Pakistan Is Set To Raise Marriageable Age To 18 To Combat Child Marriages
In a much needed and welcome move, the Senate Committee on Human Rights approved a draft bill that is set to have the minimum age for marriage for girls raised to 18.
Senator Sherry Rehman presented an amendment to the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929. Currently, the minimum marriageable age for girls is set at 16, but the amendment aims to raise it to 18, and it seems like the amendment will be approved soon.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has also shown green signal to the amendment. Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said the government has no objections to raising the minimum marriageable age.
Rehman said that the bill has been sent to cabinet for approval and will be presented before the parliament for a final approval in February.
Here are the reactions from Social Media
Sherry Rehman herself said she was happy that all members of the committee were on the same page and said ‘yes’ to the amendment.
Happy to see the entire Human Rights Committee of Senate respond with a yes to my Ban on Child Marriage Bill. My thx to all members, Chair @Mustafa_PPP and minister @ShireenMazari1 for support. Now all laws wait for National Assembly to finally make their 6 months late Committees pic.twitter.com/Y7yi1oH8ng
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) January 30, 2019
‘Efforts of civil society, activists, lawmakers, and the United Nations are finally coming to fruition.’
Indeed a much-needed step to end child marriages – Senate approves draft bill determining minimum age of marriage to 18 years. Efforts of civil society, activists, lawmakers, and the United Nations are finally coming to fruition.https://t.co/G8G7LOr5bN
— UN Women Pakistan (@unwomen_pak) January 31, 2019
‘We stand for a cause, for a better future of our girls, for a better Pakistan.’
— Senator Sehar Kamran T.I. (@SeharKamran) January 30, 2019
‘This is absolutely necessary. Well done Sherry Rehman.’
This is absolutely necessary. Well done Sherry Rehman
— Seemin Suleri سیمیں سلہری (@seeminsuleri) January 30, 2019
Though this is a major step towards combating child marriages, but the most important and decisive, and also the hardest part, would be enforcing it and educating the masses.
Like several other progressive laws regulating affairs of the family, this could also just stay in the books until and unless state institutions act upon it and enforce it.
Actions are needed.
Let’s hope that this bill won’t be mere words, but actions because this is about the future and happiness of Pakistan’s many children.
Our best wishes are with Sherry Rehman and
the state institutions.
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