SyriacPress correspondent interviews public about child marriage in North and East Syria

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — In some areas of Gozarto (Jazira) Region of North and East Syria, especially in rural areas, the phenomenon of child marriage is still considered a social custom. While the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) has outlawed child marriage — as well as polygamy — and set up women’s houses to help combat the issue, the practice persists.

Correspondents with our news desk conducted several interviews with people from around the region about the issue of child marriage.

Some of those interviewed said it was wrong because the girl who was coming to marry at an early age was not psychologically prepared and unable to form a family and was therefore unable to be a mother.

Many young women interviewed said that the reason for early marriage is sometimes the result of pressure from parents.

While some expressed their rejection of the marriage of minors because differences will arise between the spouses because of the way of thinking and their realization of the real responsibility placed on them.

One doctor interviewed said the practice of child marriage was wrong from a “health and scientific perspective, as well as from a social and psychological perspective.” The doctor called on all parents to think carefully and break away from this practice because of the harm it causes to children and society.

Zainab Sarokhan, head of the Women’s Authority in Gozarto Region, said:

“Since the beginning of its founding, the Women’s Authority has passed the Women’s Law. One of its articles is to prevent the marriage of minors. We all know that girls and boys under 18 years old are still growing. Getting married in this period will negatively affect them in a number of ways, and also negatively affect their families and community.

“Of course, as a Women’s Authority, we have many programs in this regard, where work is done on several basic aspects. Women need to know the importance of education at this stage and women should know their rights.”