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Rouhani Deputy Speaks Against Child Marriage

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An advisor to ’s president criticizing early marriage laws says if thirteen-year-olds can get married then they can also vote or get a driver’s license.

Ma’asoumeh Ebtekar, Hassan Rouhani’s deputy on family and women’s affairs criticized on Monday the rejection of a bill by a parliamentary commission that would have banned child marriages in .

Speaking during a trip to Alborz province, Ebtekar said that statistics published by various organizations show a rising rate of divorce and other social harms from child marriages and urged parliament to reconsider its rejection of the proposed legislation.

She also criticized contradictions in existing laws, saying, “If thirteen is a good age for marriage then all other laws should be also based on the same age criterion, so that 13-yerar-old children are able to vote, get a driver’s license and ask for divorce. If the age of thirteen means adulthood, then all laws should be based on that age. The laws are not compatible, and it leads to a lot of problems for the people”.

The proposed law for raising the marriage age was rejected as a result of opposition by religious leaders who say Prophet Muhammed married a minor age 9 and therefore it is condoned by tradition.

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