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Since 1959, the minimum age of marriage in Iraq has been 18, with some exceptions for 15-18 year olds. However, a new bill that would allow girls as young as nine to be married off in Iraq is being considered by its Parliament.

We urgently need your help!

Introduced 1 November 2017, the new bill gives religious sects more power over family issues through amendments to the Personal Status Law No. 188 of 1959. If passed, this would mean that each religious sect would deal with women’s and girls’ rights according to their own beliefs. Some religious sects would support lowering the age of marriage to nine according to their interpretations of the Quran and their belief that puberty means a girl can be married off.  Currently, around 1 in 5 girls are married off as children every year in Iraq (UNICEF), potentially setting them up for early and forced pregnancy, domestic violence, poverty and limited education and career opportunities.

“Iraqi women are outraged. I think we will see an explosion of child marriage in Iraq if it’s passed…Any move from government to religious sects could also see changes to laws regarding divorce, custody and inheritance, as well as marriage. It’s not logical, we’re in 2017 and we’re still going backwards in terms of women’s rights.” – Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Equality Now

Women and human rights organizations, including the Baghdad Women Association and Iraqi Women League, have been protesting the outrageous proposal which directly contradicts Iraq’s Constitution and  target 5.3 (eliminate all harmful practices, such as child marriage) of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It also violates the international conventions Iraq has ratified.

TAKE ACTION! The new bill has already been signed by 40 members of the Iraqi Parliament and was approved in principle. A full vote on the bill is not yet on the agenda of Iraq’s Parliament but it could happen any day! Please call on the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House to make sure that it does not go to a vote.

Related Press:
International Business Times
Euro News
Global Citizen/Chime for Change
The Guardian

Resource:
Child Marriage in Iraq (Girls Not Brides)

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Urgent Alert – Iraqi girls face child marriage threat & new proposal encourages increased polygamy
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Dear ,

I am greatly concerned about the  bill introduced 1 November 2017 in Parliament that if enacted would allow girls as young as nine to be married off. The bill gives religious sects more power over family issues, allowing for women’s and girls’ rights to be at the mercy of the sect’s own religious beliefs. Some would support lowering the age of marriage according to their interpretations of the Quran. I am also very concerned about the 7 January 2018 bill that actively encourages polygamy. Under the proposed Article, the Iraqi government would pay married men a substantial amount to marry widows, divorced women or women who are 30 years old or older and virgins! The discriminatory bill treats women as objects that men can marry for financial gain.

I support  women and human rights organizations, including the Baghdad Women Association and Iraqi Women League, who are protesting these outrageous proposals. The bills directly contradict Iraqi law, the Constitution and violate the international conventions that your government has ratified. Additionally, the bills are not in compliance with the target 5.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to eliminate all harmful practices, including child marriage.  In fact, in 2014 the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) recommended that your government  immediately repeal all sex discriminatory laws against women. It also recommended that a bill, which at that time would have allowed child marriage, be withdrawn. The legal minimum age of marriage should continue to be 18 years old, and strengthened to remove all exceptions.

The proposed amendments to the Personal Status Law would further threaten the stability of families, and create a wide range of economic and social problems. Please do everything in your power to make sure that the bills do not go to a vote by the Parliament.

Thank you for your attention. 

Sincerely,

Salsa Id: 
25623
Action Date: 
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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3018
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Since 1959, the minimum age of marriage in Iraq has been 18, with some exceptions for 15-18 year olds. However, a new bill that would allow girls as young as nine to be married off in Iraq is being considered by its Parliament.

We urgently need your help!

Introduced 1 November 2017, the new bill gives religious sects more power over family issues through amendments to the Personal Status Law No. 188 of 1959. If passed, this would mean that each religious sect would deal with women’s and girls’ rights according to their own beliefs. Some religious sects would support lowering the age of marriage to nine according to their interpretations of the Quran and their belief that puberty means a girl can be married off.  Currently, around 1 in 5 girls are married off as children every year in Iraq (UNICEF), potentially setting them up for early and forced pregnancy, domestic violence, poverty and limited education and career opportunities.

“Iraqi women are outraged. I think we will see an explosion of child marriage in Iraq if it’s passed…Any move from government to religious sects could also see changes to laws regarding divorce, custody and inheritance, as well as marriage. It’s not logical, we’re in 2017 and we’re still going backwards in terms of women’s rights.” – Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Equality Now

Women and human rights organizations, including the Baghdad Women Association and Iraqi Women League, have been protesting the outrageous proposal which directly contradicts Iraq’s Constitution and  target 5.3 (eliminate all harmful practices, such as child marriage) of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It also violates the international conventions Iraq has ratified.

TAKE ACTION! The new bill has already been signed by 40 members of the Iraqi Parliament and was approved in principle. A full vote on the bill is not yet on the agenda of Iraq’s Parliament but it could happen any day! Please call on the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House to make sure that it does not go to a vote.

Related Press:
International Business Times
Euro News
Global Citizen/Chime for Change
The Guardian

Resource:
Child Marriage in Iraq (Girls Not Brides)

Dear ,

I am greatly concerned about the  bill introduced 1 November 2017 in Parliament that if enacted would allow girls as young as nine to be married off. The bill gives religious sects more power over family issues, allowing for women’s and girls’ rights to be at the mercy of the sect’s own religious beliefs. Some would support lowering the age of marriage according to their interpretations of the Quran. I am also very concerned about the 7 January 2018 bill that actively encourages polygamy. Under the proposed Article, the Iraqi government would pay married men a substantial amount to marry widows, divorced women or women who are 30 years old or older and virgins! The discriminatory bill treats women as objects that men can marry for financial gain.

I support  women and human rights organizations, including the Baghdad Women Association and Iraqi Women League, who are protesting these outrageous proposals. The bills directly contradict Iraqi law, the Constitution and violate the international conventions that your government has ratified. Additionally, the bills are not in compliance with the target 5.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to eliminate all harmful practices, including child marriage.  In fact, in 2014 the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) recommended that your government  immediately repeal all sex discriminatory laws against women. It also recommended that a bill, which at that time would have allowed child marriage, be withdrawn. The legal minimum age of marriage should continue to be 18 years old, and strengthened to remove all exceptions.

The proposed amendments to the Personal Status Law would further threaten the stability of families, and create a wide range of economic and social problems. Please do everything in your power to make sure that the bills do not go to a vote by the Parliament.

Thank you for your attention. 

Sincerely,

TAKE ACTION

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