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How to Knock out early Marriage Causes!

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How to Knock out early Marriage Causes
Youth Empowerment Society: Lahore – Pakistan

There are numerous problems a couple can face when marriage happens at an early age for them. Early marriage which is also referred to as child marriage is common all over the globe and has inflicted dangerous and devastating effects on young children who are compelled to tie the knot in most cases. Child marriage is also indicative of the levels of development of a region or country and is generally conducted between very young girls and older men. In many parts of the world child marriage is a gratification for overcoming the family’s financial and social needs.
 Causes of early marriage:
Early marriage can arise due to a number of reasons such as these:
 To raise the economic and social status
 Religious hurdles and barriers
 Gender bias promotes early marriage of girls
 Lack of education
 Myths and misconceptions about early marriage
 Pressures from older members of the family and community
The notion that early pregnancy leads to larger families and hence providing for heirs to the throne. Some communities regard their girl children as a burden and think of getting rid of them by marrying them off early in a patriarchal society
• Harmful effects of early marriage:
Early marriage can cause severe problems like the following:
Psychological and emotional stress like forced sexual relations, denial of freedom and personal development as household chores now become a priority.
Denial of personal development and education.
Maturity levels become an issue as the little girl is now expected to play the role of a mother. Girl children undergo severe health problems like pregnancy and childbirth.
Girl brides are also involved in early childhood care.
Threat to contracting sexually transmitted diseases increases when girl children are exposed to such an environment. As girl children are still vulnerable and submissive, they can be subject to the atrocities of domestic violence and abandonment.
Mental and emotional stress in girl brides is high because they are not old enough to cope with maternal, marital or in law issues.
Though the respective Governments and society is doing much to abolish early or child marriage through campaigns, laws, policies and individual support of people, it is still a far reaching dream for young girls who are still repeatedly forced into such liaisons.
Early marriages have stretched far and wide through time and countries and finally reached America as well where children in their mid-teens are taking independent steps of tying the knot with their partners. Most early marriages are considered to be forced which is true but children entering into an early marriage out of choice should also be warned of various personal and health issues that can complicate their lives forever.

Column by : Ashfaq Rehmani
“THE PAKISTAN TIMES”
Organizer “YES”
Youth & Woman’s Empowerment Society *world-wide
you.we.pk@gmail.com

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n Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia and elsewhere, women have stood with men pushing for change. In Libya, Iman and Salwa Bagaighif are helping lead, shape and support protesters. And in Egypt, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, one of the oldest and most well-known non-governmental organisations in Egypt, estimated that at least 20 per cent of the protesters were women.

For example, the 26-year-old co-founder of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, Asmaa Mahfouz, mobilised thousands of youth in support of the protest through her impassioned YouTube video. In Yemen, a 32-year-old mother of three, Tawakkul Karman, helped organise protests against the current government.

Yet women's leadership in 2011 is not a new phenomenon. In Iran, women have for many years successfully pushed for greater freedom in personal status law, and greater employment and educational opportunities. Many Iranian women have been imprisoned simply for endorsing the Million Signature Campaign, which seeks equal rights and the repeal of laws that discriminate against women.

Women have been using social media and leveraged communications technology to pursue greater social and political openness since before the arrival of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Notwithstanding a rich history of non-violent activism and extraordinary leadership, women have rarely been involved in political decision-making in the Middle East and North Africa region.

At an even more basic level, women do not feel confident that their rights will be preserved under the systems emerging from recent political transformations.

In Iraq, there have been female judges since the 1950s and thus many of women’s rights have been protected since 1978 by a personal status law. Yet in 2003, the new Iraqi Governing Council sought to strip women of these rights. Only in the face of domestic petitions, letter writing and face-to-face advocacy were women successful in ensuring their rights were preserved. Iraqi women continue to face efforts to reduce their freedoms and each time they have defeated the assault.

Already Egyptian women are risking similar marginalisation. There are no women on the committee revising the constitution. In an almost uncanny parallel to the struggle of Iraqi women after former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Egyptians have drafted a petition, endorsed by over 60 local organisations, decrying women's absence from transitional political bodies.

Bias embedded in the new draft constitution suggests that these concerns may be real.

The international community and the new generation of progressive, democracy-minded leaders in the Middle East need to see women as critical partners for change. The evidence is undisputable. The 2005 UN Arab Human Development Report cautions that under-employment and under-investment in women severely drains overall well-being and concludes that "the rise of women is in fact a prerequisite for an Arab renaissance, inseparably and causally linked to the fate of the Arab world."

The world has an unprecedented opportunity to transform nations held down for decades by oppressive regimes. We must make sure that this opportunity is open to all citizens, including women.

Women’s role must be honoured in the struggle and protect against the fundamentalist push. Most importantly, their involvement will be key to enabling pluralistic, economically thriving societies to emerge in a region whose progress has been stalled for generations.

The window is small but the time is now and the opportunity is enormous. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day on 8 March, let's remember how critical advancing the status of women will be to success.

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