Why The Senate Just Rejected A Bill That Would Have Stopped Child Marriages In Pakistan

Why The Senate Just Rejected A Bill That Would Have Stopped Child Marriages In Pakistan

Blue Veins Program Coordinator, Qamar Naseem, stated at a seminar that in 2012, more than 60 million girls around the world were reportedly married under the age of 18.

 

Out of the 60 million under-18 married girls in the whole world, About 42% are in Pakistan

Of these, 24% belonged to rural Pakistan and 18% belonged to urban areas.

Via rtepakistan.org

 

Child marriages are, obviously, not uncommon in our society but there are many reasons

The reasons behind these – especially for marrying off young girls – could be poverty, a lack of education or the mindset where a female is seen to be an unwanted burden. One of the biggest downsides to child marriage is the fact that young girls may become pregnant during the earlier years of puberty.

Via takepart.com

 

32% of all the reported cases of child marriages in Pakistan were children under the age of 10.

The following are a few noteworthy figures, as published in a paper by the Institute for Social Justice (ISJ) Pakistan:

Source: isj.org.pk

As reported by Express Tribune, the late Idrees Kamal, who was the Citizen Rights and Sustainable Development Director, had stated:

“The problem with early marriages is that the bride is immature herself. If she gets pregnant, she is usually underweight and malnourished. Her pregnancy causes many complications, and health risks for the babies in these cases are also high.”

Moreover, he had also stated that the risk of death for pregnant girls under the age of 15 is five times higher than for women in their twenties.

Source: dawn.com

There have been numerous talks, discussions and heated debates over passing laws to abolish the practice of child marriage. Recently, Senator Sehar Kamran shared her proposal regarding the minimum age for marriage:

However, The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill was recently rejected by The Senate.

Source: dawn.com

The decision has sparked a heated debate among Pakistanis. People reacted to the news in different ways. All those varying perspectives amalgamated to form a storm of anger from both sides on different social media platforms.

Senator Sehar Kamran shared her sentiments regarding the news.

However, she wasn’t the only one who was upset. 

Some people believed that another progressive bill had been shot down.

Some believed that the decision was shameful.

Some people weighed in on how they believed this step was setting Pakistan back.

The irony of the Bill being rejected around International Girls Day was not lost on people.

While Twitter users confined their thoughts to a certain word limit, more detailed debates started between Facebook users. And people did not hold back one bit. 

Via Facebook

Emotions ran high. Some people suggested that those who believe in earlier marriages “should be beaten to a pulp.”

Via Facebook

Some believed that our country’s lawmakers need to keep up with the times.

Via Facebook

There were some people who didn’t understand the outrage.

Via Facebook

And some expressed their views on how early marriages are “natural and Islamic.”

Via Facebook

However, others continued to state their stance against child marriage.

Via Facebook

It is unclear whether this decision will remain permanent. However, one thing seems to have been made certain: Pakistanis who oppose child marriages will not stop speaking up against them. Let us hope their unwavering fervor proves to be fruitful one day.

What do you have to say about the entire matter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

 


Cover image: Getty Images / Via takepart.com



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