Early Marriage – 1 out of 3 Wives is a “Child Bride”

Early Marriage – 1 out of 3 Wives is a “Child Bride”

Early Marriage – 1 out of 3 Wives is a “Child Bride”
Burçin Belge

With the project “Chid Brides: Victims of Destructive Traditions and Patriarchal Social Heritage” the Flying Broom Association is going to tackle the problem of early and forced marriages in Turkey. 33 percent of all wives enter marriage as a minor.
In Turkey, one out of three marriages is entered into with a minor bride. 33 percent of all married women are “child brides”. The Flying Broom Women’s Communication and Research Association now initiated a project called “Chid Brides: Victims of Destructive Traditions and Patriarchal Social Heritage” to tackle the problem of early marriage in Turkey.
The project is supported by the Social Development Grant Program of the Sabanc? Foundation. It aims at brining forced marriages and marriages with minors onto the agenda to create an atmosphere for discussion within political mechanisms and to make public politicians recognize the problem.
The President of the Parliamentary Commission for Equal Opportunities for Man and Women, Güldal Ak?it, the Head of the Flying Broom Women’s Communication and Research Association, Halime Güner, project coordinator Selen Do?an, Faculty Member Prof. Y?ld?z Ecevit from the Middle-East Technical University (ODTÜ), artist Burhan ?e?en and actress Belçim Erdo?an promoted the project in an introductory meeting on 1 October.
“Early marriage violates the rights of women, children and human rights”

The President of the Sabanc? Foundation, Hüsnü Paçac?o?lu, explained, “Early marriage comes up to 37 percent of all marriages in Turkey. In the South-East, this ratio amounts to 68 percent. The topic of ‘child brides’ has social and economic aspects. The economic approach plays an important role for a solution of this problem”.
Project coordinator Halime Güner emphasized, “Early and forced marriages are a violation of human rights and of the rights of women and children”.
Güner argued that official institutions, non-governmental organizations and also the citizens have to take action to develop efficient public policies against marriage at an early age and marriage against consent.
Ak?it: Contradictions in the law must be lifted
Güdal Ak?it
from the Flying Broom Association pointed out that early marriage is not only a problem in eastern and south-eastern parts of the country but also in cities like Istanbul and Ankara.
Ak?it warned that early marriage deprives the women of their rights, first of all in terms of education. She claimed that the struggle against early marriage should first of all aim at lifting contradictions in the law related to age.
“Early marriage map” for Turkey

The Flying Broom Association will carry the project into 54 provinces. Movies on early marriage will be shown to about 20,000 women and activities to raise awareness will be organized in primary schools.
The Turkish Grand National Assembly and 270 women organizations in all provinces will bring the “issue of early marriage” to their agenda, supported by a 54,000 people signature campaign.
A “Map of Early Marriage” will be worked out, based on research to be carried out all over the country, i.e. in Afyonkarashisar, Ardahan, Ankara, Edirne, Hakkari Kastamonu, Kayseri and Osmaniye.
The map will comprise statistics of these ten provinces regarding early marriage. It will furthermore reveal the reasons for the problem. The results will also be summarized in a report to be forwarded to related institutions and ministries.


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