The phenomenon of small girls being wedded off has become very common in Iran. In the most recent such case on October 18 the state-run asriran.com website posted a report citing Khorasan daily,
“Marriage has been defined under law and a certain age has been specified in this regard. 13 for girls and 15 for boys. Despite this, there are cases of marriages taking place under the legal age. Secret marriages conducted far from the laws oversight and without any registration. Khorasan daily writes, “The home door was open, and I entered inside. ‘Nazkhatoun’ is one of the hundreds of girls who were married much too early. Marrying a man whom she never knew and had no feelings for. At the age of 12 she now has a 1-month old baby. She was married at 11 and says, “In the alley I was playing with my sisters when my mother called me over and said you have to get married. I had no right to say anything regarding what my mother and father said, and I was forced into this marriage.”
‘Hakime’ is 9-years old and went to play with Nazkhatoun at her home. She Nazkhatoun’s cousin. She, too, like Nazkhatoun, was forced to marry one of her cousins a few months ago. Nazkhatoun says to her, “Hakime, show your head!”
Hakime takes off her chador and the stitches on her head are completely visible.
“She has been married for 5 months. My father slammed her head to a wall because she wasn’t willing to marry my brother. Hakime’s husband is 23 years older than her and she is now her cousins’ third wife, livubg in one home with her husband’s other wives,” Nazkhatoun explains about Hakime.
Asriran.com adds Reza Rahat Dehmorde, director general of the Census Registration Office in Sistan & Baluchistan Province does not provide official numbers of such marriages, yet he does say, “The number of underage marriages is very high in this province.” (State-run asriran.com – October 18, 2015)