Local authorities save 14-year-old girl in Azerbaijan from marriage
A 14-year-old girl was nearly coerced into marriage with a 27-year-old man in Azerbaijan, escaping this fate only with the intervention of the local government.
The schoolgirl states that she wanted to continue her studies, but her parents insisted that she leave school and get married.
Thanks to the intervention of Mehriban Zeynalova, the head of the Clean World Social Union for women’s rights issues, the state committee on family, women’s and children’s issues learned about the situation.
They started an investigation which put an end to the illegal marriage.
Mehriban Zeynalova shared the story on her Facebook page.
The legal age of marriage in Azerbaijan is 18. In exceptional cases marriage may be allowed for 17-year-olds, but only with the permission of the government.
According to official statistics, the highest number of underage girls who were married in Azerbaijan was recorded in 2011, at 5,138.
Since then the number has fallen, at least so claim official statistics.
However, human rights activists paint a different picture, and claim that many are still married before the age of 18.
According to official information, exactly 338 girls under the age of 18 got married in 2018.
In the same year, 2,129 girls between the ages of 15 and 17 became mothers.
This news gave rise to sharply negative commentary on social media.
“Somalia is discussing a law about child marriage. I had thought that we were just a little more developed than Somalia”.
“I am horrified by this news. I have a 14-year-old daughter, too”.
“We have to assume that these parents are uneducated. But what’s with this 27-year-old man? What was he thinking?”
“So, are they not going to punish him for trying to seduce a minor?”
This project is funded through the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program, U.S. Embassy Tbilisi. The contents of this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of State.