• Monday, Dec 09, 2019
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Girls more active in curbing child marriages than boys

  • Published at 01:49 am May 17th, 2019
Girls-Rajib Dhar
Participants at the research report unveiling event in Dhaka on Thursday, May 16, 2019 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The evaluation research was conducted following the end of the “Bride not before 18” collaborative campaign of the National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh (NHRCB) and World Vision

Female children are more proactive in higher numbers at stopping child marriages thane male children, according to research findings.

The evaluation research was conducted following the end of the “Bride not before 18” collaborative campaign of the National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh (NHRCB) and World Vision.  The campaign ended in late 2017 and The Nielsen Company (BD) conducted the research study for World Vision. 

The study was conducted in 20 upazilas of 10 districts, dividing them into two major parts: intervention areas where donor agencies have worked, and control areas where no one has conducted any campaigns against child marriage.

Presenting the findings, Sohana Mehjabin Raptee, senior executive (client service) of the company, said the awareness and willingness of locals in stopping child marriages is much higher in the intervention areas than the control areas. 

Interestingly, the contribution of female children to curb child marriages, was found to be higher than that of male children, she added. 

“52% of female youths (ages 15-24) and 48% of male youths in the intervention areas were reported to have taken part in stopping child marriages. In control areas, only 8% are female and 4% are male youths,” she said. 

Although the use of fake birth registration certificates has come down by 50% in intervention areas, this malpractice is down by only 37% in control areas, she said.

More female respondents (72%) in intervention areas said they could convince parents in delaying early marriage, whereas only 64% of boys agreed with this outlook. 

The study also showed that parents in invention areas (80%) agreed to stop child marriage if they witnessed such incidents, whereas the number is lesser in control areas (67%). 

Sabrina Nupur, deputy director (advocacy and justice for children) at World Vision said their awareness programme is ongoing in 55 sub-districts where the children of their Child Forum members managed to stop some 3,000 child marriages. 

Some 200,000 children are connected with 2500 Child Forums in these areas, she added. 

Professor Dr Shahnaj Huda of the department of Law at the University of Dhaka, said the government is saying that the rate of child marriage has decreased to 47%. 

Although the government has formulated the Child Restraint Act, the time has come to find out if the law is being implemented properly, she added.  

NHRCB member, Nurunnahar Osmani, said the rate of child marriage in 2013 was 66% and after five years it’s still 59%, raising questions about how much progress has actually been made in curbing child mirages.