16% girls become mothers before 18 in Pakistan, claims UN women report


ISLAMABAD (ENNS/MD) A report released by UN Women has found an alarming number when it comes to child marriages with more than one-fourth (28%) girls married before 18 years of age in Pakistan.
The findings make part of the research report titled ‘Young Women in Pakistan: Status Report 2020’ released virtually by UN Women and National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) on Monday. It reported that 16% of the young women became mothers before the age of 18 years.
The report, which was supported by Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pakistan with technical support by the Center of Gender and Policy Studies (CGaPS), seeks to address knowledge gaps by identifying needs, priorities and action for empowerment of young women by looking at the status of young women in Pakistan and shows how strategic investment will accelerate progress and actions to empower them.
According to the report, around 48% of young women aged 15-24 were not in educated, employed or trained as compared to 7% men. Less than 2% young women own physical assets while of all young women (married or unmarried), only 3% owned agricultural land and a mere 2% cent owned a house.
On decision-making and empowerment, the report said only 24% of the young women made decisions about their education and employment. On the subject of marriage, only 1% could make decisions about their marriage, while 16% were consulted by the family.
The report also highlighted that one-fourth of young women need permission to seek healthcare, while less than one-third can decide about purchasing food and clothing.
The report in its findings also said 49% of every married employed woman reported control over their cash earnings, while only 9% have a say in how earning of a spouse is used.
Of the married women, 29% of the young women reported experiencing controlling behaviours by husbands, while 44% of young married women and men see no harm in wife-beating. 15% of young women experienced physical and 4% experienced sexual non-spousal violence, while 14% of currently married young women reported physical. Four percent reported sexual spousal violence in the last 12 months.
Of the survivors, only 23% sought help while 16% just informed close friend or family members but did not seek help. Three percent of the survivors informed the police, lawyer or other help mechanisms.
The report dont talk about sample number and methodology.

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