Child Marriage Takes Place & the Future of the Families is Endanger!
Translate by : Heshu Najmadin
There is no clear data, but thedanger of the alarm bell is ringing on the child-marriage through social phenomena in a place.
The owner of a beauty center in Rania, a town almost 50 miles away from Suliamani, says “I have beautified 12 year old ladies in my center for marriage,” and a Consoler says, “This occurrencesare a threat to the future generations and families.”
“I am 16 years old, and my husband has gone to abroad. I live my abysmal and reluctant life in the house of my mother in law. My family marginalized me during our, my husband and I, two years relationship. I met my husband on my daily way to school, and he bought me a mobile phone to talk to him, but neither of our parents agreed to marry each other after realizing our relationship. So I went to their home and poured oil on my body to set myself on fire to make them agree on our marriage. After marriage, he left me in our sixth month of nuptial in my pregnancy period,” said Shahen, who was talking about their unpleasant life conditions and customs and shows her incredulity on her decision to give up school for the life she is living in, as of today, based in Rania.
“Despite all these glitches and mollifications Kurdistan Region is undergoing, there is not accurate data available, but child-marriage has been one of the main concerns, especially in Rania and its neighborhoods.
Rewan has done its own research and visited some beauty centers in Rania on child-marriage and its ramifications.
The owner of Soz Beauty Center told Rewan, “The marriage of under-aged ladies has increased, and it is increasing. Those ladies, who come to us, get marriage on their own will, and no one intervenes their lives; they marry based on love without thinking of its horrifyingmagnitudes in the future, and when we ask how their parents agreed, they would say that this is their own desire and will.”
Dr. ShelerFaiaq, the head of Maternity Hospital of Sulaimani, on the danger of the child marriage said, “This phenomena has been increasing this year, and this kind of marriage and pregnancy as the result of the marriage will have negative impacts on both the child and her/his mom. The possibility of having blood pressure and other health conditions is higher in the ladies who get pregnant before 18. They face difficulties, such as abortion or episiotomy suturing, while giving birth to the child.”
Dr. ShelerFaiaq also said, “Those mothers whose age does not permit them to be pregnant cannot hold the pain of giving birth to their child, so they ask to have childbirth surgery. Sometimes they might be pregnant outside of the womb, and that causes them to cut pelvic vein in uterus; plus, it might cause wounds within the womb. And sometimes we have to cut the second pelvic vein as well, and that case happens a lot. And after having 4-5 children, we have to take the womb out in her sixth child.
We have taken wombs of 27 year old ladies, and that will leave terrible psychological ramifications on the ladies; sometimes it caused their husbands to get their second marriage. Most of the ladies who come to us to get treatment are under 18 and are mostly from outside of the city and those refuges that recently came to the region, but the phenomenon has increased within the city as well.”
The owner of Zhin Beauty Center in Rania said, “This phenomenon has increases and it could be seen now more than before.”
“Most of the ladies who come to us are between (14-17); individuals seek for love outside of theirfamilies,” she added.
“Since my dad got married again, my mom set herself on fire, so both of my brothers went to abroad; my younger sister and I stayed at home.
Later, I married one of the relatives of my uncle under his command, and my husband and his mom and sisters were too bad to me that I could not stand it, so I left him. He got married again, and he divorced me.
Now he is married and I am a 15 year old widow! Since that day, utilizing a mobile, going out, wearing clothes and everything is forbidden for me since I am a “widow.” These are the words of a 15 year old Lanja, who is another victim of child-marriage.
ZhwanBakir, a consoler in Blessa School in Rania, elaborated on child marriage as the following, “Child marriage takes place in an early age without consideringsocial consequences and responsibilities based on a childhood desire. This phenomenon is driven by some very concrete factors: the weak side of the families in teaching their children, especially when their children get older and their demands get higher, so in that particular case, money replaces emotional sides of the families. That is to be said, the families do not provide their children with love. So these ladies feel obliged to full fill their emotions outside of their families.
Plus, in some families, their sons get out of their control, so the families arrange marriage for them to prevent them from drinking alcohol and going out until the midnight. So of course, this kind of marriage is alreadya failure and the spouses become the victims, especially the ladies.”
She also said, “Consolersare very much needed in the high-schools to teach the ladies on the bad consequences of child marriage as well as explaining the changes in their bodies as a normal phenomenon with the help of the specialistdoctors who should visit the high-schools based on invitations since the desire and power of sex in the age under 18 is stronger than the power of mind.”
The owner of the Prince Beauty Center, which is mostly, visited by the poor people, in Rania, said, “Most of the ladies who visit us are above 18, and those who are under 18 have gotten married with the consent of their families.”
In opposite to Prince Beauty Center, the owner of Wela Beauty Center said, “The marriage of under-aged ladies is increasing, and those who have visited my center have been under aged; they are mostly under 15, and rarely above 20s can be seen.”
“Their families think their daughters should get married early not to be spinsters.”
Forcing ladies to marry earlier than their legal age has legal consequences, and if any one does so, the person has to face a legal punishment, which is paying money and imprisonmentby nothing less than two years.”
Renas Ali Mala, a lawyer in Rania, told Rewan, “According to the Iraqi laws article 188 of 1959 which is also mentioned in the article 15 of 2008 and article 9 of the Kurdistan Region, the full condition of marriage is mentioned that if anyone, who is outside of the family, forces anybody to get married, that person will face legal punishment, which is imprisonment not less than two years and no more than three years. If that person is inside the family, the sentence is higher, and the duration of the imprisonment is not less than three years, but no longer than ten years. Also in the same law, article 2 section 1 of 2011, child marriage is considered as a crime and child abuse, and its consequence is imprisonment of nothing less than 6 month and longer than three years and paying money.
In Rania district, the religious men still marry underage-girls outside of the courts and legal procedures, and if they happen to get divorced, they do it outside of the courts.
Mr. Ali, elaborated more on the phenomenon and its legal consequences, “According to article (5)of the Iraqi laws, there is a designated punishment for those who get married outside of the court, including all those involved, the Mullah, the witnesses, and the spouses as well.”
“In the same article, according to section (40), each of the partner can get divorced if the contract has been signed under force, and all the dowry, but that mostly takes place outsideof the courts, accept the times when they have children because if they happen to come to the court, they will face legal punishments,” added Mr. Ali.
Renas Ali also said that about 35, 000 divorcement cases have been recorded form the Kurdistan Region from 2006-2015, and most of the cases have been those who got married before their legal age.
Also according to a UN statistics, Iraq is on the top in the list of those countries in which child-marriage takes place.
“One of the brides was too young that she had only been menstruated once!”
The words of the owners of the beauty centers are continuous on the child marriage; the owner of Shajwan Beauty Center in Rania said that child marriage takes place a lot in Rania.
She also said, “One of the brides was too young that she had been menstruated once, but her family permitted her to get married, due to their bad financial circumstances.”
“I always talk to the ladies come to my beauty center; some have been forced to get married, so they have no orders how to be beautified and remolded, but some have gotten married based on their own decision,” said she.
Child marriage phenomena can also be seen in other beauty centers in Rania. For instance the owner of Shler Beauty Center likewise said, “This phenomenon is felt a lot, and most of the ladies who come are under 18, and I had 12 years ladies coming here. When it comes to beautifying them, they do not order a lot of things, and even if they do, their orders are childish.”
 That was very common in this area, and it is still there that men get married more than once!