Help for Child Brides

The con­se­quences of child mar­riages in Bangladesh go far be­yond the breach of hu­man rights as the prac­tice leads to phys­i­cal and men­tal abuse and ir­re­versible health prob­lems.

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By Zu­fah An­sari

Sixty-six per­cent of the girls in Bangladesh are mar­ried be­fore they turn 18.

spot a girl barely out of her teens, cradling a baby in her arms with two oth­ers trail­ing be­hind. For such girls, it’s not the ques­tion of be­ing happy. It’s about accepting the re­al­ity and suf­fer­ing through it.

Al­though Bangladesh’s laws pre­scribe the min­i­mum le­gal age for mar­riage to be 18, such laws are hardly given any con­sid­er­a­tion in the pres­ence of cer­tain so­cial, eco­nomic and cul­tural pri­or­i­ties. De­spite per­sis­tent ef­forts by the govern­ment ru­ral Bangladesh, which proves that the trend is mainly preva­lent in ar­eas that are rel­a­tively back­ward in terms of ed­u­ca­tion and so­cio-eco­nomic growth. These are the ar­eas where par­ents are un­able to pro­vide for the ba­sic needs and ed­u­ca­tion of their girls. Keep­ing in view the afore­men­tioned fac­tors, it is not hard to spot the in­cen­tives par­ents see in mar­ry­ing their ado­les­cent daugh­ters off.

Be­sides poverty, so­cial con­form­ity

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