LAHORE - In every half-an-hour, a mother dies and one of the major causes of these deaths is early marriage; many lives can be saved only by delaying marriages.Family Planning Association of Pakistan (Rahnuma-FPAP) CEO, Syed Kamal Shah said this while speaking at a media workshop on child marriages, organised by the Rahnuma-FPAP) in Lahore. It was participated by the media persons from different cities. Shah said because of physiological vulnerabilities, girls aged 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women aged 20 to 24 and there are countries that have controlled the maternal mortality rates by delaying the marriages. Kamal said the association has been working with clergy for the last 35 years on the issue and the prohibition of child marriage cannot be contradictory to Islam as the Holy Quran has laid emphasis on the health of a mother. In developing countries, complications during pregnancy or childbearing have become the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19. The media persons from different organisations suggested that different forms of media should be used to create awareness about the issue and door-to-door campaigns also be initiated to break the customary practices. They also suggested that awards and scholarships be announced for reporters so that they can cover real life stories and highlight case studies after visiting remote areas themselves that can have more impact.Aisha Sadiq, Rahnuma FPAP, while briefing the media persons about the issue informed, though there is no research or data available in the country and most of the cases go unreported but according to some reports 30 percent of all marriages fall into the category of child marriages in Pakistan. Statistics also reveal that child marriages are more prevalent in interior Sindh than in other parts of Pakistan. Each day more than 25,000 young girls become child brides globally, joining almost 60 million girls who have married before their eighteenth birthday. Girls who marry before 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence than their peers who marry later and are more likely to believe that a man is sometimes justified in beating his wife than women who marry latter. And women with low levels of education and adolescents ages 15 to 19 are at higher risk of violence than better educated or older women, she added. For many families a child marriage is seen as a way to protect young girls, ensuring they have a man to care for them. Unfortunately, early marriage does not protect girls, but leaves them physically and socially vulnerable to illness, poverty, and gender inequality. Amna Akhsheed, Director Adolescent/Women Empowerment, informed that the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 needs to be amended as it suggests only one month imprisonment or fine extending to Rs. 1000 for parents or guardians concerned in a child marriage that does not benefit the victim in anyway. She said the legal age of marriage for girls should be established 18, as well as boys, preferably 20 and its implementation should be ensured. And promoting birth and marriage registration will help enforce these laws. She informed that revised draft of child marriage bill has been tabled in the provincial assemblies and the parliamentarians have been sensitised by the association about the issue so that they can understand the importance of the legislation and support it.