I interviewed Rayehe Mozafarian last year for my forthcoming book The Cut (KabilianaPress 2016) to know more about the spread of FGM in Iran. Her passionate activism flows into the StopFGMIran campaign that raises awarness on FGM in Iran. Rayehe holds a M.A. in Demography and Development, Department of Sociology from Shiraz University, with a thesis titled Social/cultural aspects of female genital mutilation: a case study in Qeshm island.
I'm very happy for the release of her new book The Ring which has been recently published in Farsi and hopefully will be soon translated in English.
The Ring has opened the campaign to stop early marrage in Iran. Both, the book and campaign, are intended to find and make light on child marriage and its causes.
Article 1041 of the Iranian Civil Code states the age of marriage for girls is 13 and boys 15 - says Rayehe Mozafarian - in addition, if the child’s guardian (father or grandfather) requests and the court conclude that she/he is adult enough to be married off, the child can be married even at an earlier age. Furthermore, in September 2013, a bill on adoption of children under state care passed through the Iranian parliament and approved by the guardian Council and consequently became law on 23 october 2013. Article 27 of the Bill sanctions the marriage of the adopted child to the man who is considered to be her father and raised by him.
According to the ages mentioned in this Article, some new important subjects such as marriage and divorce for girls and boys, age distribution of these marriages and divorces, child-household, child-parental responsibilities, child-widowhood and the potential impact of early marriage on infant and maternal mortality were analyzed by statistics and exact figures. These statistics can help to find the causes and motives why early marrigaes happen in the country, yes these data clear the situation of early marriage in the past and present so I trust it will enable us to predict the trends of the future and take a step to find solutions to end this practice.
Rayehe Mozafarian writes in her notes about this book: “child marriage causes and their parents’ motivations are important to me. Early marriage is seen everywhere and in any way is not new and phenomenon. Unfolding different impactful aspects of child marriage on society are newfound. There are various and dissimilar reasons and factors that keep early marriages for girls and boys continue all around the world”.
The accurate analysis of the situation of child marriage in Iran is a very important step to encourage te Governement to adopt targeted programs to support children at risk and end child marriage trying to encompass what has been already established within the international community.
It has been more than a year now that the Campaign Stop Early Marriage in Iran is working to promoting knowledge on child marriage in Iran. Why orange ballons? We chose orange balloons because child marriage and its complications should not be focused only on the girls. We chose a symbol that can work for both boys and girls, so nothing stereotyped that would specifically refer to one or the other. There's interest in balloons in both sexes and on the other hand they represent a symbol of childhood, something we appreciate when we are children. Also we needed to address that early marriage does not necessairily happen between same ages. In some cases children get married with older partners and this happens for boys and girls.
For more information take a look at Mozafarian`s report for UN Human Rights Council:
Next week my interview with Rayehe will be online. Stay tuned.