The regional action plan is to be implemented in 2015 – 2018. Social and gender inequality, a desire to control women’s sexuality and protect family honour, economic hardship and lack of awareness of the harmful impact of child marriage are common driving factors.
Pakistan’s Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA) 1929 sets the legal age for marriage to 16 for women and 18 for men.
It sometimes involves the transfer of money, settlement of debts or exchange of daughters ( (council of elders from the community).
Pakistan is a member of the South Asian Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC), which adopted a regional action plan to end child marriage.
In Punjab, a Bill introducing harsher penalties for marriage under the age of 16 was also adopted.However, it does not increase the age of marriage to 18.In April 2014, the Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, increasing the minimum age of marriage to 18 and making marriage below 18 a punishable offence.A proposed similar nationwide bill was unfortunately struck down by Pakistan’s National Assembly in 2014.In a recent series of rulings, the Council of Islamic Ideology, a constitutional body which gives Islamic legal advice to the Pakistani Government, declared that Pakistani laws prohibiting child marriage are un-Islamic. Pakistan is a member of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC), an inter-governmental body which has adopted a regional action plan to target child marriage.