“I was fourteen years old, when I got married”
Says Rehnaz, a resident of Mardan district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. “My husband never worked, so I had to go out and look for work at an early age.” Rehnaz, now 25, is a mother of three children, living in a small house shared by her brother in law. While her eldest son goes to school, Rehnaz’s six years old daughter remains deprived of her right to education.
“It took time but I managed to help myself. Birth of my second child was a turning point in my life. It was then that I decided that I have to help myself. I sold my gold earrings and bought a buffalo. I love it like my own children, as even in the hardest of days, I can earn my children a meal by selling buffalo’s milk.
Few months back, as I was expecting again, I decided to visit a health camp, where I met with the local community resource person. She guided me on the antenatal check-ups, and referred me to a health facility nearby. I was scared at first, but I was determined to stand up for my children and myself so I followed my doctor’s advice regularly. Two months back, I delivered a healthy baby girl, named Noor.
I believe that no girl should be married at an early age.
No child should have to go through what I did. Beginning with myself, I will fight for the right of my daughters to marry only when they are of the right age.