15.

Nonetheless, the prevalance of child marriage, remains a serious phenomenon in the present-day Iran. Child marriage is a risk factor in cases of domestic violence and femicide.

The practice was legalized at the onset of the Islamic revolution and deemed girls as young as fifteen years of age to be qualified for marriage. The legal provisions for marriage further allows
for marriage of girls under the age of fifteen with the permission of the father. After four decades of the Islamic regime’s legal and cultural provisions, this practice that was once frowned upon
has become normalized in Iran.

Another shocking factor in the report is the revelation that in the past year at least 69,103 children were born to girls between the ages of 10-19, of which 1474 were attributed to girls
between 10-14. The average rate of births for “mothers” under the age of 19 is reported at 76,000 annually.

The Iranian government encourages child marriage as a sign of “respect” for the wisdom and decision capacity of the children. Marriage among children is encouraged in textbooks and
television shows, depicting young adolescents who want to have autonomy over their lives.

In November 1400, Ebrahim Raisi, the head of the 13th government, notified the Ministry of Health of a legislation for the "Protection of the Family and Youth of the Population". This law
was approved by the Islamic Council and its purpose is to increase marriage, childbearing and the growth of the population of Iran– an original decree of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of
the Islamic Republic.

With the implementation of the Youth Population Law, concerns about the violation of women's rights, especially girls under the age of 18, have increased. As UN experts in a statement asking
Iran to cancel this law, they have considered it to be a direct violation of women's human rights.

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