Enactment of Child Marriage Restraint Bill demanded
PESHAWAR: EVAW/G Alliance (KP) in collaboration with UN Women Pakistan has warned that COVID-19 crisis would exacerbate the issue of child marriage and has demanded enactment of Child Marriage Restraint Bill in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In a joint press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Monday on the issue of pending Child Marriages Testraint Bill in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, EVAW Alliance member organizations said that the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain, but they envisage significant impacts for marginalized groups particularly girls and young women.
There are reports that in some areas, girls who are out of schools are being prepared for marriage as a result of COVID-19 and its anticipated impacts.
Girls and young women face underlying age-related barriers and discrimination in accessing essential services, information, support and safety for protection of their rights.
TCSOs cautioned that forced child marriages could be on the rise due to school closures, food insecurity, and economic uncertainty triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sana Ahmed, Program Officer Blue Veins said, “Emergency settings as pandemic of this nature will also present unique challenges that can increase child marriage both in the acute and recovery phases. Challenges include the loss of household income, higher risk of violence in the household and lack of access to schooling.”
The EVAW/G Alliance members demanded to enact KP Child Marriage Restraint Amendment Bill 2019 without any further delay.
They also demanded support to public policy efforts aimed at interrupting child marriages during the pandemic and beyond. - APP