Forced to marry at 14

Another item from the Annals of Brutality – in Iran a woman who was forced into marriage at 14 is going to be executed for killing her husband.

Razieh Ebrahimi was forced to marry at the age of 14, became a mother at 15, and killed her husband at 17. Now at 21, she is on Iran’s death row.

They left out a step: she was raped at 14, no doubt repeatedly.

“I married our neighbour’s son when I was only 14 because my dad insisted,” Ebrahimi was quoted as telling officials working on her case, according to Mehr. “My dad insisted I should marry him because he was educated and was working as a teacher. I was 15 when I gave birth to my child.” Her child is believed to be now six years old.

“I didn’t know who I am or what is life all about,” she said soon after being arrested. “My husband mistreated me. He used any excuse to insult me, even attacking me physically.”

Well she shouldn’t have agreed to marry him then.

Oh wait…

HRW called on the judiciary, which is independent of the Iranian government, to reverse its decision.

“Every time an Iranian judge issues a death sentence for a child offender like Ebrahimi, he should remember he is in flagrantly violating his legal responsibilities to administer justice fairly and equitably,” said HRW’s Joe Stork. “Iran’s judiciary should reverse its execution order of a battered child bride.”

The dispute appears to arise from Iran’s own definition of a juvenile. The country does not provide a clear distinction between the age of majority – when minors cease to legally be considered children – and the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is 15 for boys and nine for girls under Iranian law. Under the current civil code, girls can marry at 13 and boys at 15, HRW said.

That’s some bad wording – the reality is that girls can be forced to marry at 13, not that they can decide to on their own. (I mean really – how often does that happen in Iran?)

Shadi Sadr, a London-based Iranian lawyer with the rights group Justice for Iran, told the Guardian that the case against Razieh Ebrahimi – also known as Maryan – underlined a hidden social and legal issue in Iran.

“Forced girl marriage in Iran is a hidden social and legal issue,” she said. “However, it should be noted that Maryam Ebrahimi’s case is not a unique case at all. This March, for instance, Farzaneh Moradi, 28, was executed for murdering her husband. She was forced to marriage at 15, gave birth at 16, fell in love with another man at 19 and was accused of murdering her husband at 20.”

She added: “Women such as Maryam or Farzaneh, who are forced to marriage at childhood, are actually being raped constantly under the name of marriage. While they should go to school at that age, they are instead experiencing a life full of violence with no legal support. They eventually kill themselves or their husbands to end this vicious circle.”

My point exactly. When a child is forced into marriage, the sex that happens in that marriage is rape.

Sadr said Justice for Iran’s research shows in 2012 alone, 1,537 girls under the age of of 10 and 29,827 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were registered for marriage in Iran.

That’s a lot of legalized rape.



  1. says

    the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is 15 for boys and nine for girls under Iranian law.

    What the fuck!

    So in return for less rights, girls are assigned more legal culpability?


  2. says

    Sally – oh yes. Girls get both: fewer rights and more culpability. I think Maryam has written about this, and I think I’ve written about it after reading her.

  3. Blanche Quizno says

    Well, don’t forget the whole purpose of executing those aberrant non-submissive wives/widows – no other man’s going to want them, so they might as well just get rid of them. No one wants damaged/soiled goods, after all. And besides, who’s going to settle for a used 15-yr-old when he can have an untouched 13-yr-old? Huh? HUH??

    Given that it is the chronically insecure and self-loathingest of men who fetishize female virginity (if she hasn’t been with any other dude, then she can’t compare you unfavorably, right??), you certainly shouldn’t expect them to be capable of treating women as humans, much less respecting women as fellow humans/their equals.

  4. Blanche Quizno says

    You know, of course, where that age 9 for criminal responsibility for girls comes from, I presume. I’ll go ahead and explain anyway – it’s because the Profit Muhammed raped his favorite wife Aisha when she was only 9 years old. Thus, in classic lobotomized follow-the-leader style, girls become fair game for every sort of predatory

    Interesting fact about The Profit: He set his sights on little Aisha when the child was only 6 years old. He demanded that her father give him permission to marry her – Aisha’s father initially refused, because, as they were “brothers”, such a match would be incestuous, but The Profit insisted it was legal for him. (Later, when another follower offered his own daughter as a prospective wife, The Profit refused on the grounds that they were “brothers” O_O Guess she was ugly.)

    So then, The Profit asked the little girl if she would marry him. He took her silent, uncomprehending, wide-eyed stare for an enthusiastic assent. When he decided he’d waited long enough, Aisha was called in from where she had been playing on a swing with her little friends, washed up, and then handed over to that old goat – who was in his 50s – for him to rape.

    It’s a good thing The Profit died when he did – he is on record admiring an 11-month-old crawling baby girl and stating he’d like to have HER for a wife as well. I wonder if he would have been willing to wait until she was old enough to walk…

  5. Blanche Quizno says

    “Thus, in classic lobotomized follow-the-leader style, girls become fair game for every sort of predatory impulse that might cross the mind of man.”

    Sorry, forgot to finish my thought there.

    I simply cannot conceive of the horror of growing up female within Islam.

  6. leni says

    This is slavery, pure and simple.

    Well, maybe before I jump to that conclusion I should wait and see if GirlWritesWhat will have a helpful and informative youtube video about how domestic sex slaves are really a privileged class because they don’t have to work.

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