Civil society endorses recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to end child marriages

Press Release by Blue Veins

The Provincial Alliance to End Early Child and Forced Marriages, and Child Rights Movement Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chapter (CRM KP) endorse the recent recommendations released by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) directing the government to launch an awareness raising campaign to end child marriages in the country.

The recommendations have come at a pertinent time as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is about to introduce a bill to end child marriages in the province. Currently, the consultations with various groups including leaders of various religious schools of thoughts, and representatives of different political parties are going on.

According to the CII, “Under-age marriages are wrong and should be discouraged”. The constitutional body advises the government to launch a wide-scale awareness campaign against the practice of taking child brides with the help of religious clerics and the media. The recommendations are sent to the ministry of law.

While the CII still does not support raising the age limit for marriage but suggests that administrative measures should be introduced to stop marriages before age 18 years. The suggested measures include introducing single marriage certificate throughout the country, and making it mandatory to show Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) of the bride and groom.

The other recommendations of CII to discourage child marriages include:

  • Economic empowerment of women through training and capacity building,
  • Realization of their potential as a key economic factor,
  • Encouragement and facilitation for women entrepreneurs in setting up their business (for example cottage and other home-based industries),
  • Awareness raising about women’s issues through religious leaders, academic institutes, and media.

Qamar Naseem, Program Coordinator Blue Veins, and lead of the Provincial Alliance to End Child Marriages, appreciated the stance of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and said, ”We must mobilize the power of faith. Religious leaders have the power to change attitudes and opinions about some of the most important issues facing the world —including child marriages”.

Sana Ahmad, Coordinator of the Child Rights Movement (CRM), said “CRM will collaborate with community and faith leaders in community empowerment programs to address traditions that are harmful to children, including child marriage”

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