Beirut (AFP) – Hundreds protested on Saturday in Lebanon against child marriage, demanding lawmakers forbid unions below the age of 18, in a country where some faiths allow girls to be wed at 14.
Organised by civil society groups, the rally attracted women of all ages — and some lawmakers — who marched on parliament in the capital Beirut, an AFP photographer said.
Some carried placards with slogans reading “Not before 18” and “Stop early marriage”.
Abir Abdel Razeq, a 22-year-old who carried her young daughter in her arms, said that she married at 14.
“I hope that my daughter does not get married early, and that she finishes school — I hope that she will not marry before she is 22”, Razeq said.
The protest came as a bill designating 18 as the minimum age for marriage awaits parliament’s consideration.
Lebanon does not have nationwide laws on marriage and divorce, since these areas are governed by the country’s 18 religious communities.
Elements of both the Muslim and Christian communities allow girls to be married at 14.