Iraq Proposal to Legalize Child Marriage Sparks Outrage -

Iraq Proposal to Legalize Child Marriage Sparks Outrage

  • Published on
    November 4, 2017
  • Written by:
    Jamison Liang
  • Category:
    Child Slavery, Forced Marriage
Hero Banner

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.

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Phillips
John Phillips
5 years ago

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.

Myra Boyle
Myra Boyle
5 years ago

The Koran says women must be respected and treated with kindness. To marry a girl of nine is not respect, it is treating her like a possession. She is the possessor of her own body and soul. She should have the right to grow into adulthood and to choose her own life path.

David Chalcraft
David Chalcraft
5 years ago

The United nations needs to act here.

Dan moloney
5 years ago

Iraq must join the modern world, not revert to the medieval world of ignorance and male dominance

5 years ago

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.

This week

Migrant workers jailed in Qatar over demands for owed wages

Five months on from the World Cup final, migrant workers continue to report exploitative labor practices and mistreatment at the hands of Qatari authorities. Three former security guards have been jailed in Qatar for four months following their repeated requests for unpaid wages from their employer, Stark Security Services. Though lauded by FIFA as an opportunity to improve Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, workers who toiled to make the world’s

| Friday May 26, 2023

Read more