PESHAWAR: Child marriage directly hampers the achievement of Pakistan’s policy objectives on sustainable development, peace and the promotion of human rights. As a result of child marriage, millions more girls will end their education early—meaning millions more women may have missed the opportunity to build skills critical to their future financial independence, participation in the workforce in roles of their own choosing, or engaging in politics.
According to UNICEF, 21 % of girls in Pakistan get married before they are age 18 while 3 % of girls are married before they turn 15 years. Young people are affected by today’s greatest challenges but they are also the key to solving them. Currently, 64 per cent of the nation is younger than 30 and 29 percent of Pakistanis are between 15 and 29. Pakistan has the largest youth generation in history.
Blue Veins a local NGO in collaboration with the Child Welfare & protection Commission with the support of Mundo Cooperante is establishing girls’ clubs to empower girls to enhance leadership and life skills on how to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and child marriage girls club coordinators are
Acting Chief of Child Welfare & Protection Commission (Govt of KP) said” The Child Commission KP is committed to empower adolescent girls, engage families and communities to change gender and social norms change, strengthen the system for better service provision “
Sana Ahmad Program Coordinator Blue Veins and coordinator of Child Rights Movement (CRM) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said: “We need to go beyond seeing youth as victims of child marriage, or beneficiaries of programs, and acknowledge that they have a lot to contribute d. When we value, invest and meaningfully engage young people, they can become the champions that we need to end child marriage”
Eshmal a young girl from Charsadda says” providing young people, especially girls, with the opportunities to learn new skills, develop their social networks and gain access to safe spaces encourages them to become agents of change in their own communities.”