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France Raises Age of Marriage for Women to 18

French women will now need to be 18 years or older to consent to marry, three years older than previously required by law. The French parliament passed the law as a method of preventing forced marriages, reports Ireland Online, and the French standard is now aligned with other states that belong to the European Union.

Ireland Online also reports that the new law marks the first change to the legal age for marriage age since 1804, when Napoleon enacted his Napoleonic Code. For 200 years, womens age of consent has been 15, while mens has been 18. In addition to the marriage age, the law addresses marital rape and abuse. According to BBC, the French parliament is also passing laws to combat child pornography, female genital mutilation, and sex tourism.

Media Resources: Assemble Nationale Texte Adopt n. 558; BBC 3/23/06; Ireland Online 3/23/06