At present a bride has to be ten years old, but the committee for legal affairs in parliament thinks this is too old. The age should come into conformity with the teachings of their religion. So a new campaign has started to bring down the bridal age to nine.
For most Iranians, this is irrelevant because they are decent parents who believe their daughters should be as well educated as their sons, as university figures show. It is also highly embarrassing, another bruise in their already wounded relationship with a national religion in whose name the campaign is championed.
But five to ten percent of the population will heed this call and be further encouraged to marry their young daughters off to older men, possibly for financial gain. For the girls, this can cause intense suffering.
• Legislators to doubt the wisdom of making sex with nine-year-olds legal
• Child brides to hear about Jesus
• God to speak to the consciences of old men seeking girl brides