Peshawar: Speakers at seminar on “Early Marriage” stressed the need for taking measures and creating awareness among the masses to prevent early marriages.
They said this during the seminar, titled, “Provincial Women Consultation on Sexual Violence Abuse and Child Marriage” organized jointly by South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-) and We Can (WC) held here at a local hotel on Thursday.
Representative of various civil societies hailing from District Nowshera, Peshawar and Tribal areas working specially women and child related issues participated in the seminar while those shared their views on the child the topic including MPA of Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Mufti Fazl Ghafoor, Sikander Zaman of SAP, Harun Sarb Diyal from Hindu community, Augston Jacob representing Christians, Amina Durani, Ahmar Advocate, Zahir Shah Advocate, Madiha Shafi, Dr Rafih, Murad and others.
They said that due to lack of awareness and cultural and traditional barriers, parents got their children married before reaching to their age of eighteen, which they added were caused many problems for both of them. The child marriage, they said that lack of education among children even their parents was also a main factor in rising the child marriage instead of decreasing it despite presence of relevant laws.
They said that women and children on every platform were more vulnerable than men as displacement of people from Swat and Federally Administered Tribal Areas during war against militancy and natural disaster, they faced worst kind of troubles even human trafficking, sexual harassment and forced marriage as well.
They said they were reluctant to voice for their basic human rights and even they were deliberately kept unaware about their rights so that they could be confined to backwardness and illiterate. Violence against women is also a very big issue and there is dire need to stop it, they added.
Kamran Sharif, a national coordinator of WC regretted that despite vibrant media and civil society and different programmes related to child and women problems being conducted on different platform, sexual violence abuse and child marriage is rising instead of lessening it.
The MPA Mufti Fazl Ghafoor on the occasion informed that Islam strongly forbids from violence on women and emphasizes for imparting education to both male and female adding that It also does not allow for early marriage but it depends as “Nikah, engagement can be made anytime but to see off the bride to her husband’s home when she is physically able”.
Dr Rifat, a gynaecologist also informed the participants that early marriage is a cruelty both with boy and girl and it created hurdles in continuing their education and social activities. She said that the early marriage not only a harmful act for the health of the girl but also for her new born and both of them then feel feeble and fragile with passage of time.
Shamim Shahid said the conditions of people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) particularly of child and women were worst as compared to Lahore and Balochistan because the province had been in state of war and women and child were mostly affected.
In the seminar several presentations on the said issues were presented in detailed while other speakers also shared views regarding early marriage and sexual violence abuse, its impact and the related laws.