Stop Iraq from allowing 9-year-old girls to marry

  • by: Audry M
  • recipient: Council of Representatives of Iraq
Iraq has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the Middle East. The epidemic is so widespread that estimates suggest that 21% of Iraqi females between the age of 15 and 19 are currently married.

Yet despite the social ills caused by its proliferation and practice, the Iraqi parliament is set to debate a new amendment that would allow girls as young as nine to be married.

The proposed amendment to the dubious sounding "personal status law" would allow Shia clerics to subvert nationally recognized law and govern marriage contracts themselves.

Human rights organizations say the it would be "catastrophic."

Around the world there are more than 700 million women who were married before their 18th birthday. When children - usually girls - are forced into marriage at such a young age they lose their agency and control over their futures. Their chances at an education and a full childhood become far less likely. And they often are more likely to experience domestic violence.

This proposed amendment shirks international conventions and national law and would be disastrous for women's rights in Iraq. Please add your name to the petition and tell the Iraqi Parliament the world is watching. Tell them to think of the young girls of Iraq and vote down the amendment to the personal status law.
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