Published: 2018-03-18 12:47
Last Updated: 2018-03-18 13:45
A recent report released by the Supreme Judge Department indicated that 51,084 marriage contracts involving underage girls were issued in the period between 2012-2016.
Despite efforts by local organizations to raise awareness about early marriage and its consequences, the number of early marriages had noticeably increased in that period.
In 2012 alone, 8859 girls got married while in 2013 the number increased to 9,618, 10,834 in 2014, 10,866 in 2015 and 10907 in 2016, according to the Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI).
SIGI cautioned against the negative impact early marriage had on minor girls, especially in regards to child bearing, as it could limit the education and career opportunities available for girls.
Additionally, the report acknowledged that economic disparity was a factor contributing in early marriage as none of the married girls aged between 15-19 owned lands and only 0.4 percent of them owned houses.
In the report SIGI also criticized the 2017 amendments to Personal Status Law as insufficient as they did not specify the penalties for violating the law.
Among the provisions were a maximal 15 year gap between spouses, the wife cannot become a second wife and cannot be forbidden from pursuing her education. In addition, in order to get married, minors are obliged to attend and obtain a certificate in a workshop on marriage organised by the Iftaa Department.