Jordan: Almost 20 percent of brides in 2015 were minors
Marriage of underage girls has especially become a problem among Syrian refugees living in Jordan. (AFP/File)
Nearly 20 percent of marriages registered in Jordanian courts in 2015 involved brides aged between 15 and 18, the Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI) said on Wednesday.
Citing a report by the Department of Statistics, SIGI said 16,019 young brides were married in 2015, amounting to 19.7 percent of the 81,373 marriages recorded in the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, 49.5 percent of the brides were aged between 19 and 24, and 17.9 percent were aged from 25 to 29, SIGI said in a statement.
In 807 marriages, both the bride and groom were minors, SIGI said, adding that such families could not exercise their civil or political rights.
SIGI calls for a ban on all marriages in which either partner is under 18, the institute reiterated.
Article 11 of the 2010 temporary personal status law states that a woman cannot get married if her fiancé is more than 20 years her senior, unless a judge approves the union, SIGI said.
This exception is indirectly connected to the choice of the woman herself, SIGI said, questioning how the process would be conducted in cases where the bride is aged under 18.
In 2015, there were 162 marriages involving an underage bride and a groom more than 22 years her senior, SIGI noted.
In eight of these marriages, the age gap was 37 years, the institute said, while in one case the groom was 47 years older than his underage bride.
There were also additional marriages involving adult brides with age gaps of over 20 years, SIGI said.
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