You may have heard of the recent discussion about child marriages in the National Assembly. The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2018, was passed by Senate on last Monday. It proposed that the minimum age of marriage should be increased from 16 to 18. When similar legislation was presented in the National Assembly, various members of political parties opposed it. PPP was the only party whose members voted in the favor of the bill. Members of the parliament opposing the bill called it "un-Islamic".
One of the biggest problems in our country is that men find everything un-Islamic that can make women's lives easier. Anything that will reduce the number of privileges men enjoy in our society is termed un-Islamic by those same men. In truth, these bills and laws are not even anti-men, they are simply pro-women.
People say that child marriages need to be stopped because they result in unsafe pregnancies and a lot of women lose their lives during childbirth. But is that a good enough reason to protect children? Childhood is the time when we deserve the most affection and care from our family and the whole community. Traumas of childhood stay with us forever and haunt our dreams even in late adulthood. A child is just that, a child. She should not be considered a woman. She should not be protected because she could die in childbirth. She should be protected because it is her right to have an emotionally healthy childhood. It is the right of every child, male or female, to be safe from the monsters of our society and passing such bills is the least we can do for them.