On 22nd March, 2021, Partners For Law and Development (PLD) hosted the ‘Prioritize Prevention, Question Criminalization: Reframing Approaches to Child Marriages in South Asia’, an NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum Parallel Event. The event was hosted by PLD as lead in the Feminist Inquiries into Rights and Equality (FIRE) Consortium.
The event saw rich evidence building from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka that reflected not just a diversity in early marriage trends, but also its linkages with lack of quality education, employment and safety for girls. The evidence, an outcome of a collaborative regional process of documentation and exchange, raised pressing issues of deprivation, marginalization, stigma and criminalization of adolescent sexuality – which cannot be divorced from policy discourses on early and child marriage.
RESURJ’s Executive Coordinator, Marisa Viana, was part of the conversation, along with other speakers. She spoke about child marriage law and discussed its adequacy, or the lack of it, in preventing early domesticity and childbearing for girls, in the context of RESURJ’s work around adolescents rights and autonomy under the Beyond Criminalization campaign.