Source: Daily Business World
A Bill Raising, The Age For Marriage To 18 Years For Women, Was Approved: Here we present you a freshly baked news right from Islamabad oven! The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights collectively passed a bill to revise the Child Marriage Restraint Act and increase the marriageable age to 18 years.
The Child Marriage Restraint Bill 2018 was proposed by Senator Sherry Rehman last month to speak about the differences in marriageable age among the provinces.
She told the high child death rate and stunting in Pakistan is because of early marriages, adding:
“Here CNICs are being issued at the age of 18 and people cast their votes at the age of 18, so why are they allowed to start married life, which is very important, before 18? There should be uniformity in all the laws.”
Source: The Express Tribune
Senator Rehman’s draft was backed by Senator Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, who appended that matrilineal and neonatal death is higher because of early marriages.
Bill was presented last month to address disparities in marriageable age across the country.
“I moved a similar bill in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but religious segments became a hurdle as they believed that the age of puberty is lower,” she said.
Senator Mohammad Ali Saif spoke Pakistan had endorsed international conventions which imply that the age of adulthood is 18, which have been approved and implemented by many Muslim nations.
“Adulthood includes mental, physical and emotional stages. Here people do not mature even at the age of 45, so I suggest that the cut-off should be 18 years and the bill should be passed,” he said.
In less advanced areas, girls are being married off at the age of five years, said Senator Usman Khan Kakar, and kids are even married when they get 40 days old only.
Senator Sana Jamali, while forwarding the bill, narrated that in her hometown, a 67-year-old guy espoused a 14-year-old girl and departed the next day.
Senator Keshoo Bai told the committee members she was wedded early and knew the challenges of becoming a mother at a tender age.
Senator Hidayatullah also voiced the expectation that the bill would be implemented in the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
A declaration published by the Senate said:
“It was debated that as per Islamic law, puberty is the only condition for marriage. However, a consensus was reached that as long as such liaisons are not allowed prior to it, Islamic law was not breached.”
Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari stated the government was in favor of the bill.
According to Committee chair Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, it was unpropitious that such bills were pending because religious groups had become obstacles to them. He proclaimed that the bill had been passed unanimously.
It's worth noting that this isn't the first time parliamentarians have attempted to revise the Child Marriage Restraint Act and increase the marriageable age to 18. In 2017, Senator Sehar Kamran’s bill was refused by the Senate Standing Committee for Interior for being ‘un-Islamic,’ while then-MNA Marvi Memon vetoed a bill she put forward in this regard in 2016.
Ms. Mazari informed the Senate committee that a bill to amend the Pakistan Penal Code and criminalize coerced disappearance has been sent to the Cabinet Committee for the Disposal of Legislative Cases.
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