Pakistan rejects proposal to raise minimum age of marriage to 18

On the United Nations International Day of the Girl, the Pakistani Senate rejected a bill to raise the minimum age for a woman to legally marry from 16 to 18 on the basis that it was “un-Islamic” and “contrary to Islamic injunctions”. The bill was intended to combat the frequent marriages between girls as young as 10 years old with significantly older men. Such unions not only jeopardize the physical safety and well-being of the young girls but also deprive them of education and the right to self-determination. The bill stated that the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-18 years is pregnancy.