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Pakistan Becomes Third Largest Country To Reduce Child Marriage; United Nations

New York: Although South Asia is leading the world in reducing child marriage, it will take 55 years to completely eradicate it if it does not accelerate, says a United
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New York: Although South Asia is leading the world in reducing child marriage, it will take 55 years to completely eradicate it if it does not accelerate, says a United Nations report.

According to the World News Agency, the report released by the United Nations subsidiary UNICEF said that to achieve the goal of ending child marriage by 2030, the speed of reforms in South Asia should be accelerated 7 times.

The report states that Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan are ranked first, second, and third respectively in South Asian countries in reducing the trend of early marriage. About 18 percent of girls in Pakistan are still married as children, numbering 1.9 million, that is, 1 in 6 girls are married at an early age, even though the legal minimum age for marriage in Pakistan is 18.

However, the rate of child marriage in Pakistan is slightly better than the world average of 19 percent, compared to India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan, which lag far behind. Bangladesh has the highest child marriage rate in South Asia at 51 percent, while the lowest is in the Maldives at just 2 percent and in India at 34 percent, where one in three girls are married at an early age.

Also Read: More than 20 million children are out of school in Pakistan and a large number are malnourished

It should be remembered that South Asia is leading in the world in reducing child marriages. Yet, one in four girls in South Asia is married before their 18th birthday. The number of child brides in South Asian countries is around 30 crores which is 45% of the world population. 3 out of every 4 brides in the region give birth when they are still teenagers.

According to a UNICEF survey, 55 percent of brides in Pakistan believe that wife beating is permissible. 41% of women in India and 33% in Bangladesh also consider violence by their husbands as valid.

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