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Minimum age for girls’ marriage at 18 demanded

ISLAMABAD: A three-day conference in connection with the International Rural Women’s Day concluded here on Saturday.

Rural women from 123 districts were present at the 15th annual rural women conference at Lok Virsa. They demanded to set minimum age for marriage of girls at 18 years. The participants argued that this age limit should be for all beyond race, ethnicity and creed.

The conference organised by PODA-Pakistan and supported by European Union Delegation to Pakistan, Election Commission of Pakistan, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), GIZ and National Endowment for Democracy concluded by passing unanimously agreed resolutions. The resolutions highlighted rural women’s issues at the grassroots level to ensure their constitutional rights.

Urging legislators, policymakers and parliamentarians to maintain the primary principle of gender equality enshrined in the Constitution to uphold women’s political, social and economic rights, the gathering passed a set of resolutions unanimously.

The resolutions focused mainly on the areas of health, education, women’s financial inclusion, climate change, access to basic social services, political participation and women’s constitutional and citizenship rights while highlighting the need to adhere and ensure the principle of equal representation of rural women at all levels, policy, planning and implementation.

The participants from four provinces and regions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan urged the provincial governments to adopt policies based on the concept of gender-equality which included all segments of society from person with disabilities, transgender persons, minorities, different ethnicities and indigenous communities to allocate resources for their development while at the same time recognising their contributions in the national development.

The participants reiterated their demand to recognise rural women as farmers, so that equally to men they could be benefited from the government policies.

The solidarity partners who received awards were: Nuzhat Shirin, Rukhshanda Naz, Shaheen Farooqi, Bhera Press Club, Zarina Salamat, member PODA board and eminent poet Kishwar Naheed. 

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