BEIRUT - A Jordanian lawmaker praised for her role in abolishing a law that let rapists off the hook if they married their victims has set tackling child marriage as her next challenge.
Nearly 10,500 girls in Jordan were married before reaching their 18th birthdays in 2017, according to the most up to date figures from the U.N. children's agency UNICEF.
Girls in Jordan can be married from age 15 with a judge's approval, even though the legal marriageable age is 18. Lawmaker Wafa Bani Mustafa said that even raising it to 16 would reduce the numbers.
"This is not an exception. This is something that is happening every day, and too many young girls are getting married," the 39-year-old told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during a recent visit to Beirut.
"I am very optimistic child marriage will decrease if we change the age to 16. It doesn't matter if they are Jordanian or Syrian - we need to protect all girls."