Friday, December 15, 2017 | ePaper

Conference on ‘Low Age at Marriage in Bangladesh : Myth or Reality’ at EWU

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Campus Report :
East West University (EWU) Center for Research and Training (EWUCRT) with assistance of University Grants Commission (UGC) and Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP) organized a National Conference on Tuesday on "Low Age at Marriage in Bangladesh: Myth or Reality", where the Keynote presenters were Dr Peter Kim Streatfield and Dr Abdur Razzaque from International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddrb) along with Associate Professor Dr Kamrul Islam from department of Population Science, University of Dhaka. The conference was chaired by Chairperson of CRT and Member of East West University Trustee Board, Dr Rafiqul Huda Chaudhury. Researchers, teachers and students from different faculties participated in the conference.
The average age of marriage of Bangladeshi women is 16.4 years which is significantly lower than other South Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries. The prevailing low age at marriage in Bangladesh is not in tune with its remarkable human development achievement measured in terms of reduction of poverty, fertility, infant/child mortality, maternal mortality, improvement of average income, life expectancy at birth and educational attainment, particularly gender parity in education. This is attributed to the fact that girls understate their age at marriage than their actual age by at least 2 years, as found in a study conducted by Dr Peter Kim Streatfield in ICDDRB program villages of Matlab Upazila, Chandpur.
Given the lack of systematic nation-wide vital registration data, it is imperative that further studies be conducted in more regions to triangulate self-reported age of marriage with more detailed data on independently verified actual age of marriage.  Until there is a more critical mass of such rigorous studies (or more systematic national-wide policy initiatives to improve vital registration systems), this quandary of why Bangladesh continues to have a high prevalence of early-age of marriage will remain a mystery.   

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