ISLAMABAD – Bedari and Action Aid Pakistan will jointly arrange National Conference on Girls’ Early Marriages on March 20 (Tuesday).

The conference is being arranged to raise awareness about the consequences of early marriages and stress the need for amending the relevant laws to prevent and discourage girls’ early marriages. Senator Saeeda Iqbal from Pakistan People’s Party and Shakeel Awan from Pakistan Muslim League (N) will also participate as special guests on the occasion, said a news release issued here.

Early marriages is a wide spread phenomenon in the country. Though both boys and girls suffer in such cases, girls have to face a lot more problems than their male counterparts. It violates their basic rights including the right to marry a person of her own choice and right to education.

On the other hand, early marriage brings medical complications as maternal mortality rate is highest among teenage mothers. A girl child married at such a tender age is unable to break the shackles of patriarchy and poverty. It affects her physical as well as economic well being.

The civil society organizations has joined hands to take up the issue and discourage such actions in the society which are clear violation of basic human rights. Bedari and Action Aid are humanitarian organization working for protection of human rights in the country.

Meanwhile, World Poetry Day will be observed across the country on March 21 (Wednesday) to celebrate the achievements of poets and encourage them to bring positive reforms through producing valuable literature.

Different literary organisations will arrange variety of events including seminars, conferences, contests, readings and festivals to mark the day. The purpose of celebrating this day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world. Poetry as important genre of Literature can be used as a way to induce positive values in the readers, educating them to live a better life. Poets have a power to build a better world for all through their writings.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declared the World Poetry Day in 1999. World Poetry Day also provides an opportunity for children, in particular, to be introduced to poetry at home and in schools. Classrooms all over the world will be busy with lessons that seek to equip students with the necessary tools to identify the various types of poetry, examine the works of poets and engage in writing their own poetry.

Exhibitions and poetry evenings showcased the work of poets on or around March 21 to mark the day. UNESCO promoted the efforts of small publishers to publish poetry. The day was first observed in 2000.