Sunday, 14 August 2011

Underage Marriages Not a Problem for Turkish Public

Cracking down on child marriage is always awkward in a country dominated by Islam, given that Mohammed, the so-called Perfect Man, "married" a girl when she was 6.
A recent report by the Parliamentary Committee on the Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men reveals that many families in eastern Turkey do not consider underage marriage a problem. Underage marriage causes dropouts, says report

According to the study, underage marriages do not pose a problem for the public.

The latest report from a special parliamentary equality on gender equality has revealed that many families in eastern Turkey do not consider underage marriage a problem.

Recent news that 11 underage girls have become pregnant in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa has put the official spotlight on the underage marriage issue, daily Radikal reported. As such, members of the Parliamentary Committee on the Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men, as well as representatives of several nongovernmental organizations, held a meeting in the province to discuss the report.

According to the study, underage marriages do not pose a problem for the public. Such nuptials, however, have been highlighted as the main reason for the gradual increase of students dropping out of school, with marriages occurring as early as the age of 11.

It is important to prevent misunderstandings of religion abusing traditions, said the report.

“The meaning, causes and results of a marriage according to Islamic traditions should be explained clearly to the public. In order to do that, we need to cooperate with the Religious Affairs [Directorate] in Turkey,” the report said.

Last week, 11 ill girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were taken to hospitals in the province, where it was determined that they were pregnant. All the girls were reported to be married without a civil marriage. While the girls were kept in the hospital, their spouses were detained by the police, yet they were released by the court pending a trial.

“It should also be underlined that civil marriages provide all the necessary conditions that religious marriages do,” the report added.

Most of the families who force their children to marry at a young age generally have financial difficulties, the report said. It also suggested increasing the mandatory years of education to 13, including preschool training.
Source: Hurriyet

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