Walk marks awareness about teenage girls’ rights

World Population Day today

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—A teenage youth group led the World Population day advocacy walk here Sunday afternoon from the General Post Office (GPO) Murree along the Mall Road. Participated by the thousands, the motivational walk was organised by Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC), Islamabad Crescent Lions Club (ICLC), Islamabad City Lions Club, Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan), and Islamabad Leo Club to mark the World Population Day.
Theme of the walk was “investing in teenage girls”. Senior politician ex-MNA Hanif Abbasi also joined the walk as chief guest. World Population Day is observed every year on July 11 (today) and the purpose of the walk was to generate awareness among the people about rapidly growing population.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Masood Ghani, Civil Surgeon Federal Government Poly Clinic Hospital said the marriages of teenage girls create many health issues that could not be recovered. Therefore, the parents should be vigilant in this regard and should not accept any social pressure.
Muhammad Hussain Turi said the teenage girls around the world face enormous challenges. Many are considered by their communities or parents to be ready for marriage and motherhood. Many are forced from school, damaging their future prospects. Even among girls who stay in school, access to basic information about their health, human rights and reproductive rights can be hard to come by, leaving them vulnerable to illness, injury and exploitation.
Shaaref Munir, President Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club said, all the Leo Clubs would develop an integrated awareness raising campaign against the teenage marriages of the girls. They would spend some time on weekly basis with the marginalised communities to inform them about the worst consequences of the early marriages.
Shaaref Munir said the health, education and human rights challenges are exacerbated among marginalized girls, such as members of ethnic minorities or those living in poverty or remote areas. Yet when teenage girls are empowered, when they know about their rights and are given the tools to succeed, they become agents of positive change in their communities.
Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said, “Our society and government should ensure health, education, nutritious food and basic human rights to the teenage girls than getting them married at the innocent age. The early marriages are creating health complications for the girls besides psychologically disturbing them for their entire life.
The marriages of teenage girls also show the moral and ethical paucity of the society, said Munir Ahmed adding, it is evident that the government has totally failed to implement the law of the land. Many of the nongovernmental organizations also wait for the donor funding to raise voice against this big issue of our society. We need to be socially courageous to develop a frontline against the menace of early marriages of the girls. He said, In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that 11 July be observed by the international community as World Population Day, a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. This year’s theme is ‘Investing in teenage girls.’ One of the notables of town Pir Azmat said Islam gives all rights to the girl-children as well, we need to end decimation against girls. We need to give equal rights of education, health social grooming and career opportunities to all the girls.

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