Child marriage has become a major issue in developing countries. Child marriage in Pakistan is connected with tradition culture and customary practices.

Every year 15 million children are married. Many young boys and girls get married before the age of 18. This illegal act takes place for a number of reasons. In order to get benefit socially, physically and to decrease financial burdens, many parents and families promote the marriage of their young sons and daughters.

This ill targets more girls than boys. After their marriage, girls live an isolated life where they do not receive any kind of education, they are forced to perform a huge amounts of household work, impregnated without their consent and are forced to take the responsibility of raising and taking care of a child when they themselves are not mature enough.

Child marriage is the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls. Some people believe they have the right to abuse their children only because they have given birth to them. As if children are their toys. Children are not their property.

I think the only solution to a lot of these problems is education, economic development and the empowerment of women. In order for the next generation of development programs to make ending child marriage a priority, policy makers must pay attention to these strategies.

JAVERIA KAMRAN,

Karachi, April 28.