Iraq Proposal to Legalize Child Marriage Sparks Outrage

Child SlaveryForced Marriage

Iraq’s parliament voted “in principle” to approve amendments to the Personal Status Law, meaning girls as young a 9-years-old could marry. Albawaba News reports that currently the legal age for marriage is 18-years-old, though a judge can give permission for those as young as 15.

In response to the proposed changes, protesters marched on the capital. One activist, Jabra al-Taee, described the proposed modification as “the assassination of childhood.”

It is “female infanticide,” she added. “She is just 9 years old – which means she hasn’t lived her childhood, and she won’t get a chance to live her youth, because the law will impose upon her a life she knows nothing about.”

Many Iraqis have taken to Twitter to express their opposition to the new law, with some saying “This is an ISIS law which legitimizes child rape.”

Members of parliament are also opposing the new changes. MP Intisar al-Jabouri from the parliamentary committee on women and children said that “This amendment is a setback for the rights of women and works to dismantle the family and to establish sectarianism even within the family.”

Other MPs believe the amendments would only project the beliefs of ISIS onto society. “[This] will consecrate the laws introduced by ISIS, and violate international human rights laws,” added MP Farah al-Sarraj.

The changes are also controversial because they would apply “Shia Jaafari jurisprudence on all Iraqis for personal status issues, which include marriage, divorce, adoption and inheritance.” While 60% of Iraqi’s are Shia, around 40% are Sunni, making the amendments contentious for religious reasons.

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AnnJackyB. Murphy-BridgeGillian DalleyJohn Phillips Recent comment authors
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The Prophet Mohammed is said to have had a wife of 9 years old himself and this ruling is apparently based on that although it is a scandal and a huge setback for the rights of women. A child of nine is not a woman and that is why it is un-natural and answering only to male needs.


Islam has a need for change.
This is a backward step and shows a complete lack of compassion of understanding for young girls.
It is sexual Slavery.
No other words can describe this foul and disgusting abuse of children.
The Prophet Mohammad would be ill at the very thought of young girls and women treated So unfairly

B. Murphy-Bridge
B. Murphy-Bridge

Makes you wonder why a grown male would even consider a 9 year old for a wife unless he is a pedophile ( pedophile: a person who is sexually attracted to children).

Gillian Dalley
Gillian Dalley

Outrageous and tragic. Politicians and religious leaders supporting this should be ashamed of themselves.

John Phillips
John Phillips

The only people who could possibly want such a law are those wanting sex with children but with the added benefit of having total control over the child by being married to her. So a double whammy for the child.

Sometimes I find it really hard to believe we are living in the 21st century and please, nobody try to defend this as a cultural practice that I don’t understand, as they would be full of it if they did and would deserve treating as pariahs.