A bill has been submitted by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal MPA Abdul Rasheed to the Sindh Assembly secretariat that calls for parents to marry off their children by the age of 18. The bill has yet to be approved.
The bill says that if parents are unable to comply, they will provide a “justified reason of delay” before the deputy commissioner of the district. If they fail to report to the DC, they will be fined Rs500.
Rasheed told that the bill is in accordance with Islamic teachings. “Rising rape cases, social ills, immorality and immoral crimes can be reduced by following Sharia teachings…and marrying off children by 18 or puberty.”
Other MPAs told that the bill is unlikely to pass, and making marriage compulsory without considering the financial stability of the couple is impractical.
MPA Sadia Javed said that Islam has not made 18 a compulsory age for marriage. A person at 18 does not complete his education degree, which means he is unlikely to be employed by then. No one would want their daughter married to an unemployed person, she said.
Rasheed said that unemployment is a legitimate concern, but the government is responsible for ensuring barriers to an early marriage are removed. Eighteen is the minimum age for marriage in the province currently.
I believe this kind of bill does not justify rape or any other issue that women face in our society. Rape is something that is something happening with young children aswell. Marriage does not justify it at any cost. The main issue for this is the lack of knowledge. Children should be allowed to marry at any age they want. 18 is just the age where children are yet to persue their career. No one would want to marry an unemployed man. Every girl dreams to be marrying a person who is well established. Such kind of bill should not be passed in any way.