Target: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Goal: Don’t allow Iranian girls under ten years of age to be forced into marriage.
The Iranian Parliament recently issued a statement claiming that the prohibition of marriage to girls less than ten years of age is ‘un-Islamic and illegal’. A child’s body at this age, however, is not ready for sexual activity, and the risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth is increased many times over in such young mothers. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must uphold the law that prohibits marrying younger than ten.
While allowing Iranian ten-year-olds to be married off is outrageous enough, to remove this law completely and expose girls to marriage at any age would be a grave mistake. These children are not emotionally or physically prepared for an adult relationship, nor are they ready for the responsibilities of maintaining a household. A nine-year-old girl should spend her time learning and playing, not tending to a much-older husband.
Parents of young brides often feel that marriage is a way to protect their daughters from random sexual assault, or to prevent them from becoming pregnant out of wedlock. For poorer families, an early marriage may mean one less mouth to feed. Whatever the reason, it’s a decision families in Iran make often, and removing the age restriction will only worsen the situation.
Don’t let the Iranian government rob countless young girls of their health and childhood. By signing the petition below, you can ask Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not to remove the law that forbids marriage before age ten.
Dear President Ahmadinejad,
The Iranian law that prohibits the marriage of a girl younger than ten must remain in place in order to protect your citizens. To remove this law would expose young girls to marriage at any age, and represents a potential human rights tragedy in your country. Girls this young are not physically or psychologically ready for an adult marriage. Their bodies are too young for sexual activity and childbirth, and greatly susceptible to resulting physical complications and death.
In addition, children at this age should be spending their time learning and playing, not maintaining their own household. To rob these girls of their childhood and education sets them up for a stunted life of dependency. Every child deserves the right to a true childhood. Please protect young Iranian girls from the dangers of premature adulthood by upholding the law that prohibits marriage before age ten.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Peyman via Flickr.