Don't Legalize Forced Child Marriage in Iraq Forced child marriage is about to be legalized in Iraq. Under the law, girls will be deemed "women" at age 9 and can be forced by their fathers to marry any man of the father's choosing. Once married, the girls will not be allowed to resist their husband's sexual advances, as marital rape will also be legalized. We must stand up for the innocent girls of Iraq and demand this incredibly ignorant and sexist law is rejected.
The fact that forced marriage for young girls could become law in Iraq shows how little has changed in real terms following a lengthy and costly war. It was costly as far as money, military personnel and civilians.
Two days ago in the Guardian former Labour Prime Minister of the U.K. Gordon Brown wrote a piece related to child marriages in Iraq, but pointing out that Iraq is not alone.
But as far as Iraq goes Mr Brown said "Based on Shia Islamic jurisprudence, what is called the Ja'afari personal status law was approved by the current Iraqi cabinet eight weeks ago. It describes girls as reaching puberty at nine, and therefore ready for marriage. The current legal age is 18.This barbaric and regressive law would grant fathers sole guardianship of their female children from the age of two, as well as legalising marital rape. It has horrified Iraqi women and they publicly declared last month's International Women's Day an Iraqi day of mourning in response to the worrying developments. Hassan al-Shimari, the Iraqi justice minister who proposed the draft law, is a member of the small Islamist Fadhila (Virtue) party, which is allied with the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who is seeking a third term in office."
There is obviously work to do worldwide to stop the enforced marriage and abuse of young girls.
You can read Mr Brown's full editorial here.
Please sign the petition, Don’t Legalize Forced Child Marriage and Rape in Iraq by following this link.
Guardian - Iraq child marriages
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