This summer, we brought you the heartbreaking story of a spike in forced early marriage of girls following Pakistan’s devastating floods. Today, GJI is pleased to update you with news of new UNICEF integrated emergency facilities that are providing protection and assistance to tens of thousands of women and girls in flood-affected areas of Pakistan. Shama Ishaq, now age 16, was forced to marry at age 12 and already has 4 young children:
I wanted to study, but my mother did not allow me to. My father had already died, so she gave me away to my husband… My children are always sick. One of my daughters died, and I have been sick since my last daughter was born… Life is hard, but it is good to have a place like this where we can share our problems with others and learn more about how we can protect our children, especially girls, from early marriages.”
READ MORE: Safe PLaCES help flood-affected children and women prevent child marriage in Pakistan, UNICEF (December 2011).