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Iraqi Women, Secularists Protest Law That Would Allow Marriage Of 9-Year-Old Girls

World  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', children, conflict, corruption, crime, Education, ethics, freedoms, government, iraq, politics, society, Womens Rights )

- 1681 days ago -
Dozens of women gathered in Baghdad, Iraq, on Saturday to protest a proposed law that would allow girls in the country to be married off at just nine years old


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Kit B (276)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 9:43 am
Photo Credit: Opposing Views

Dozens of women gathered in Baghdad, Iraq, on Saturday to protest a proposed law that would allow girls in the country to be married off at just nine years old. The law would also grant full custody of children to fathers, robbing mothers of the ability to make decisions regarding their children.

“On this day of women, women of Iraq are in mourning,” human rights activist Hanaa Eduar said during the protest. “We believe that this is a crime against humanity. It would deprive a girl of her right to live a normal childhood.”

The proposed bill was put forward by Justice Minister Hasaan al-Shimari, a member of the country’s Shi’ite Islamist Fadila party. Shi’ite parties in Iraq first tried to pass a similar law in 2003 after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Shi’ite leaders who defend the law say it is in line with the freedom granted in the country’s constitution to enforce religious morality through legislation.

“This is the core of the freedom,” Shi’ite lawmaker Hussein al-Mura’abi argued. “Based on the Iraqi constitution, each component of the Iraqi people has the right to regulate its personal status in line with the instructions of its religion and doctrine.”

Iraq’s current laws grant women extensive rights regarding marriage, inheritance, and child custody. Together, the current statutes have been hailed as some of the most progressive in the Middle East.

The proposed law would change all of this. Among other things, the bill claims girls reach puberty at age nine and can be married off accordingly. It grants fathers complete custody of children at age two, and legally allows men to demand sex from their wives at any time.

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations representative to Iraq, says the bill “risks constitutionally protected rights for women and international commitment.”

It is not clear if the bill will pass in Iraq’s parliament amongst strong opposition from secular representatives.

By: Jonathan Wolfe

Sources: Raw Story, The News International

Sue H (7)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 9:48 am
Too bad that it wasn't Thousands of Women. "Get Up, Stand Up" ladies!

Mitchell D (86)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 2:48 pm
I second Sue H.'s comment.
Even if the girls are reaching puberty at age nine, a trend reported here, as well, this law would, in effect, legalize child sexual molestation. And, I am certain that a 9year old girl's pelvis is ill suited for giving birth.
I hope the secularists kick this bit of Theocracy out the door!

Angelika R (143)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 3:32 pm
there'll be more I guess.. and we should see an AVAAZ petition or from another site before long i would assume

Vallee R (280)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 3:53 pm
Abuse to the max - sexual abuse - child abuse and rape - what more do they want - this is horrible.

Betty Kelly (4)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:29 pm
Secularists stand strong against this law that promotes child abuse.

Kit B (276)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:34 pm

Any man for any reason that takes a child bride is deeply screwed up, a pedophile and lower than pond scum.

Kit B (276)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:35 pm

I did look for petitions on this, Angie and may need to start one.

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:38 pm
I agree there needs many more than "dozens" of women protesting this. I guess the former Bush Admin. is proud of itself to have this happen, since it wasn't this way before. I will sign a petition against this as soon as I can. Religious patriarchies are the worst!

JL A (281)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:53 pm
Important element to track for international human rights and according to Amnesty International a child's consent is required by Islam or it is not in accordance with Islamic law.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 7:36 pm
This is another example of corruption and pedophilia as a cultural norm..I understand that adultery is forbidden but sodomy of little boys is not..wide eyed disbelief.

Caroline S (78)
Monday March 17, 2014, 12:31 am
This makes so angry }:-(( Nine years old.....
I agree with Lois Jordan : religious patriarchies are the worst

Evelyn B (61)
Monday March 17, 2014, 1:36 am
So many losses for women's rights following forced "democracy" in Iraq.
Iraq was (rightly) proud of their civilisation; now - as so often - women's & girls' rights are the first to pay the price as changes are made to the constitution.
I suppose that in the Iraqi context, dozens is already enormous ... given security considerations ... although I too was very sad to see only "dozens" ...
Thanks for flagging.

Evelyn B (61)
Monday March 17, 2014, 1:40 am
Force Change already has a petition addressing President Talibani
Don’t Legalize Child Marriage

Colin Hope (243)
Monday March 17, 2014, 2:15 am
Crazy, just plain CRAZY!!

Winn Adams (179)
Monday March 17, 2014, 7:20 am
This is sick and any man who would marry a child needs to go to prison. I hope somehow and some way these women change their laws and culture.

Sherri G (128)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 12:14 am
Winn, Lois, JL and Will I could not agree more and signed Evelyn's petition thank You. Excellent article Noted

Angelus Silesius (120)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 6:43 am
Just plain wrong!

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 6:51 am

I signed the petition and thank you, Evelyn for sharing the link. Iran has a policy from the Supreme Leader,
Ali Khamenei, that all women should have both education and Free access to birth control. Though arranged marriages probably still happen, he is against that. His policy is that all women have a choice, and he has said that nothing in the Quran prevents birth control or female education. With an eye to the future he is acknowledging that birth control is essential to any progress.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 7:55 am
According to Islamic instructions ,a girl's consent is required or it is not in accordance with Islamic law. If we consider this rule and know for sure that a girl at the age of 9 can't decide on a matter like this,then it is really against Islamic law to force a girl,Whatever her age is,to get married to someone against her will.Thanks JL for clarifying this point. Thanks Kit for this important post. Waiting for your petition to sign. I have already signed 2 petitions against child marriage in Yemen and Afghanistan .

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 8:59 am

Thanks Abdessalam. I do acknowledge that you have much greater understanding of the Quran than any of us.
Correct me if I am wrong but I have read that forced child marriages has more to do with ancient tribal customs than religion as proscribed in the Quran.

divergent revolution (309)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 2:20 pm
pre-pubescent it's downright creepy
thanks Kit

divergent revolution (309)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 2:24 pm
be it religious or plain tradition,which is culturally stronger,as with the hasidic Jews that have perverted their own laws,by wearing wigs,and using "shabat goyim" to turn on their lights and air conditioning, my friend did this for one household,hypocrisy is inherent in every religion I have seen
so the quran's opinion doesn't matter to zealots making their own rules as they go

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 6:07 pm
The treatment women in Islam is just horrible. I have a feeling that mullahs consider all women just walking v***nes, without brains, hearts or souls.


Jessica O (9)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 11:34 am
Signed thanks for the link. Here it is again
Too many words of disgust and sadness I am thinking

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 11:55 am

Thanks Jessica - I have signed the Force Change petition.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 12:18 pm
1 - Quran didn't set a specific age for the first marriage.
2 - first marriage age differs from a country or a region to another. I think it is also affected by the weather as girls mature earlier in hot climate regions than in cold regions,The economic status plays a role . In rich communities the age may be higher than in poor ones. This also applies to families economic status. Education also makes a difference.
3 - Marraige age in Egypt had been raised in 2008 from 16 to 18,

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 12:26 pm
You may find interesting information here:

Steven B (29)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 12:35 pm
Come on 9 years old! Who would ever even believe!!
Was hoping you could note and article I submitted. Thanks for helping.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 2:49 pm

Thanks for the information, Abedssalam - read the article fact sheets and bookmarked the information.

Past Member (0)
Monday April 7, 2014, 2:25 am
Pedophilia is endemic in certain Muslim countries in Afghanistan for example it's quite legal for men to sodomize young boy's.In that country it's forbidden for women to dance in public so they dress boy's in women's clothes and even false breasts this practice is called " bachabaze " literally means " playing with boys ". why we ever went to war to save such a decadent nation I will never understand.

Kathryn M (108)
Monday April 28, 2014, 10:24 am
Good for ladies for having the courage to gather.

Otis Hemmings (0)
Saturday May 9, 2015, 10:29 pm
Equal Rights And Justice For All People Globally...

Duke D (0)
Wednesday June 24, 2015, 10:20 pm
That is just twisted!

Caroline d (139)
Friday June 26, 2015, 2:25 pm
Sick and so sad...
Thank you for sharing this article.
Be all blessed as all your loved ones.

Away L (76)
Thursday July 23, 2015, 2:45 pm
Legalised paedophilia shouldn't be acceptable in any society. UN should be able to do something eo ensure equal rights and justice for all people, irrespective of gender or age. It is against basic human standards and also against the principles of Islam.

Past Member (0)
Friday July 24, 2015, 6:39 am
That would have to be the most horrid thing I have read today. I am appalled at the dominant role of males in some society's. Much cleansing is needed.

Past Member (0)
Thursday July 30, 2015, 8:31 pm
Paedophiles and abusers - not men. N&S&S

Jen S (121)
Sunday September 6, 2015, 1:32 pm
I find it interesting that this law was proposed by a member of the Shiite party when the ruling family is Sunni. The very idea of a 9-year old being married anywhere is repugnant; there is, there must be something horribly deficient in an adult male who would even consider this.It is legalized pedophilia and beyond simply being dismissed as a quaint cultural tradition the world must somehow accept. Revolting and beyond criminal.

Jen S (121)
Sunday September 6, 2015, 1:37 pm
Huge error in prior comment; that the Shiites are doing this in Iraq is not at all surprising. As a group, they seem to have no respect at all for women and seem dedicated to dragging all Arab society back 500 years.

Naomi Dreyer (43)
Saturday October 31, 2015, 6:20 pm
The article is from March 2014 - does anyone know if the bill was passed?

Sandra D (14)
Tuesday November 10, 2015, 12:46 pm
Unbelievable! Do you think that there are a few pedophiles making law in Iraq? This is abhorrent in any society and especially in one that is so dedicated to "protecting" their females that they cover them in sheets when they are outside. I wonder how this all fits in with their honour?
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