Outrage at forced marriages of underage girls

Source: Dawn News

Women belonging to religious minorities have expressed outrage and condemnation at, what they say, the abduction and forced marriage of ‘minor’ Arzoo Raja in Karachi.

The Minority Women’s Forum (MWF) slammed the underage marriages of girls, especially those from religious minorities, in Pakistan who were abducted and made to change their religion.

“Under the Child Marriage Restraint Act this amounts to statutory rape,” said one of the members of the platform. “The case of Aarzoo Raja, which has recently gained traction is just the tip of the iceberg, but it brings attention to the multiple vulnerabilities of minor girls belonging to religious minorities who suffer the cross-sectional issues arising from social divisions based on class, caste, religion, and gender.”

She said various research studies have repeatedly explained disastrous consequences of underage marriages on the health of the girl child, especially if she has children and her deprivation from education which is a basic right.

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