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Child marriages constituted 13.4 per cent of marriages in Jordan in 2016 — SIGI

By Sawsan Tabazah - Mar 08,2018 - Last updated at Mar 08,2018

AMMAN — Today, thousands of girls in Jordan fall victim to early marriage, depriving them of their childhood and education, the Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI)’s President Inaam Asha said on Wednesday during the launch of "Nujoud," the national alliance and pact to combat early and forced marriage. 

“Over 10,000 girls under the legal age of 18 each year are threatened to be denied their education,” Asha stressed. 

Each year, 55 out of 1,000 girls aged between 15 and 18 in Jordan are subjected to early marriage, constituting 13.4 per cent of overall marriages in 2016, Asha noted. 

“We were poor, so my father decided that I better marry my cousin… I was good at school… I wish I’d received an education,” Samiha Tamimi, a 70-year-old woman who got married at the age of 15 told The Jordan Times. 

SIGI has called for removing the provision in the Civil Status Law allowing child marriage by giving judges the authority to allow girls at 15 years to get married if the groom is considered competent.

“The definition of a man’s competency to marry a girl under the age of 18 differs from one person to another, which might be considered for some as financial and for others as cultural for example,” Asha noted. 

Asma Khader, SIGI’s executive director noted in an interview with The Jordan Times that both amendments to the law and the society are needed to put an end to the issue.

 

Nujoud

 

The project was named after the Yemeni girl Nujoud, the youngest divorcee ever at the age of 10 who experienced physical and sexual abuse during her two-month marriage. She has written a book on her experiences together with French journalist Delphine Minoui called “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced”. 

Khader noted that the alliance, which includes political parties and NGOs, welcomes anyone who believes in the elimination of child marriage, adding that the project will conduct campaigns to raise awareness, especially in rural areas.

The pact commits signers and alliance members to the struggle against early and forced marriages, which includes raising awareness against the negative impacts of the phenomenon. 

Alliance member Weded Shraideh said that taking part in the project means helping girls with stories similar to Nujoud and protecting any susceptible future victims from the "horrible experience" of early marriage. 

Shraideh added that she has seen young girls in Mafraq living with the consequences of early marriage, many of which are widowed or divorced and have been forced to raise their children alone. 

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IT IS VERY SHAMEFUL THAT WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT DOUBLE DIGIT PERCENTAGE OF CHILD MARRIAGES WHICH OFTEN ARE SEEN BETWEEN UNDER AGE GIRLS AND DIRTY OLD MEN WHO HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE FUTURE OF THESE GIRLS. THE TIME IS NOW AND THIS MUST CHANGE.

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Monday 18 June 2018

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