In an effort to attract support from Shia Muslims, politicians in Iraq are set to legalize child marriage and marital rape.
The new law, recently approved by the Iraqi cabinet, is expected to be approved by the Iraqi parliament before the upcoming April 30 parliamentary elections. The law lowers the country’s legal age for marriage to 9, legalizes marital rape, and bans women from leaving the home without the permission of their husbands.
The law is a calculated political strategy to please the nation’s Shia Muslim majority ahead of parliamentary elections. Let that sink in. Apparently a majority of Iraqis thinks child marriage and marital rape is a good idea.
The legislation, referred to as the “Ja’afari Law,” describes girls as reaching puberty at age nine, thus making them fit for marriage. The legislation also condones a husband’s right to insist on sexual intercourse with his wife whenever he wishes, and makes the father sole guardian of his children at age two.
The legislation was originally proposed by justice minister Hassan al-Shimari, a member of the Shiite Fadila party, and approved by the cabinet on February 25.
The proposed legislation is almost identical to legislation on the books in neighboring Iran, a Shia-dominated Islamic theocracy.
The new law is repugnant and barbaric, dripping with a misogyny that is difficult to imagine.