BAGHDAD, March 14 (UPI) -- Women's rights activists and others in Iraq are calling on the country to reject a proposed law change to allow men to marry girls as young as 9-years-old.
Hanaa Edwar, head of the Al-Amal Association, which seeks to improve the socioeconomic situation of Iraqis, said the proposal to lower the marriage age for women from 18 to 9 would hurt Iraqis in multiple ways, the Center for Research on Globalization reported Friday.
"The law deprives women of their dignity and human rights and deepens the sectarianism in Iraq," Edwar said.
"They are looking towards young children for having sex," Edwar said. "Parents with daughters feel disgusted by it."
Yanar Mohammed, the president of the Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq, echoed Edwar.
"Iraqi people will not agree to the legalization of pedophilia," Mohammed said.
The Iraqi Parliament is scheduled to vote on changes to the family law following April elections. Other proposed changes being opposed by Edwar and other activists include requiring women over the age of 18 to get permission from their fathers before marrying and a provision that would ban women from leaving their homes without permission of their husbands.