Child marriage is the main cause of girls dropout of schools in Kurdistan. In spite of the propaganda in the media to promote child marriage, in most cases child marriage in Kurdistan failed because the bride is very young. In view of the bride family, the cause of child marriage is to protects the girl from the community chaos, and how difficult to control the girls in current times where Kurdistan is now open for all cultures and undergo to uncertain societal transformations, as parents stated.
All social and psychological studies considers that when the family pushing the girl toward uncertain future with no consideration of differences in age, economic and culture this means that the marriage, in most cases, will soon or later not succeed.
The religious teachings are the main motivator to child marriage. Even though, child marriage was not common during the previous regime, because of the restrict rules against child marriage and due to the economic stability before the international economic blockade in Iraq. But according to the Holy Quran and its interpretations, any form of marriage should base on legal contract which aimed to make a strong family if the couple have an enough experience in life. Marriage in Islam is to build a family and achieve security and stillness for the human so the couple supposed to be qualified to achieve this goal, while this goal is not achieved in child marriage, according to Dr. Majid Hussein, Islamic Scholar.
The educational psychologist, Mr. Yosof Othman indicated that the key causes for child marriage in Kurdistan are:
a) Families distrusts their girls, because of the new technology that make the communications easier than before.
b) Families distrusts the community around, and they afraid from the spinsterhood. At the same time, families try to be away from the relative’s marriage.
c) The accelerated spread of child marriage among schoolgirls is due to the talk of the married girl to her peers about the joy and interesting times she has with her husband. These conversations encourage unmarried girls to think seriously to be married.
According to Mr. Othman, all the social and psychological studies considers the child marriage as a failed marriage because the main reason for it is the need for joy and sexual, so the child marriage lake of the most important base of marriage which is the ability to make strong family because of:
a) The couple knowledge and experiences do not enough to make strong family.
b) Inability of the couple to raise up the child which born from this marriage.
c) From the medical side, the sexual organs of the child have not yet been completed, so she is exposing of many diseases.
Dr Basheer khalil, a prominent activist in Kurdistan and the Chairman of the Committee of Religious Endowments in the Parliament, declared that marriage contract is included in the Civil Affairs Law in Iraq after it has been modified, which allows child marriage in the age of 16 years with an approval from a pedant. Dr Basheer khalil sees that the child marriage in Islamic societies is widespread, because sexual relations in western societies open without religious and tradition restrictions, that is why parents moving toward child marriage in Islamic societies, such as Kurdistan.
Dr Basher haddad encourages the journalists for a proper dissemination of information and news about child marriage, especially for the teenagers because it’s the most dangerous age. The most important roles that the media can play in this field is to decrease the means of excitement among youth, even with words or pictures, so we can maintain the purity and prevent the diseases that threaten our societies.
It highly recommended conducting a qualitative study on child marriages in the governorates of Kurdistan as part of support to the Ministry of Education and other concerned ministries in Kurdistan in its campaign against child marriage.
By: Dina Zeidan (Ms.)
Education and Rehabilitation Specialist
SRD Center, Amman - Jordan