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12 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Child marriage

Child marriage

It is disturbing to note that there has been an alarming rise in the incidence of child marriage in Tangail and elsewhere in the country. According to a report of this newspaper on Saturday, illiteracy, poverty, sexual harassment, and adolescent love affairs are mainly responsible for these marriages. What is worrying is that these child brides face an abrupt end to their education and are forced into adolescent motherhood. Some fall prey to torture and even murder for dowry, while others commit suicide. Many of the marriages end in divorce. School dropout rates are strongly related to child marriage.

It is encouraging to note that upazila administrations have stopped marriages of many underage girls. In some cases girls are also stopping their early marriages with the help of the local administrations and are turning to studies. Early marriage stops education of girls and exposes them to repeated child-bearing, malnutrition and broken health. Marriages of underage girls are taking place rampantly in different places of the country, particularly in rural areas. How many cases are detected and actions taken against those responsible? A girl may attain puberty even at the age of 13 or 14. This may enable her to procreate. But procreation is not all. Mental maturity is needed for a healthy and sound family life.

Enactment of law for reducing the rate of child marriage will do little if the overall mindset of the people of the country is not changed. The government has fixed the marriage age for girls at 18. But girls can be married off even at the age of 16 in special cases. Taking advantage of this provision, many girls are being given in marriage. Illiteracy, social discrimination, age-old superstition and insecurity of girls are mainly responsible for early marriage. As about 90 per cent of the total population lives in rural areas, underage marriages are being solemnised there rampantly. It is contributing to unbridled population growth in the country.  

There is also a lack of implementation of the existing rules and regulations as well as a lack of awareness. The legal and institutional barriers should be removed first. Besides, strong political commitment is needed without which steady progress in any social indicator would be impossible. A massive campaign should be launched to eradicate the menace of child marriage from the society. Parents, guardians, teachers, students, conscious citizens, UP chairmen and members, village leaders, religious leaders like imams of mosques can come forward to fight this menace.        

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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