Child marriage is a violation of human rights. It is a global issue as it has been destroying the lives and future of many children. Due to the devastating impact of early marriage on the lives of children, it has been strictly forbidden by the law. According to UNICEF: ‘child marriage is a form of violence against children.’
Even though child marriages are common in both the genders, girls contribute to the vast majority and they are affected adversely. Early marriage is an outright denial of basic rights. It refuses girls the right to make important decisions related to their life, health and well-being. This makes them more vulnerable to mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Child brides suffer various difficulties and they have long lasting consequences. Young married girls are not physically mature enough for sexual intercourse or child birth. They are more prone to pregnancy related problems that can lead to lifelong complications. These complications are a leading cause of death in young mothers. Not only do the young mothers suffer but it is also life threatening for the offspring. Young brides are also more likely to suffer from sexually transmitted infections like HIV. Child marriage forces girls out of education. Education is crucial for girls to make informed decisions related to their sexual health and welfare. By snatching away their rights to develop themselves and to learn and understand their capabilities and potentials we are just creating individuals that will always be dependent on others for everything. We are disempowering these girls and by doing so we are hindering the progress of our future. With every young girl being married off early and being compelled to leave education, we all suffer. We lose a potential future doctor, engineer, teacher, business woman, politician or a leader.
The price each one of us has to pay for every child bride is enormous. As it is said, ‘if you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.’ The education of the whole nation is at stake. Therefore, ending child marriage is essential for the prosperity and stability of our country.
Cousin marriages are customary in few parts of the world. This trend should be discouraged as it has detrimental effects on the future generation. This established cultural tradition of marriage within families increases the risk of children being born with birth defects which ultimately leads to a rise in the death rates in such communities. Every human receives one copy of each gene from their parent. If both the parents are linked, they might have a similar variant of that gene (allele). In cases where the gene codes for a disease process and both the parents have the same gene, the child is bound to get the disease.Children from cousin marriages undergo numerous problems. They are more prone to various issues which include congenital malformations, blindness and deafness, learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Down’s syndrome, metabolic disorders, cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, blood ailments, various cancers and many other such complications which may also include some incurable and complex disorders.
Children from cousin marriages undergo numerous problems. They are more prone to various issues which include congenital malformations, blindness and deafness, learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Down’s syndrome, metabolic disorders, cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, blood ailments, various cancers and many other such complications which may also include some incurable and complex disorders.
Cousin marriages is a sensitive issue as it has been a tradition since ages. While people associate benefits such as social and marital stability with it, this custom can come at a high price. It is essential that people understand the gravity of this situation and take steps to prevent this. Parents who are related should get tested to check if their genes carry any mutations that their child may inherit so they can prevent their children from undergoing severe disabilities or early death.
It is the duty of every citizen to promote a healthy society. It is our responsibility to make ourselves aware and to work for a better and healthier future for our offspring and the community at large.
We are deeply saddened by the passing away of the world’s greatest humanitarian and social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi. At this hour of sorrow, the nation’s prayers are with his family, which includes not just his wife and children but the hundreds of thousands of orphans, disabled and the sick whom he helped, saved and cured. He touched more lives than any other person.
This is indeed a great loss, not just for Pakistan, but for the entire humanity.