Outrage on social media prevents 14-year-old girl’s marriage to a 51-year-old man

Photo: courtesy of Sage Friedman, unsplash website

Amar Aziz - Duhok

After widespread outrage on social media platforms, a planned marriage between a 51-year-old man and a14-year-old girl was scrapped.

The news about the marriage coincided with the announcement of a 16-day campaign against gender-based violence.

The 51-year-old man, Jouqi Salo Tahsin, said during a press conference: "I apologize to everyone who felt upset due to the news of our marriage. From here I announce that the wedding has been cancelled and will not take place."

I apologize to everyone who felt upset due of the news of our marriage

Tahsin is a member of the Ezidi community in Domiz settlement in Duhok. The planned marriage was scrapped with mediation of a number of notable Ezidis.

Jawhar Ali, a deputy of the Mir (prince) of Ezidis, told KirkukNow: “I was ordered by Hazim Tahsin-beg, the Mir of Ezidis, to resolve that issue. After visiting both families, it was made clear that the girl was not married yet, and both sides agreed that marriage should not go on.”

Ali says that they deemed it necessary to intervene after people expressed outrage on social media. “It is wrong, and such marriages could not be allowed in the Ezidi community.”

A picture of the man and the young girl that were supposed to get married


The girl’s father said during a press conference: “At the request of the deputy of the Ezidi Mir and people who objected, I have decided not to let my daughter marry that man.”

There is no accurate and official statistic about underage marriage rates in Iraq, but activists and non-governmental organizations say that it is on the rise due to the difficult conditions that the country has been going through, caused by the ISIS war and the financial crisis, among other things.

In 2019 KirkukNow has found out after an investigation that among the IDPs living in the camps in Duhok, underage marriage rates are between 25% to 30%.

Shamo Qasim, member of Lalish High Committee, told KirkukNow at the time that marriage below the legal age is between 15% to 20%.

it was made clear that the girl was not married yet, and both sides agreed that marriage should not go on

According to UNICEF, about 12 million girls under the age of 18 get married worldwide each year.

Item 1 of Article 7 of Iraq’s Personal Status Law (ratified in 1959 and amended in following years), stipulates that a person must be over 18 to be able to get married. But Item 1 of Article 8 of the same Code, stipulates that if a person is older than 15, a judge can permit her/him to marry if her/his legal guardian consents and “if the eligibility and physical ability of the person in question was proven to” the judge.

And Item 2 of Article 8 stipulates that “The judge can authorize the marriage of a 15-year-old person if he sees in it an urgent necessity. Giving such authorization is also conditional upon the attainment of legal puberty and physical ability.”

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