Armenia Raises Minimum Marriage Age to 18

An Armenian priest performs a wedding ceremony

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Citing legal, educational and health factors, the government moved on Thursday to raise from 17 to 18 years the minimum age at which women in Armenia are allowed to marry.

The age limit is set by the Armenian Family Code. The minimum legal age of marriage for men is 18 years.

According to Justice Minister Hrayr Tovmasian, international human rights groups regard this age disparity as gender discrimination. “International structures have been urging us to ensure gender equality [in marriage regulation,]” Tovmasian said, presenting a corresponding amendment to the code approved by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s cabinet. “International experience also shows that that age [for women] is 18,” he added.

Tovmasian argued that the measure is also necessary because of Armenia’s recent transition to a 12-year education cycle, which means that young Armenians are likely to finish high school at the age of 18. Young girls must not be allowed to get married before graduation so that they complete their studies, he said.

Under the previous, Soviet-era system of 10-year schooling the vast majority of Armenian students finished school before coming of age.

Tovmasian also cited health factors behind the government decision that will be sent to the Armenian parliament for approval soon. “We have the Health Ministry’s conclusion that women’s marriage and pregnancy at an early age leads to a number of health problems in the future,” he told fellow ministers.

Government data cited by the justice minister shows that underage girls were involved in roughly 1.5 percent of officially registered marriages in Armenia in the 1990s. The annual number of underage female marriages has shrunk by more than half since then.

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7 Comments

  1. Kevork said:

    As soon as I read “international human rights groups regard this age disparity as gender discrimination” I got suspicious. I welcome that the age of marriage for boys and girls are the same, but I hope the meddling ends there. We saw how the American feminazis and Atheists destroyed the American family unit in the US, masquerading as ‘human rights’.

    Armenia should change the minimum age based on the needs and opinions of Armenians, and not “rights groups”. I have zero trust for any of these “groups” as they nearly always have ulterior motives.

    Also, it should be clarified whether this law is cast in stone, or whether under-aged children may get married with the approval of parents, as is the case in the US.

  2. Hratch said:

    Government should also ban the practice of replacing normal solid teeth with gold. This backward tradition is still practiced in villages to make young girls more attractive.

  3. VAHAKEN BEDROSSIAN said:

    I DON’T AGREE ARMENIA TO COPY EVERY EUROPEAN LAW. IN THIS CASE I THINK IT WAS UNNECESSARY TO RAISE THE MARIAGE AGE SINCE ARMENIA’S POPULATION IS ALREADY DWINDLING AND PEOPLE ARE LEAVING ARMENIA.
    I SUGGEST ARMENIA PASSES LAWS TO ENCOURAGE INCREASING ARMENIA’S POPULATION.

    • Edward Demiraiakian said:

      Exactly. It appears that Armenia has not yet decided weather it wants a robust population of six million or so people; An Armenia much like Israel with Armenians from all over the world, melding into one new nation. Or, an Armenia, robust with native born only. Clearly, Armenia and it’s quaint “Minister of the Diaspora”, could not Mannage to resettle one Armenian family from anywhere either in Armenia or Artsackh. Syrian Armenians are making the treck to Western Europe, because that’s where the refugee pipeline leads. Hundreds of abandoned Azery villages in Artsackh are awaiting people. No one is connecting the dots.

  4. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    Comparing Armenia to the West is a useless exercise at this time. Had these human rights activists looked at the life expectancy numbers for boys and girls in the West compare to Armenia and Artsakh?

    By the time these spoiled and promiscuous American couples finally get married at the age of 35-40 and start looking for infertility treatment centers, Armenian couples married at 17-18 (before boys are drafted to the Army) already have their first grandchildren! This is the only way for Armenia and Artsakh to survive demographically.

    America is a demographic disaster zone if you look at just the “native” WASPs’ reproduction. The only way for the US to make any sense demographically is to rob other countries of their most educated and potent generations. Europe’s demographics can only be sustainable due to the multiplication of Turks in Germany and Arabs in France.

    Every 20-something married Armenian woman with 3-5 living children and carrying another one and another one is prettier then any overweight unmarried and childless American Armenian 35+ “girl” no matter how many golden teeth they have.

    • Edward Demiraiakian said:

      Armenia needs children. I think that it’s time to evaluate our tradition of taking only one partener. Too many abandoned women in Armenia that will never see their husbands again. Too many young widows from the daily killing of one or more of our men, on the front lines. Yes our Christian traditions should be cherished. But what will become of our traditions when there’ll be no Armenia. I think that for the next hundred years, the Armenian men who can afford and want a “sister wife” should be able to do so.

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