Justice for Iran (JFI) – 18 May 2015: Despite its earlier promises, the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken no steps towards reforming the law and stopping the increase in early marriages. The number of girls who get married while they are still children has risen in the last five years and reached its highest level in the year 1392 (2013-2014). According to the latest statistics, 201 girls under the age of 10 got married in that year and the number of brides aged 10 to 14 rose to more than 41,000.
Nine months ago, Shahindokht Molaverdi, the Vice-President of Iran for Women and Family Issues, acknowledged the necessity of reforming the law on marriage age for girls and said the Justice Ministry has already provided some comments which are to be published soon. However, there has been neither further announcement nor a reform on this issue so far.
Girls as young as 13 can legally be married in the Islamic Republic of Iran and, with court approval, even those under the age of 10. In the last five years, the increase in the number of child marriages has been accompanied by a rise in the number of girls who experience childbirth after an early marriage. Based on the same statistics, 1,727 girls aged under 15 gave birth last year (2013-2014).
According to the latest statistics, 201 girls under the age of 10 got married in that year and the number of brides aged 10 to 14 rose to more than 41,000.
During Iran’s review in the UN Human Rights Council last October, the international community has recommended that Iran holds accountable all individuals who issue permissions for child marriages and has suggested a new law to ban early and forced marriages. But there are concerns that the number of mothers under 18 could rise even further if Iran were to enforce its new policies.
The Iranian Parliament, the Majlis, is in the process of discussing two new bills aimed at increasing the population of the country. Both contain measures which directly violate the right of women to access information on contraception, family planning services and legal and safe abortion. These limitations, the majority of which had been implemented before any decision by the Majlis, expose even more girls to early pregnancies and put their health and the health of their children in danger.
For the latest detailed report on early marriages in Iran, see:
In the space of only one year, 276,000 under-age girls were married and 109,000 teenagers gave birth in Iran
Stolen Lives, Empty Classroom