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‘A wedding or a funeral’, latest Kafa campaign against forced child marriage

11-7-2017

Kafa, enough violence and exploitation organization launched during a press conference yesterday its new media campaign, ‘a wedding or a funeral’. The event comes as part of Kafa’s persistent struggle to combat forced child marriage and to accentuate its adverse effectson the lives of little girls. On the occasion, Kafa director, Zoya Rouhana, pointed out that the patriarchal system continues to dominate the general conception of the role and social status of women which refuses to recognize their rights. This, Rouhana said, reflects a reluctance on part of the government and officials to reform or change outdated and obsolete legislations to this effect. In her address to the legislative body, Rouhana called for putting an end to religious encroachment on personal status issues and for enacting a minimum age of marriage at 18 years. Rouhana also criticized the amendments introduced by the Parliamentary Administration and Justice Committee on articles related to ‘assault on honor’, which retained provisions which allow the husband to rape his wife and which exempts rapists from punishment in a situation where the culprit lures a girl with a promise to marry her. Kafa president also touched on the economic and social impacts of marriage of minors on society to transcend the line of reasoning which makes the marriage of underage girls a private family matter. In a related vein, Al Akhbar newspaper brought to light a recent report by the World Bank and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) entitled, ‘the economic impact of child marriage through fertility, education, employment and health’. According to the report, child marriage will cost developing countries trillions of dollars by the year 2030, noting that continuous educational attainment of girls is an established way to evade their early marriage, and pointing to positive outcomes of ending child marriage, notably, an increase in women’s expected earnings. (Al Akhbar, An Nahar, Al Mustaqbal, July 11, 2017)

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