Nahid Khodakarami, a Tehran City Council member, admitted in a tweet that 37,000 children under 13 years of age have been married over the past year in Iran.
“179 of these children were girls under 10 years of age,” she added.
Earlier, Shahla Ezazi, director of women’s studies in the Iranian Institute of Sociology, had announced that the number of child marriages was on the rise and in 2016, there were 10,000 more marriages compared to the previous year. She also announced that the number of divorced children between 10 and 18 years old is growing.
In light of the growing trend of child marriages in Iran, and the fact that 37117 had already been announced last year by the National Census Registrar, the figure announced by the Tehran City Council member must be considered as way below the actual figures. The same figure had been announced as 41,000 in August.
The Iranian law officially sanctions the marriage of 13 year-old girls. Furthermore, fathers and judges enjoy the authority under the law to endorse marriage of girls under this age.