Azerbaijani Girls in Georgia Forced to Marry Young
Monday, June 6, 2005 11:50 AM

Azerbaijani girls living in Georgia are being forced to marry at an early age. While Georgian law allows a fourteen year old to marry with parental permission, many Azerbaijani parents are marrying off their daughters before they turn 14. Some are married as early as age 11 and have multiple children before they turn 15. Azerbaijanis are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Georgia and this traditional practice is taking place in many Azerbaijani villages, sometimes in spite of the wishes of the girl to continue her schooling. In the province of Kvemo Kartli, the villages are predominantly Azerbaijani and the tradition has flourished. As a result of the practice, there are very few girls who attend school after the "eighth form" at the age of 13. Once they have a good command of the Georgian language and the parents decide they are ready, a rose silk scarf is hung outside the gate, indicating that a girl within is ready to be married.

Compiled from: Alieva, Ramilya. "Georgia: Sad Plight of Underage Brides," 2 June 2005.