Marriages of 23,698 Iranian girls between 10-14 years of age registered in nine months in 2020
A local website, the Campaign of Baluch Activists, announced on July 2, 2021 that a 13-year-old girl, Hadiseh Sepahi lost her life while giving birth in the city of Saravan.
Hadiseh Sepahi had been married at the age of 12 and became pregnant after 3 months. She died on June 25, 2021, in her first teenage year, at Saravan’s Razi Hospital, while giving birth.
The 13-year-old girl, Hadiseh Sepahi, was a resident of Golshan near Saravan, in the most deprived Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan. She was one of thousands of Iranian girls who are being targeted for forced and early marriages.
Based on the figures released on January 31, 2021 by the National Statics Center of Iran, 7,323 marriages of girls between 10-14 years of age were registered in spring 2020. Another 9,058 marriages of the same age group were registered in summer 2020. (The state-run Tabnak website, February 5, 2021)
The latest data from the National Statistics Center says the marriages of 7,317 girls between 10-14 years old were registered in autumn 2020. (The state-run ISNA news agency, July 23, 2021)
That’s a total of 23,698 Iranian girls between 10 to 14 years of age in only 9 months of 2020. This means that 100 marriages of girls under 15 are registered in every 24 hours. (The state-run ISNA news agency – February 5, 2021)
The NSC has also registered 364 child births to mothers under 15 years of age in summer 2020.
Young girls do not yet know how to manage a family. Moreover, multiple childbirths within short intervals and the lack of proper hygiene endanger girls’ physical health. Young women, aged 15 to 19, are twice as likely to die during childbirth as women over the age of 20. Young women under the age of 16 are twice as likely to have an unwanted pregnancy.
According to a social researcher, research on the outcomes of girls’ early marriage in Iran shows “that many social harms related to women are due to early and forced marriage” (The state-run PANA website – July 4, 2021).
Poverty, the primary reason for forced early marriages of girls in Iran
In line with its policy of “population growth,” the clerical regime has increased the amount of marriage loans. As a result, forcing girls into marriage has become a temporary solution to financial problems among poor families. As poverty continues to spread, more and more young girls fall victim to early and forced marriages. Given that more than 80% of Iran’s population lives below the poverty line, the mullahs’ policy has effectively led to the sale of girls under the age of 15.
Mohammad Mehdi Tondguyan, Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth, admitted that girls are sold under the guise of marriage and that the number of child brides is increasing every day.
“There are statistics that children under the age of 15, especially girls under this age, have used this loan, and this number has quadrupled compared to last year,” said Mohammad Mehdi Tondgooyan, Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs (The state-run ISNA News Agency – December 10, 2019).
According to data from the Central Bank, in the spring and summer of 2019, the number of marriages of girls under the age of 15 was 4 times higher than the same period in the previous year.
Previously, Tayyebeh Siavoshi, a former member of the regime’s parliament, admitted that the number of applicants for marriage loans in the spring and summer of 2019 for people under the age of 15 had increased 90-fold, compared to 2017 (The state-run Sarposh.com – December 29, 2019).