Sunday, August 25, 2019 | ePaper

Preventing child marriage

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Md Atikur Rahman :
arly marriage is a common disorder in Bangladesh. In order to achieve Millennium Development Goals, where different remedies are being taken, there can be no conscious citizen's desire to have a different view of child marriage and its consequences. So, everyone will have to come forward to overcome this situation. Some of the steps that are effective in preventing child marriage are discussed below:
The government has to play the most effective role in this case because the government is flexible and preventing child marriage. It is possible to prevent child marriage. Our good will to prevent child marriage is to be realized. Awareness to prevent child marriage is a must.
Governments are now recognizing the importance of addressing child marriage and integrating societal changes to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. Supporting girls in avoiding child marriage, delaying having children and finishing school brings opportunities for skills and income to eradicate poverty for future generations. Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women ensure girls’ get choices as to when they marry and whom.
Reducing child/forced marriage will reduce child mortality and disability related to child/teen pregnancy or childbirth. It will also improve maternal health which will reduce vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.Though the practice of child marriage is rooted in tradition and culture, neither culture nor tradition is immutable and there is hope for change.
Enough steps should be taken to remove poverty because most of the poor child marriages are the result of poor condition. A poor girl is considered to be a burden in the poor family and thus try to get married faster.
In the village, it is said that the girl should be given marriage as soon as she is a woman. As a result, the number of child marriage is increasing. It is necessary to remove the ill-treatment like dowry, illiteracy and prejudice from the society.
Our media is active and can constitute much. It will have to do more in view of social responsibility. It will be through various case studies in newspapers and electronic media, various programs such as plays, movies, talk shows etc.  Although child marriage has been reduced, still many families continue the practice by producing fake birth certificates.
In fact, Bangladesh has many successes in social sectors, but sadly it has the fourth highest rate of child marriage in the world. According to UNICEF, “52 per cent of country’s girls are married before the age of 18. Early marriage causes girls to drop out of education and limits their opportunities for social interaction.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently reported that child marriage in Bangladesh is deeply destructive to the lives of married girls and their families; it pushes girls out of school, leaves them mired in poverty, heightens the risk of domestic violence, and carries grave health risks for girls and their babies due to early pregnancy.
Marriage of girls before the age of 18 and men before 21 is treated as child marriage, which is strictly prohibited by law in Bangladesh. It is a punishable offence for the organizers of child marriage including parents, registering entities and related persons. Achieving gender equality and empowerment of women are the most important goals to prevent child marriage.
To implement the following recommendations for the prevention of child marriage, all concerned including guardians, political leaders, civil society, and administration will have to work together. Child marriage should be forced to abolish in the society and country. Our expectations are that the concerned people will take visible steps to implement the recommendations. This list presents 16 ways you can join in the efforts to end the practice of child marriage and influence change to ensure a better future for young girls and boys around the world. Mr Carol Olson mentioned an implementation of 16 criteria for preventing child marriage in an article. I agree with the criteria. The 16 criteria are: Girls need to educate and empower, educate parents needed for child marriage, mobilize religious leaders and community elders’ support, all kinds of support adolescent girls who are already married, another legislation, advocate for women as community leaders' support and provide relevant economic support needed against child marriage. Get informed and take action for protecting child marriage, talk about the harmful effects of child marriage, men and boys - please speak out! on harmful child marriage, sponsor a girl child-donating a small amount of money each month to a child with charities like sponsors can help girls who are vulnerable to child marriage, support anti-child marriage charities and organizations, support obstetric fistula campaigns and organizations and support artists, photographers, and journalists who raise awareness about child marriage those are very important to prevent child marriage with other recommendations to prevent child marriage.
Recommendations:
1) Girls need to be educated, so that after the end of education there is a job guarantee.
2) One of the major reasons for falling out of educational institutions is child marriage. In this case, effective action will be taken.
3) It is important that women should not be discriminated against in education, jobs, and so on. It is important to be considered seriously.
4) NGOs work separately. The government and the NGOs should focus on working together.
5) If the poor people get easy legal remedies, then necessary action will be taken. Consciousness and education will play the most effective role in preventing child marriage. Because when everyone is aware, everyone can play role in preventing child marriage.
Education is must essential for women. Educated women can be vocal against all irregularities in the society. When women are aware of their rights, people around them will sit at least and they will think of imposing something. Now the time has come for women to understand their rights.
 Although in our patriarchal society, women are lagging behind the authority will have to come out of this system themselves. Women will have an effective role to prevent child marriage.  In total, everyone will have to come forward to stop child marriage and then child marriage can be prevented. n

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