The Iranian National Statistics Center (NSC) announced that 20,648 girls under 15 years of age were married in Iran in the 9 months from Spring to Autumn 2022.
In the same period, 1,085 infants were born to under-15 mothers.
The data presented by the Iranian government agencies are not transparent.
The last time the NSC published figures on child marriages was in the spring of 2021, when it announced 9,753 girls under 15 had married in Spring 2021. But there are no statistics available for the entire year. And now, the statistics for 2022 are announced for 9 months together.
“This is the tip of the iceberg of statistics related to early marriage. The actual number of children married is 5 to 6 times the announced number,” said Mohammad Reza Mahboubfar, a social harms expert. (The state-run ROKNA News Agency – July 25, 2021)
In yet another interview, Mahboubfar asserted, “Presently, 100 marriages of girls under 15 years old take place every 24 hours. It is estimated that by the end of the year, some 40,000 early marriages take place this year” (The state-run Arman-e Melli newspaper – July 27, 2021)
Mohammad Mehdi Tondgouyan, Deputy Minister of Youth, said that the annual number of early marriages in Iran has increased due to increased marriage loan amounts.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of underage marriages, especially among girls under the age of 13,” he announced. (The state-run ILNA news agency – July 6, 2021)
Ali Kazemi, a legal advisor to the clerical regime’s Judiciary, had previously acknowledged that “an average of 500,000 to 600,000 Iranian girls under the age of 14 get married every year.” (The state-run Entekhab.ir newspaper – March 4, 2019)
Child marriage is violence against women
According to the provisions of the Universal Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is someone whose age is less than 18 years. Early marriage or child marriage refers to a marriage in which one or both spouses have not reached the age of 18.
Child marriage is one of the most evident examples of violence against women. Still, child marriage is encouraged under the rule of the mullahs in Iran.
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, said Sima Ferdowsipour, a psychologist and university professor in Tehran. (The state-run Khabarfori.ir – July 29, 2021)
The new government formed under Ebrahim Raisi did not deal with the increasing trend of child marriage. On the contrary, they promoted it in a way.
Schoolgirls were encouraged to get married and get pregnant early. It seems that instead of providing educational, job, and social role-playing opportunities for children, the Raisi government is further trying to push girls toward their goals in the population growth program, regardless of the many negative effects of such an event.
Child marriage in Iran is not a cultural issue
The girl children in Iran are the most vulnerable under the misogynist rule of the mullahs since the rights of women, and children are neither protected nor promoted in Iran.
Child marriage in Iran is not a cultural issue. It has become a social catastrophe due to the policies of the mullahs’ regime. The Iranian regime has refused to ban or criminalize early marriages. Contrarily, child marriage is encouraged under the mullahs. Rampant poverty –an outcome of the clerical regime’s plunder of national wealth– further contributes to this misogynous phenomenon.
Fatemeh Zolghadr, a former member of the Majlis, said many families decide to marry off their underage children to reduce family expenses amid economic poverty. Unfortunately, the end of this tragedy is the rising number of divorced children. In several cases, divorced children have run away from home or attempted suicide, leading to severe injuries (The state-run Khabarfori website –August 2, 2021).