By: Hammad Ahmed
Did you know 21% of the girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18? Whereas, 3% of the girls are married before they even reach the age of 15. We all certainly do know that the age of adolescence is 21 years.
Now imagine young girls who have not even completed their matriculation or intermediate being assigned to handle such a huge responsibility. Most of the girls are promised to someone before they even step into this world. Some of them are married off just to end a dispute or to payback a loan that was borrowed years ago and the father cannot repay now. A girl’s consent before setting her up to anyone for marriage is not even deemed as important. Apart from marrying early, they are also expected to carry a child immediately after they are married. Every single day we hear such incidents of young girls being killed because they denied to marry as per their parent’s or elder’s wish or a young girl died because she could not bear the labor pain or the pregnancy. Even if a girl survives all this the amount of domestic violence she has to go through is totally unjustified. A husband can hit his wife for no good reason but she has to bear it all for the fact that if she leaves her husband then her family name and reputation would be at stake. She even has to bear all that her in-laws put her through and cannot even utter a word just to keep the families involved intact.
Why is this all so common and normal? That’s only because there is no authority to held such culprits accountable for what they are doing to these young girls. There must be some laws but is there anyone who actually had to bear the consequences for doing any such thing. The answer is, No. All these years I have only heard about such cases but never about the punishment if any such accountable person got. For sympathy we do find campaigns running on social media but we never find any person being held accountable for or punished for the harm they have caused.
Firstly, I believe that there should be strict laws against young forced marriages and domestic. Any person involved should be held accountable and punished for the deed. Apart from this, we as responsible individuals should do everything in our power to raise our voices and stop such brutality and protect the future of innocent young girls.