Ministry Of Education Takes “Small” Step In Efforts To Tackle Child Marriages
Minister Fahdlina Sidek said MOE is working to pass a law to make attending secondary school mandatory in an effort to tackle child marriages in Malaysia.
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While it is a known fact that tackling child marriages is not as straightforward as it seems, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has taken a small step towards solving the issue.
In a televised broadcast in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2023, Minister Fahdlina Sidek said MOE is working to pass a law to make attending secondary school mandatory in an effort to tackle child marriages in Malaysia.
According to Unicef, child marriages — a marriage or union before the age of 18 — have a disproportionate impact on girls.
It curtails their education, compromises their health, exposes them to violence and traps them in poverty, undermining their prospects and potential.
She added that MOE can also accommodate students, who get married at a young age, but still want to continue going to school.
Additionally, she stressed that children, who get married or become pregnant, must not be discriminated against.
There are religious groups that allow children to get married, but we need to look at these children in the context of their future. No one should be excluded in the context of education. Every part of society needs to play a role in empowering education.Ministry of Education Minister Fahdlina Sidek
This topic also drew the attention of netizens with some poking fun at the idea.
Twitter user @grxg_jp joked:
How exactly is attending secondary school supposed to tackle child marriages? Is it gonna be like oh, can’t get married today, because my math homework is preventing me from doing so?@grxg_jp via Twitter
However, many others accepted this small step to victory.
Another Twitter user @AnonyMsian said:
It’s a start. But child marriages must be banned. Let’s hope this “small” move can create a rippling effect.@AnonyMsian via Twitter
Women’s Aid Organisation deputy executive director Yu Ren Chung tweeted:
A Minister with principles (and a backbone). 👍 YB @FadhlinaSiddiq. If you’re wondering why ‘making secondary school mandatory’ is relevant. The idea is that ending child marriage requires many steps. Banning child marriage is the clearest step (which must happen). But other preventative measures like keeping kids in school matter too.Women’s Aid Organisation deputy executive director Yu Ren Chung
Staying on the topic, Malaysiakini reported that Women and Family Development Minister Nancy Shukri said Putrajaya will continue to engage states on child marriages.
Speaking to reporters today, Nancy said Putrajaya cannot impose any ruling on child marriages because it falls under the state’s jurisdiction.
We write and (make) requests. So far, Selangor and Penang have responded. Some states have some difficulty because they have native laws.Women and Family Development Minister Nancy Shukri
Nancy also said Putrajaya will continue with advocacy work and educate youth about teenage marriages.
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