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11 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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World Population Day

The World Population Day is being observed in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world today. The event is put together to spread information about population-related issues around the world. Those issues can be related to overpopulation, under-population, populations growing too fast and so on. This year’s slogan, or theme of the day is ‘Family Planning is a Human Right.’ The slogan is a direct response to 50-year-old legislature that stated, for the first time, that women and girls could opt to avoid multiple pregnancies too close together if they wanted. The day is observed every year with a view to making people aware of the importance of population issues in the context of overall economic and social development.  For nearly 30 years, the United Nations has recognized World Population Day as an annual awareness day.

The overall scenario related to women and girls’ status in the country does not raise much hope. The first deprivation a girl child of an impoverished family faces is the absence of birth registration. As a result, it is difficult to ascertain her real age. Girls belonging to the underprivileged sections of the society are exposed to harsh realities of life; for survival they are forced to work from very early age.

The grim reality is that in developing countries, one in three girls is married before she reaches 18. As a result, they cannot even complete secondary school. There are a number of demerits of early marriage of girls. It stops education of girls and exposes them to repeated child-bearing, malnutrition and broken health. The number of divorce is also increasing in the country. In the circumstances, a girl needs social security to stay alive with dignity. Sexual abuse perpetrated on them leaves them traumatized. They become victims of human trafficking and other forms of violence and exploitation. Many girls grow up in slums, particularly in the capital, without any care and attention. They have to confront dirty and unhygienic environment, malnutrition and different diseases.  

In these circumstances, what is needed is to ensure a life of security, dignity and opportunity for the girls. Sustained and concerted efforts should be made by all stakeholders including government, media and NGOs, in providing the teenage girls with proper education, essential skills, information, knowledge, health services and promoting delayed marriage by partnering with family and community. The authorities should make sure that the expected demographic dividend does not turn into a huge demographic burden.

 

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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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