Proposed Law Would Allow 9-Year-Old Iraqi Girls to Wed

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Little girls, as young as nine years of age, may soon find themselves married in Iraq.

Little girls, as young as nine years of age, may soon find themselves getting married in Iraq. New legislation is being introduced in the country which will greatly restrict religious beliefs and human rights.

Local authorities suspect the proposed marital law is going to pass through the Iraqi parliament without problems in the near future. It’s called the Jaafari Personal Status Law, and there is a lot to it.

The legislation, which pertains to the Shiite Muslim population, would ban Muslim men from wedding non-Muslim women. Additionally, females will not be able to leave the house without their spouse’s consent.

They will also be forced to hand over custody of all children over the age of two to the husband in the event of divorce proceedings. Under the decree, marital rape would not be considered illegal.

Boys will be able to marry at 15 and girls could wed at 9. Females younger than 9 can marry, so long as parental consent is given.

The law proposal is being met with harsh criticism. Human Rights Watch spokesperson, Joe Stork commented ‘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.’