Gov’t Plays Matchmaker to Spurt Matrimony

Gov’t Plays Matchmaker to Spurt MatrimonyGov’t Plays Matchmaker to Spurt Matrimony

With the launching of the first official matchmaking website (Find Your Equal) on Monday, the government hopes to fulfill the “high demand for marriage among the 11 million eligible bachelors in the country.”

The website allows singles to post their details and describe what they are looking for in a potential spouse.

A board of mediators will then match applicants, taking into account criteria such as background, age, education and financial status, IRNA reported.

In a pilot project before the website was officially launched, 3000 young people were introduced to each other. Also in Tehran, 130 mediators were registered on the website including university professors and clergymen.

“We have high demand for marriage and the number of unmarried people, 11 million, is increasing every day,” said Mahmoud Golzari, at the launching of the site.

Golzari, who announced his resignation from his post as deputy minister of youth affairs and sports before attending the inauguration of the matchmaking website, said this was his last administrative event at the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. He will officially submit his resignation in the coming days, ILNA quoted him as saying.

Apparently, Golzari had made up his mind about quitting the ministry weeks before, but took the plunge as Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Mahmoud Goudarzi “failed to attend any of the events planned for the National Youth Week (May 28-June 3).”

Mohammad Reza Rostami, a former advisor at the ministry, will replace Golzari.

 Not a Dating Site

“The matchmaking website you are seeing today is not a website for introducing boys and girls to each other,” Golzari said, insisting it was not a dating site.

Earlier this year, he had said the online website would create “100,000 marriages” and “help solve the problem of marriage among young people.”

In recent statements, Golzari also said 300 websites in Iran work under the guise of “hamsar yab” (spouse-finding).  Such sites are unethical and illegally promote short-term marriages. “To curb illegal activities, the ministry had designed the official website to help youth find their ideal spouse, in collaboration with the Tebyan Institute.”

Tebyan is a cultural and informative institute established in 2001 as an independent legal entity. It is affiliated to the Islamic Propaganda Organization. Its website is available in Farsi, Arabic, French, Russian, Turkish, English and Urdu languages.

 Population Decline

Divorce is a serious concern for the government. About 22% of marriages end in divorce, with the highest rates among those under 30.

The significant increase in the divorce rate is worrying, Golzari said, noting there is one divorce for every five marriages in Iran. In Tehran, the ratio is one is to three and 80% who get divorced are under the age of 30.

The government is also concerned with the population decline. The population growth rate is 1.1% at present. The fertility rate has also come down to 1.92 births per marriage, as against 4.09 in Iraq and 2.7 in Saudi Arabia.

Applicants registering on the website should complete a series of screening tests including psychological, and answer a 33-item personality as well as a 22-item marriage questionnaire. Individuals with personality and metal disorders will not be introduced unless they undergo appropriate treatment, Golzari added.