Monday, April 28, 2014

Sindh celebrates the girl child (and humanity)

It was very much of a Papa dont preach, keep your rosaries off my ovaries moment- an excellent day to be a denizen of Sindh - especially if you are a girl child.  The consequences of child marriage are terrible for mind and body alike.

Sharmila Farooqi and Rubina Qaimkhani are our heroes for having placed their lives on the line by leading on this bill. Interestingly enough, we have friends named Sharmila and Rubina- both Hindu Bengalis.

However as we see elsewhere in SAsia and on other humanitarian projects (for e.g. administering polio drops), passing laws is a necessary first step but only tight enforcement and co-opting of community leaders will make this a properly functional barrier against the sea of misogyny.
The Sindh Assembly on Monday passed the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Bill, 2014 prohibiting marriage of children below 18 years.
The assembly is the first provincial legislature in the country to approve a bill to curb child marriages.
Under the bill, the minimum for marriage is 18 years. Those found violating the law would be punished in line with the penalty suggested in the legislation. According to the law, in cases of underage marriages, those involved can be sentenced to three years in prison and they can also be fined.
The bill was first presented in the assembly in 2013 by Sharmila Farooqi and Rubina Qaimkhani.

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