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Call for collective efforts to end child marriages

ISLAMABAD: Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) Programmes Director Baela Raza Jamil on Wednesday said that the mission to end child marriages in Pakistan might be completed through collective efforts of society.

Addressing the participants after successfully launching the initiative of Child Marriage-Free Zone and the End Child Marriages Portal, she said that joint efforts would be fruitful in which common people of society would play their role.

Rutgers WFP Pakistan representative Qadeer Baig gave an introduction of the campaign and the components involved in it such as legal activism and alliance building. Bilquis Rahman from HANDS and Zaynah Gilani from ITA gave an overview of Pakistan’s first ever Child Marriage-Free Zone in Matiari (Sindh) and the socioeconomic activism involved in initiating the process of making Pakistan a child marriage-free zone.

Renowned filmmaker and human rights activist Samar Minalallah, who is also the ambassador of this movement, showed a documentary, which depicted the sad reality that accompanies the lives of victims of child marriages and called for action.

Commission on Status of Women Punjab Chairperson Fauzia Viqa informed the participants about the provincial assembly’s adaptation of the resolution on underage marriages and highlighted the need to lobby for giving it a legal status.

The launching ceremony was attended by a range of civil society organisations including Action Aid, Plan International, Oxfam, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Sahil, Rozan, DCHD, AWAAZ, LAAS and Aurat Foundation.

It presented a joint effort on part of civil society to fight the social and legal factors that led to child marriages and deprived the children of their basic right to education and shaping their own future.

Daily Times