A Country In 2014 Is Trying To Make It Legal To Marry A 9-Year-Old Girl

As the epidemic of child marriages continues to grow, Iraq is one country promoting some of the worst, anti-women laws out there.

Back in March, Iraqi legislators introduced the Jaafari Personal Status Law, which would legalize the marriage of girls as young as 9 years old, and institute a number of other stipulations that would further marginalize and hurt the position of women within society.

Although the Iraqi Parliament tabled voting on the bill last Tuesday, worrisome reports are emerging that the majority of lawmakers are actually supportive of the Jaafari Personal Status Law, making it an ominous likelihood for the war-torn country.

A Country In 2014 Is Trying To Make It Legal To Marry A 9-Year-Old Girl
The governing coalition intends to vote on the proposal by April 30, just before the country’s general elections.

Since it was introduced, many women’s and human rights activists have warned that codifying the Jaafari Personal Status Law will enable even more violence against women and girls in Iraq.

Joe Stork, the deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said that this law would prohibit many rights for women, while condoning child marriages and polygamous marriages.

“Passage of the Jaafari law would be a disastrous and discriminatory step backward for Iraq’s women and girls. This personal status law would only entrench Iraq’s divisions, while the government claims to support equal rights for all.”

No country should condone child marriage, or the willingness to remove women from the public sphere entirely.

Hopefully, organizations will be successful in opposing the Jaafari Personal Status Law because imagining Iraqi society with it instated is a horrendous picture of discrimination and backwards policies.
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