More than 20,000 girls under the age of 15 got married in Iran during the nine-month period ending in January, according to official data.
The Iranian Statistics Center said in a report released on April 7 that as many as 1,085 underage girls became mothers, while 551 cases of divorce were recorded.
The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, has cited the prevalence of child marriage in Iran as a major issue.
“It is unacceptable that Iranian law sets the marriage age for girls as low as 13, and allows girls even younger to marry with paternal and judicial consent,” he told the Human Rights Council in 2021.
Some women’s rights activists have proposed lowering the minimum age of marriage to 16 for girls and to 18 for boys, but the proposal was rejected by the Guardian Council.
According to human rights groups, child marriage is a violation of human rights that robs girls and boys of childhood. It often results in early pregnancy, poor health, little education and social isolation, which make it impossible to break the vicious circle of poverty, particularly for girls.