In a 9-month period in 2020, official figures highlight that a staggering 23,698 children in Iran between the ages of 10 and 14 were married.
Under the laws of the Iranian regime, early marriage is not considered a crime in Iran, which sadly highlights just one of the examples of violence against women under the misogynistic rule of the mullahs’ regime.
Child marriage means rape. When a grown man marries a child, he abuses that child. Marriage must be after the end of puberty; otherwise, it can have no meaning other than rape.
A report from the state-run ISNA news agency in February of this year stated that up to 100 marriages of children below the age of 15 are registered in Iran every 24 hours. Even more horrifying is that according to the National Statistics Centre, 364 births to mothers under the age of 15 were reported last year.
The Statistical Center of Iran reported a 10.5 percent increase in marriages of ‘girls aged 10 to 14’ over the past year. These statistics are only aimed at registered marriages in the Iranian Civil Registry Organization.
Last year, 31,379 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were married, a 10.5 percent increase in ‘child marriage’ compared to 2020 (28,373 incidents). About 5 percent of all registered marriages in 2020 are related to child marriages under the age of 15.
It is believed that the actual number of children who are married is 5 to 6 times higher than the reported numbers, according to Mohammad Reza Mahboubfar, a social harm researcher. He also explained that a large number of forced marriages of young girls are not registered due to families being reluctant to report the marriages.
Psychologist, Davood Hezarei has stated that for these thousands of child marriages taking place each year, between 60 and 80 percent of them fail, often leading to divorce. These divorced children, in many cases, have run away from home or attempted suicide.
He cited depression and anxiety as consequences of early marriage for girls. Instead of studying and having a normal childhood, these girls are forced to face life challenges and suffer from mental disorders as a result.
The number of child marriages in Iran is said to be around 30 percent higher than the global average. Therefore, social activists have put forward the need to combat this issue. As of yet, the law to ban the practice has never been passed.
Fatemeh Zolghadr, a former member of the Majlis, said many families decide to marry off their underage children as a means of reducing family expenses amid economic poverty.
Mahboubfar explained that the rise in people living below the poverty line is due to the price of housing and basic goods being increased between 10 and 15 percent in the last 4 months alone. This along with droughts causing water shortages, and unemployment running rife through villages are increasing the levels of deprivation. These struggles faced by Iranian citizen has led to some families, especially in border provinces of the country, forcing their young daughters to marry.
As a result, provinces such as Sistan and Baluchestan, South Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, Hormozgan, Bushehr, Kurdistan, Ilam, and Kermanshah, have recorded more early marriages than other provinces.
Mahboubfar also highlights that it’s not just in deprived border areas that child marriages are taking place on a daily basis, they are also taking place in the central provinces of Qom, Tehran, and Isfahan.