A new Iraqi draft law based on Shi’ite Islamic jurisprudence would allow nine-year old girls to marry and would assert a husband’s right to demand sex from his wife whenever he wishes, reports Reuters.
The draft legislation, known as the Ja’afari Law after the sixth Shi’ite imam Ja’afar al-Sadiq, was approved by the Iraqi cabinet and must now be considered by parliament.
The law says that girls are fit to marry at the age of nine because they have reached puberty by then. Its defenders believe the current personal status law violates Sharia law.
Two dozen Iraqi women took to the streets of Baghdad on Saturday to protest the new law and mark International Women’s Day.