PESHAWAR: The civil society organisations Tuesday asked the government to take steps for putting an end to child marriages as the country is signatory to several declaration on protecting child rights and ending child marriages.
Blue Veins, a non-governmental organization, had organised a multi-stakeholder’s consultation in Peshawar in collaboration with the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) to review the drafts of Child Marriage Restraint Bill 2016. The participants of the consultation expressed disappointment over the National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs rejection of a proposal to raise the minimum marriage age for girls to 18 years.
A religious scholar, Mufti Rahimdad, said that Islam does not encourage child marriages while there should be a relaxation that when there is a need to perform such marriage it should not be stopped by the law.
Participants of the consultation recommended that the minimum age of marriage for girls should be raised to 18. They stressed engaging communities through public campaigns and stressed the need of creating awareness about the health and rights of young girls marrying older men.
They demanded development of special social and health support structures for young mothers. They asked government and communities to commit to girls education and development of a social and economic program for out-of-school girls, including nonformula education programmes.