USAID Mission Director Derrick S Brown says gender-based violence impacts the victim’s ability to reach full potential
Speakers at a webinar said gender-based violence is extremely high in Bangladesh and people are seeing news of rape in the media every day.
They made the observation on Tuesday at a webinar titled “Child Marriage and Gender-Based Violence”.
USAID’s Bangladesh Counter Trafficking-in-Person project (BC/TIP) implemented by Winrock International organized the webinar.
The discussion was held to commemorate International Day of the Girl Child 2020 with the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future.”
Dr Abul Hossain, project director of the Multi Sectoral Program on Violence Against Women (MSPVAW), of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, attended the event as chief guest. Derrick S Brown, mission director of USAID, Bangladesh attended as a special guest.
HM Nazrul Islam, program team lead of USAID’s BC/TIP project, moderated the discussion meeting.
Dr Abul Hossain underscored the need for raising awareness among parents and grandparents of children to effectively address the issue of child marriage. In most cases these groups are mainly responsible for arranging the marriage of minor girls and in some cases, boys.
He also highlighted some of the initiatives taken by the government to stop child marriage, including enactment of the law and its rules, the National Plan of Action, introduction of hotlines, establishment of child marriage prevention committees, and mobile courts.
Pointing out that child marriage and gender-based violence are very much interrelated, he stressed the need for concerted efforts by all concerned to fight against child marriage and gender-based violence.
USAID Mission Director Derrick S Brown said gender-based violence impacts the victim’s ability to reach her full potential. It also affects all social sectors and hampers economic growth.
He also highlighted some of the initiatives taken by the USAID funded BC/TIP program, such as the training of 4,486 duty bearers, including 656 marriage registrars who play a vital role in reducing child marriage.
At the outset of the meeting, Liesbeth Zonneveld, chief of party of the BC/TIP project, welcomed guests and participants to the discussion meeting. He highlighting some of the initiatives taken by the BC/TIP program in reducing child marriage and gender-based violence in Bangladesh.
HM Nazrul Islam made a presentation on a study carried out by Catalyzer Limited on behalf of the BC/TIP project. He shared the findings of the study that revealed the situation and reasons for child marriage, and also the knowledge level of stakeholders on laws related to child marriage, and its practice on the ground.
Noreen Khan, gender and development specialist from UNICEF, and M Rabiul Islam, deputy director of Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission, also spoke as guest speakers at the occasion.
In her closing remarks, Liesbeth Zonneveld pointed out that there was similarity of actions or activities implemented by different organizations with that of the activities of BC/TIP in stopping child marriage and gender-based violence.
She stressed the need to further strengthen collaboration among them to address the issues.