Pakistan Should Implement Strong Laws Preventing Child Marriage

The Guardian: Pakistan’s slow but steady progress on ending child marriage
Mohammad Zia-ur-Rahman, founder and chief executive of the Awaz Foundation Pakistan

“The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), one of Pakistan’s most influential religious and constitutional bodies, has announced that girls are ready for marriage the moment they reach puberty. … But the CII’s controversial statements should not detract from the progress made on addressing child marriage in Pakistan. In fact, a new law that prevents under-18s, irrespective of gender, from getting married was passed unanimously by the provincial assembly in Sindh … The future for girls in Pakistan can be bright if the government backs up its recent outspokenness on ending child marriage with action. We need strong laws that make marriage before 18 illegal and a comprehensive plan to make this a reality. Anything short of this will simply be lip service” (6/2).