Tajikistan raises marriage age, bans weddings of over 300 guests
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on Thursday raised the legal age at which women can marry from 17 to 18, to allow girls to complete their high-school education, dpa reported.
At the same time, he banned wedding parties of more than 300 guests. Social pressure to invite up to 1,000 guests was driving families into ruin, he said.
Many parents in the former Soviet republic marry their daughters off very young in order to get hold of traditionally generous dowries.
Rahmon said that a lack of opportunities for young women also meant that young women were marrying young and failing to finish their studies.
It was unclear whether the authoritarian ruler was thinking of the spectacular career of his 16-year-old daughter in introducing the new legislation.
Sarina Rahmon attends an elite boarding school in Britain and co- presents an English-language television programme on Tajik television.
President Rahmon has seven daughters and two sons. Families with up to eight children are not unusual in Tajikistan, where dowries worth thousands of dollars are considered normal. dpa wo hl amh Author: Wolfgang Jung