PR LAHORE - Early marriage should be prohibited to ensure health and safety of young girls.

These views were expressed by ulema during an interactive dialogue organised by Rahnuma FPAP, as part of the Tabeer Hum campaign with its partners, on the subject unanimously agreed to raising the age of marriage to 18 for girls.

Notable religious scholars who endorsed and accepted the negative health consequences of early age marriages included President of the Academy of Religious Studies, Karachi, Dr S M Hasan Rizvi, Maulana Faizullah, a notable religious scholar from Quetta and Allama Maqsood Ahmed, a distinguished religious scholar from Peshawar.

As a celebration of the day a national interactive dialogue with religious scholars and survivors of early age marriage from across Pakistan, was conducted on March 7, in Lahore. The objective was to highlight serious health and human rights-based repercussions of early age marriages through testimonials and experiences presented by survivors of early age marriage.

Testimonials presented by survivors detailed their account of early marriage and subsequent pregnancies, impact upon education, dignity, and heightened vulnerability to violence. The forum proved to be a very effective ground for presenting testimonial and discussion regarding Islam’s teachings on women empowerment and human rights, while also allowing religious scholars present to accept the negative consequences of early marriage upon the health of young girls.

The ulema accepted that Islam compulsorily teaches Muslims respect for life and ensuring good health. The right to life is the most basic and important right and Islam upholds this right over everything else.

The organization also celebrated the International Women Day across Pakistan in which government officials, parliamentarians, religious leaders, youth and women from communities were involved through several activities such as theater performances, interactive dialogues, poster competitions, seminars and awareness-raising sessions on women issues and exhibitions to provide income generating opportunities.