Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Marriage Realities

Many regard it as evil, some as a golden cage, and others as part of their religious duty - the subject of marriage is hotly debated in Iraq.
In this episode of the Other Half, Asma al-Amery reported from Erbil on the pressures and difficulties faced by married couples. Zito Shamsaddin, married for nine years, said that couples become bored of each other after a few years. Ardalan Aziz, a sociologist, said social traditions prevented women from expressing their desires, making marriage a joyless experience.

Batul al-Mussaoui featured a story from Karbala on Al-Mut'a (temporary) marriages, which are common amongst Shia. Abu Ali Karbala'y, a journalist, said the practice offered hope for old maids. Mahdi Abdulsahib, an NGO activist, said it stored up many social and health problems.

The show interviewed Suhaila Asady, advisor at the Iraqi Institute, on the subject of forced marriage. She said that pressuring your daughter to marry against her will is illegal.

More IWPR's Global Voices