During an interview with journalist Jaafar Abdul Karim on the show ‘Jaafar Talks,’ Lebanese singer Ramy Ayach stunned audiences with his point of view in regards to criminalizing child marriage.
When asked about whether he agrees with a law that criminalizes child marriage, Ayach confidently said, “No.”
He then went on to explain that he does not see the issue with girls aged 16 and 17 years being married.
“16 and 17-year-old [girls] are more rational than most of us nowadays,” Ayach issued to justify his opinion.
The journalist’s facial reaction to Ayach’s statements spoke a thousand words. He logically countered Ayach’s point of view, stating that “the biological makeup of 16- and 17-year-old is completely separate from their cognitive makeup.”
However, Ayach was not convinced and went on to say that, if we go back to the days of religions, child marriage existed, and it was perfectly fine, referring to over a thousand years ago when, as known, girl’s mortality during childbirth was high.
Ayach closed off his improper argument by insisting that “16 years old is acceptable for marriage” but not less.
This comes from a man who founded ‘Ayach Al-Tofoula’, a non-profit non-governmental organization that aims to recreate hope in the hearts of the young and the less fortunate, providing help for children deprived of their rights.
As expected, Lebanese citizens were stunned by Ayach’s statements and quickly flooded social media with their perspective on the matter.
While some poked fun at the absurdity of it all.
Child marriage is prohibited by international human rights and many domestic national laws. According to numerous scientific and psychological studies, people under 18 are considered minors who are still developing biologically, cognitively, and psychologically.
Based on that, minor girls are unprepared to take on the role of being a wife and a mother. That is to add to the unethical aspect of burdening a girl of that age with the heavy responsibility of motherhood when she is only a child herself.
There is also the aspect of the difference of age with the husband that would be chosen for her or imposed on her, understanding that, for a man to be able to marry and build a family, he would need to have a certain maturity and/or certain financial stability, which brings him, in concept, to a much higher age range than the minor.
Another important aspect to consider is that the girls marrying that young, even at 16 and 18, are deprived of their rights for education to secure themselves a good standard of life and be equipped to face adulthood and its challenges.
Extreme abuses had been recorded in this type of marriage in Lebanon, which had prompted organizations to actively demand a law forbidden child-marriage.
Mr. Ayach might have his own opinion on the matter but to refer to a time exceeding 1400 years and further back in time as a valid argument edges absurdity and contradicts the scientific studies in that regard.
This is a good opportunity today to remind our society of The Girl Effect: