The legal age to get married has been raised to 18 in England and Wales, the United Kingdom, effectively banning child marriage and imposing severe punishment for enablers of such a cruel and detrimental activity to young girls.
“We’ve campaigned for this change for a decade because no child should be subjected to the lifelong harms that come with child marriage,” explains Diana Nammi, executive director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, a British charity that helps victims of honor-based abuse.
Under the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022, 16 and 17-year-olds are no longer allowed to either get married or have a civil partnership, even if the parents approve. Anyone who would push children into marriage will face a seven-year jail sentence. In many cultures, honor-based abuse is common and includes forced marriage, coercive control, female genital mutilation, but also assault, threats to kill, attempted murder, and murder. The new legislation will hopefully protect properly British girls from being “married off,” an issue occurring in the UK and not only in developing countries.