Target: Iran’s Guardian Council
Goal: Condemn new law that allows marriage at the age of 13
Recently, new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and the Iranian parliament passed a law that will allow fathers to get married to their own adopted daughters at the young age of 13. The law also states that 15 year old boys can now marry, given their father’s permission. The law, as part of a so-called child protection bill, only requires that the marriage be deemed in the ‘interest of the child’.
Iran already allows 13- year old girls to be married with the permission of a judge. This new law goes further by allowing an adopted child’s own father to get married to her only for safety and protection reasons. Currently, marrying a stepchild remains illegal.
This new law leaves many foster children vulnerable to sexual abuse by their own caregivers. Once married, any sexual contact initiated by a husband, even if unwanted, is considered appropriate and acceptable, even if the wife did not consent to the marriage.
A young boy is not equipped with the means to support a wife and eventually, a child. It is important that children are mature and educated before becoming caregivers themselves. Sexually immature girls can be physically injured and permanently traumatized after being raped by their much older husbands.
Fortunately, the bill has yet to pass the final stage into legislation. Iran’s Guardian Council, an organization of clerics and judges, must first approve its congruency with the constitution and Islamic law.
Incest and pedophilia is never in a child’s interest. A caregiver holds a position of trust that, if violated with abuse, can cause permanent mental anguish, especially in youth. This law would legalize and even normalize sexually abusive behavior toward children- quite the opposite of its declared intent. Your signature will demand that Iran’s Guardian Council reject this bill from passing into legislation.
Dear Iran’s Guardian Council,
Recently, Iranian parliament passed a bill that will allow adoptive fathers to marry their 13 year old daughters. It will also allow 15 year old boys to marry with their father’s permission.
Children are not mature enough to deal with marriage. Young boys cannot be responsible for a wife and children, while young girls can be physically hurt and mentally scarred by uninvited sexual contact.
Trusted caregivers should not be able to cause children such confusion with such a drastic change in relationship. This law would essentially legalize incest in Iran, and further enable sexual abuse toward children. I ask that this bill be rejected from legislation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Abdi Sami via Creative Commons