J 1.1 Eliminating Child Marriage (Campaign against Child Marriage and Adolescent Pregnancies):
Child Marriage and adolescent pregnancies are closely linked with the organization’s strategic objectives regarding empowerment of women, youth and children. Rahnuma-FPAP is rigorously to address the issue through its regular striving activities of diverse nature across Pakistan. In collaboration with UNFPA in 2007. Rahnuma-FPAP conducted a study titled “Child Marriage in Pakistan, a Taboo”. The findings of the study are not just a problem of remote and marginalized areas of Pakistan, but are widely prevalent, affecting over a third of Pakistan’s adolescents, and continuing in a vicious cycle to affect their children. The report found that the highest percentage of child marriages in rural areas prevails in Sindh, with 72% of females and 26% of males in the selected sample, married before 20. Sindh also has a high percentage of females in urban areas married by 20, reaching 36%. Balochistan closely follows Sindh in terms of early marriages in rural areas. Desk review on the situation of Child Marriage “Child Marriage in Pakistan” situational analysis was conducted during 2011, which suggested many factors, including poverty, protection of girls, family honor and the provision of stability during unstable social periods, as the reasons behind child marriage. Strong correlations were found between a woman’s age at marriage, her level of education, age of her first delivery and the age of her husband.
Rahnuma-FPAP initiated integrated and comprehensive interventions which included advocacy, lobbying, awareness, sensitization, BCC and services delivery. . Some of the success stories are;
Women as compensation: reaching survivors of coerced marriages and violence in Pakistan. This project was specifically geared towards protecting victims of gender based violence in general, and girls & women who have fallen victim to the practice of Swara in particular. This project has reached more than 40,000 community members, including youth, women and men in 15 Union Councils each in Swabi and Mardan districts of KPK.
Child Marriage as a Violation of Human Rights; “Advocating for Effective Laws”: With the financial support of AusAid this project was undertaken during 2011-2012 to bring legislative reforms on child marriage in Pakistan. Through this project, commitments were solicited from government and policymakers to address the issue and revise Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA), 1929, in the context of UNCRC.