Iraq to legalise childhood marriage!

Children in Iraq could be legally married before the age of nine, under sweeping legislation tabled on Tuesday, that introduces new religious restrictions on women's rights, as reported by Damien McElroy in the Telegraph

As almost its last act before elections at the end of the month, the Iraqi parliament looks likely to pass new marital rules for its majority Shia community with a draft law criticised by human rights activists as "legalised inequality". 

The legislation has been approved by the governing coalition in an effort to attract support from Shia Muslims in the April 30 vote. 

Current Iraqi law sets the legal age for marriage at 18 without parental approval and states girls as young as 15 can be married only with a guardian's approval. 

But the legislation, known as the Jaafari law, introduces rules almost identical to those of neighbouring Iran, a Shia-dominated Islamic theocracy. 

Ayad Allawi, a former Iraqi prime minister, warned on Tuesday that approval of the law would lead to the abuse of women. "It allows for girls to be married from nine years of age and even younger". 

Hanaa Edwar, a well-known activist and head of the charity Al-Amal ("Hope" in Arabic), has campaigned against the law as a setback for women's rights in a country that has struggled since the 2003 invasion. 

Human Rights Watch, the US-based organisation, has issued a plea for the Iraqi government to abandon the legislations.

Denmark Protests Iraq Ja'afari Law

On April 1st 2014, members of Denmark's Iraqi community, joined forces with local residents outside of the Iraqi Embassy, in protest to the Iraqi Governments proposed Ja'afari Personal Status Law.

Around 500 people took part in the impromptu demonstration against the Governments plan, which if passed by the Iraqi parliament, would see changes in Iraq's law, that would legalise both marital rape and child marriage.

The campaign against the Ja'afari Law, has drawn worldwide support from both campaigners and celebrities, while gaining much needed publicity in the global media.

Unfortunately, both the US and UK government's have failed to clarify either their positions or possible changes in relationships with Iraq, should the Ja'afari Law ever be voted through by Iraq's parliament.

You can also help the campaign against the Ja'afari Personal Status Law, by signing our online petition to the Iraqi parliament here, or by placing a Twibbon on to either your Facebook or Twitter profile.