early marriages

Early marriages for FRANCE 24 Español with Ethel Bonet

Lebanon has no minimum age for marriage for all of its citizens or any civil code regulating personal status matters. Instead, religious courts set the age based on 15 personal status laws, some of which allow girls younger than 15 to marry. A draft law, proposed by activists and politician and introduced on March 28, 2017, would set the minimum age for marriage at 18, with no exceptions.

Early marriage can have dire lifelong consequences, often halting or harming a girl’s ability to realize a wide range of human rights, Human Rights Watch said. Girls who marry early are more likely to leave school and are at heightened risk of marital rape, domestic violence, poor access to decent work, exploitation, and a range of health problems due to early childbearing

Civil society has been fighting this issue for the last few years, trying to pressure the Lebanese government into adopting a legal minimum age for marriage. The Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering- RDFL organized on the 28th of July 2017 a coordination meeting for the national coalition to protect children from early marriage.