The Sindh government intends to address the social evil of child marriages by passing a bill that bans the practice altogether. This was brought to light through a conference conducted by Sindh Minister for Women Development, Special Education and Social Welfare, Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani. She stated that the entire society, including journalists, activists, teachers, academicians and ordinary citizens, are stakeholders and they must focus on this cultural epidemic before we lose more of our innocent children to it. She further said that people should report such cases to the government so that they can be addressed, instead of allowing it to go on.
The draft of the Bill for Prevention of Child Marriage was approved by the relevant House committee and tabled in the Sindh Assembly for its passage. One can’t help but notice how dilatory our process is; child marriages have been taking place in the country in all provinces right under the nose of provincial governments and the federal government too did anything about it. Children, especially young girls, have been thrown into the very mouth of abuse and domestic torture by their very own relatives out of greed for money and social status. Girls as young as nine-year-olds and even below have been married off to men thrice their age – as a result of being viewed as a financial burden on the family.
This form of tyranny and violence against our children is unacceptable. All the other provincial governments should take a leaf from the book of Sindh and immediately legislate on the issue to cement efforts to prevent child marriages from occurring. What we need at this very moment is a legal process that instantly eliminates any and every intention to embroil our underage young ones into marriage as well as provides support to already married adolescents.