TURBAT: Child marriage has become a prevalent issue across Pakistan. Children are forced to get married before attaining the legal age, which is 16 years for girls and 18 years for boys.
According to a report in 2018, Pakistan has the sixth highest rate of child marriages, with an alarming number of 1.9 million, of which majority are girls. This is extremely distressing as this reflects the number of girls that are forced to give up their education and the agency to make their own decisions.
Child marriage also negatively impacts the health and wellbeing of the girls. People choose young brides as they are easy to control through physical and verbal abuse. They are forced to take over responsibility of the household chores, and not provided sufficient sustenance, which makes them weak and deficient. They also do not have any control over their reproductive health, because of which early pregnancies result in numerous complications and even death at times. Reports show that teen girls are more likely to die due to complications during childbirth, compared to mothers who are in their twenties.
Parents of young girls are humbly requested to educate their daughters instead of marrying them off at a young age. The eradication of children marriage can preserve the health of our girls and the future generations. I hope that the parents start thinking for the betterment of their children’s future instead of carrying on with such practices.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2019.