To prevent proposed legislation in Iraq that would abolish a minimum age of marriage for girls and help end forced child marriage.
If passed, this legislation, known as the Jaafari Personal Status Law, would result in a life of domestic and sexual slavery for many girls. There would no longer be a minimum age to legally marry, and the law would provide policies for divorcing a nine-year-old, and a girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf.
In addition, a girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and could not leave the home without his permission. At the time of the campaign launch, the legal age of marriage in Iraq was 18, and forced marriage was prohibited. Brave Iraqi women have been fighting to keep these laws intact. We joined this struggle by launching a campaign calling on the Iraqi authorities to vote against the Jaafari Personal Status Law.
On International Women’s Day 2014, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad to protest the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the Day of Mourning. Advocates sent 645,157 messages in protest of this law, and the Jaafari Personal Status Law was not voted on before the April 2014 election.