Every Voice Counts!

In other countries, the authority creates opportunities for girls to learn, grow, and realize their potential but here in Pakistan our society pertains forced decisions on the younger girls to risk their lives, make them vulnerable to abuse, and get stuck in the cycle of domestic violence. 

By: Shewa Ram Suthar

We are still living in the century where people do not marry a girl based on her age but they marry their daughters based on her height. Child marriage is a major issue in Pakistan, and it is also most common in the backward areas of many districts of Sindh. Different surveys and researches have revealed its detrimental effects on the lives of the victims. 
unfortunately, child marriage is not considered offense in backword part of Sindh and violence of basic universal child rights.

The Umerkot and Tharparkar districts are less developed part of Sindh. Therefore, it is common practice in marginalized communities. This practice is common mostly in Hindu communities where marriages are not registered. They marry their girls before 18 and cases become hidden. There are so many reasons behind of this practice but one of them, talking about sexual health is considered taboo and voice of victims disappears despite constitutional rights. Unfortunately, informal and formal both educations are ineffective in this case.  They learn from their peers and elders. Formal education does not cope with sexual rights education. Creating sexual and reproductive health problems is based on sin and rebellion.

Child marriage and even forced marriages are common, and dissenting parties are regarded as a disgrace to social values. The Herman hoods work to discipline young men and women. Local political, religious, and social leaders are the main supporters of your continued violation of their rights. Local communities generally follow the decisions made by local leaders.  It always happens in our society or environment around us that we always copy and paste the emerging issue and then post it on social media and after a few days, we drop an existing issue in the middle and fall behind on a new one. And the old issue loses its value and intensity. We are always having this problem with all our people because we do not follow up, we cannot solve our issue in a timely manner.  And there is an issue in the world that has not been solved for decades which is the issue of early or child marriage. There are many rules and laws that are being made in the papers, but due to lack of proper follow-up, this issue is increasing day by day in the backward areas.

According to the article 49 of United Nations convention recognizing the rights of a child in the natural dignity of all members of the equal and essential rights of the human, along with the principles declared in the UN Code, is the basis of freedom, justice and equality. Pakistan has many laws in place to protect the rights, but in backward communities such violations are widely applied at ground level. This process is in complete violation of the designated rules. The violation in our society is as common as societal discrimination based on Gender & Sex, which is frequently surrounded by women of our society, suggests women are weak and negligible. In this aspect of every life, women must have to recognize. Apart from such opposition and tyranny against women, she is taking away their rights and cannot raise her voice. That is the reason that women are away from their basic facilities, such as basic education, health, equality, and the right to live with respect and honours.

The issue of early marriages has seemed a bit unfocused in recent times many cases of child marriages are seen on social media every day and many of them are hidden, even majority cases those are not reported on social media Therefore, victims spend their entire life in depression, anger, and weirdness, there are many deserving people around us who are suffering from other issues besides poverty, they don’t understand what they are doing with their lives.

Firstly, we have to focus on the proper registration of Hindu marriages as per restraint act. We have to try to convince them of the harmful effects of the child marriages (directly and indirectly) on an individual and on society by providing valid justification because these practices are in their behaviour since years from their forefathers.

If the government wants, it can do everything that has been promised in SDG that by 2030 they will completely eliminate child marriage from Pakistan, that promise will be fulfilled if we start proper planning from today and that way we will definitely achieve our goals before the deadline given in the SDG. We need to develop a micro plan to do something based on results at the ground level and we can do this easily by adapting our ownership skills.  

If we put an experienced lesson or poem of early marriages into the secondary curriculum, we can easily sensitize our new generation so that our next generation will be pleased with it and the next generation will make a big difference. If we have an appropriate strategy in place and we seek help from local teachers than we definitely and easily eliminate early marriages’ concepts from backward areas. In all of this, District Education Officers and Taluka Education Officers can support us in this campaign, they will bound 

There is a need to develop sustainable strategies at the district level, in which department education officers such as DEOs and TEOs should be responsible and they bound their teachers to work on early marriage awareness and follow up in their villages or in the vicinity, all of which play a very crucial and important role.  And this is the only way we can get rid of the bad experiences of child marriages from our districts. There is a need for Institutional reporting and referral mechanisms at the district level to effectively respond to prevention, referral, and rehabilitation of victims’ child marriages. We need to discuss the reasons for child marriage disadvantages, its sensitivity, and the negative impact on young people’s lives, as well as the social impacts in the district by highlighting route cause and pitfalls of child marriages. We all need to stand up and voice against child marriage no matter where we think as a responsible and report to local authority.

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