It is the right of every girl to say no to marriage if she pleases and pursue her education. We do know that girls are the backbone of every developed and under-developed country, since without the assistance of females, no nation can be successful. But, unfortunately, we are unaware of the rights of females as they are facing numerous obstacles and societal issues like honour killing, child labour, acid attacks, unemployment, child marriages, rape and many more. It is tragic that 15 million girls are married off before the age of 18 each year and every second a girl becomes a child bride. A report by Save the Children also revealed that every second, girls under the age of 15 are forced to marry to much older men. Child marriage starts a cycle of disadvantages that denies girls of most fundamental rights to learn, develop and be children and it has also so many other harms which can ruin their lives because they cannot attend schools and are subjected to domestic violence. Here, many questions arise. Are females born to have a discouraged life? Don’t they have the right to be educated? Why are they being neglected by the government? Who is the onus of these girls whose jubilance of life is crushed, due to marriage? Apart from this, poverty and gender discrimination are the main root causes of child marriages. Furthermore, recently a 14-year-old girl was married to a 59-year-old man. Now 15, she is three months pregnant and says that “my marriage is a misery for me and I feel blessed that I’m having a baby, but I’m a child and have to raise another child.” This is the time that she should be in school but she is out of school, due to her marriage. Going to school gives choices and opportunities in life, allow girls to play an active role in their communities and break the cycle of poverty. Educating girls is one of the most powerful tools to prevent child marriages. Although child marriage is a global issue, yet its prevalence is high in Balochistan due to various causes such as lack of education and awareness; in Balochistan, approximately 22 percent boys and 63 percent girls are married before the age of 18. Child marriage affects both boys and girls, but a majority of girls is affected by this torment. The splendid lives of girls are spoiled. It’s alarming that children of age 10 to 14 are getting married. Because of early marriages, the mortality ratio during pregnancy is high. Child marriage still persists in most of the villages in Balochistan where illiterate people are involved in such heinous negligence. The people from rural areas are unaware of child marriage and its effects. Nevertheless, in January, a minor, Sarah who belonged to a poor family got married before she even hit 16. “I was very much interested in studying and wanted to become a school teacher but unfortunately now my dreams are crushed owing to early marriage,” Sarah laments her plight. There are so many children like Sarah whose dreams are being crushed owing to child marriages. Girls have the right to not be forced into marriage and they have a right to stay in school as the most fundamental rights of girls are to learn and develop, to be children, to be empowered and be free from harm. Why has the government abdicated its responsibility to ensure that girls are protected against this pervasive ill that plagues our society? Only education will cure this epidemic. The writer is a part time teacher at DELTA and a student of law at Turbat University. He can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, February 6th 2019.