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Child Marriage in Pakistan

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By: RUKHSAR INAM Student of Women’s Studies Department

Child marriage in Pakistan is legally prohibited extent under child marriage restraint act 1929 (No XIX). Under the act, the minimum age for marriage of 18 year for a man and 16 year for a female (Section 2). According to a Unicef report in 2013, 21% of girls were married before the age of 18 in Pakistan.

2017 the demographic and health survey (DHS) of women in Pakistan in their early twenties short that 39.5% had been married before the age of 18.Addressing child marriage in Pakistan is challenging primarily because of its, links to tradition and religion, In Province of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoon Khowa father and grand-father typically arrange marriages, mother can influence the decision, and propose suitable husbands. The decision is often consider crucial for the family. Difficult for a girl to make and sometime taken when the daughter is born. Marriage is affected by social norms in Pakistan.

In fact, marriage is regarded a’ Sunnah – an obligation and religious scripture exploring the right moment for marriage – Though in ways open to interpretation. In addition to this, young women a symbolic of their families honour, in Sindh child marriage is said to mitigate risk of harming the family honour particularly if the girl has experienced sexual result, pre-marital sex and out-of-wed lock pregnancies.

Child marriage is most common in Sindh/Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa, most of the girls are drop-out from school, especially in cultural setting where girls are raised for a lifetime confined to household occupation and are expected to marry very young.

Most of the family think marriage is a way to ensure that their daughters are “protected” as parent feel their daughter will be better off financially and suffer from sexual abuse or illicit sexual contact if they are married.

The child marriage is found as the cultural practice among some communities in Sindh/Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa, where they encourage such the marriage.

Besides to this, here, girls are made deprived of their choices and selection and kept as illiterate and undeveloped throughout the life. Child marriage is practiced some parts of Pakistan, with the highest prevalence in the Sindh Province. 

In the time it has taken to record this article 65 girls under the age of 18 have been married each year and 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 23 girls every minute, nearly one every 3 second. 

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