Previously, according to the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the legal age for marriage in Pakistan for women was 16, while it was 18 for men. The Bill was introduced by Senator Sherry Rehman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to address the differences in marriageable ages among provinces.
Yesterday, the Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights unanimously agreed to amend the Bill such that it raised the marriageable age to 18 for men and women.
The age for marriage all over the world is 18 years because people under that age are considered children, making the definition of ‘child’ unclear in the Bill. Since people who are 18 or above are considered adults, it makes sense for the marriageable age to be set as such, too.
Though the Bill had previously faced backlash, the Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari, stated that the current government supported it fully. As soon as the Bill got approved, people took to Twitter to express how they felt about it.
Senior Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator @sherryrehman's proposed amendment to the Child Marriage Restraint Act was unanimously passed by the Functional Committee in Senate on Wednesday. https://t.co/LaaUEgWzI0@BBhuttoZardari @AAliZardari @AseefaBZ @BakhtawarBZ pic.twitter.com/diKnpnwmKQ
— Syed Ahsan Abbas Rizvi (@AhsanAbbasShah) January 31, 2019
People shared their support for the Bill.
Best Wishes and Good Luck 👍
— Senator Sehar Kamran T.I. (@SeharKamran) January 30, 2019
Love u sherry 😉 u work gr8 inside parliament
— Mr Khan (@Khan76425286) January 30, 2019
Truly, it is a big deal and a source of relief that the minimum age has been raised. With this, we can hope that child marriages will become more and more scarce.
Some people wanted to draw the attention to other matters as well.
Have you visit or talk about Thar on this matter? A number of ratio child marriage in Thar
— Hashim Sairani (@hashimsairani12) January 31, 2019
This person thought that it was the lack of education in society that leads to practices like child marriage being widespread.
Jab tak society educate nhi hogee ye chezein hoti rahengee logon ka zameer mar gaya he chahe wo parents ho ya nadra office me I'd card me umer barrane Wala amla ho
— Amjad khan (@khobuna) January 30, 2019
There is definitely a huge gap when it comes to educating people about why child marriages are wrong. A lack of basic education can cause people to be ignorant towards such matters, and the responsibility to spread this awareness falls upon the shoulders of the nation and the people in it.
People were generally happy that the Bill was passed.
This is absolutely necessary. Well done Sherry Rehman
— Seemin Suleri سیمیں سلہری (@seeminsuleri) January 30, 2019
People appreciated the much-needed step for the country.
SRehan salute you to bring this in cabinet and pass the law. Under age child marriage has to be ban.
Thank you SRehan G.
— Azhar Muhammad (@AzharAsf) January 30, 2019
— muhammad junaid (@patni777) January 30, 2019
While it is true that other factors cause complications as well and have to be addressed, this Bill is monumental, for the curse of child marriages has ruined many lives.
What do you guys think of the step? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via frontporch.club