Child Marriage: What should YOU(th) do?
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Nowadays Child Marriage which is commonly known as
“বাল্যবিবাহ (Ballo Bibaho) in Bangladesh is increasing
dangerously! According to the law of Bangladesh, marriage between
a girl under 18 years of age and a boy under 21 is called
The Child Marriage Act of 1929 certifies-
-> Child Marriage is a punishable crime.
-> Parents and other persons supporting this marriage will be punished too.
-> Child Marriage can be canceled.
[Punishment of Groom & Bride]
According to Child Marriage Control Act 1929, section 4:
-> If any under 21 year old man marries any woman under 18, or if any under 18 year old woman marries any under- 21 year old man; they both will be jailed for one month and/or will be fined BDT ৳1,000 taka (almost $12.5).
[Punishment of Marriage Register]
According to Child Marriage Control Act 1929, section 5:
-> If any person arranges/manages Child Marriage, gives direction to arrange or manage Child Marriage he/she will be jailed for one month and/or will be fined BDT ৳1000 taka. But if the accused person can prove that the marriage was not a Child Marriage, then he/she will be free from the punishment.
[Punishment of the Parents]
According to Child Marriage Control Act 1929, section 6:
-> If the parents of a girl under 18 & a 21 year old boy make a deal to arrange a Child Marriage, support Child Marriage, inspire Child Marriage, fail to stop Child Marriage and don't take responsibility of Child Marriage will be accused and will be jailed for one month and/or will be fined BDT ৳1000 taka.
(NB: A woman can't be or mustn't be jailed. They can be
Child Marriage rates in Bangladesh are amongst the highest in the world. Every 2 out of 3 marriages involve Child Marriages. According to statistics from 2005 45% of women then between 25 and 29 were married by the age of 15 in Bangladesh. According to the “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 63% of all women aged 20–24 were married before they were 18. Mia's Law was enacted in 2006 to protect child brides from abuse following the torture and murder of Mia Armador, an 11 year-old who was killed by her abusive 48 year-old husband. This law requires all marriages under 13 to require special government permission. The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs is making progress in increasing women's education and employment opportunities. This, combined with specific education about child marriage and cooperation with religious leaders, is hoped to decrease Child Marriage.
Now we should come to the present situation. The current situation is not improving at all. In the rural areas of Bangladesh Child Marriage is increasing day by day. They are collecting fake birth certificates, providing a fake date of birth and arranging Child Marriage. This is the dangerous point. The UN says 48% girls are married before they are 18 and ICRW says 66% girls are married before they are 18. The girls are having their rights taken away. It's violation of human rights. These Child Marriages must be stopped.
But there are some positive points too. The younger generation, smart and educated boys & girls, are more concerned about Child Marriage. They are concerned about their rights. They arrange rallies, seminars, roadshow to create awareness among the mass people. We should come forward to prevent Child Marriage. We should certify the safety of our girls.
Now let's look at the conditions worldwide:
Every year, 14 million girls in the world are married as children, denied their rights to health, education and opportunity, and robbed of their childhood. If we do nothing, by 2030 an estimated 15.4 million girls a year will marry as children!!
Every year, an estimated 14 million girls aged under 18 are married worldwide with little or no say in the matter. In the developing world, one in seven girls is married before her 15th birthday and some child brides are as young as eight or nine.
Neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and
mothers, these girls are at far greater risk of experiencing
dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth, becoming
infected with HIV/AIDS and suffering domestic violence. With
little access to education and economic opportunities, they and
their families are more likely to live in poverty.
-||Child marriage and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)||-
Child marriage directly hinders the achievement of 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Simply put, the international community will not fulfil its commitments to reduce global poverty unless it tackles child marriage.-||Girls are disproportionately affected by child marriage||-
While boys are sometimes subjected to early marriage, girls are disproportionately affected and form the vast majority of the victims of child marriage. A comparison of the proportion of young women aged 15-19 who were married in 2003 to young men aged 15-19 who were married in the same year found the ratio to be 72 to 1 in Mali, 8 to 1 in the US, and 6 to 1 in El Salvador.-||Child marriage: What does international law say?||-
The right to ‘free and full’ consent to a marriage is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) prohibits child marriage.
Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),
governments have committed to ensure the overall protection of
children and young people aged under 18, however, child marriage
and the range of rights implications it has, substantially
infringe these protections.
-||How can we end child marriage?||-
Solutions vary according to the circumstances in each community, but I have highlighted some of the effective interventions below.
=> 1. Educating and empowering girls
Education is one of the most powerful tools to delay the age at which girls marry as school attendance helps shift norms around child marriage.
Improving girls’ access to quality schooling will increase girls’ chances of gaining a secondary education and helps to delay marriage. When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries on average four years later.
Empowering girls, by offering them opportunities to gain skills
and education, providing support networks and creating ‘safe
spaces’ where girls can gather and meet outside the home, can
help girls to assert their right to choose when they marry.
=> 2. Supporting young people to become activists for change.
=> 3. Mobilising and educating communities
Laws alone won’t end child marriage – in many instances
legislation is not enforced as many local authorities are
reluctant to be seen as interfering in the private affairs of
families. Many are simply unaware of the scale of child marriage
and the harmful impact it can have.
=> 4. Bringing men and traditional leaders on board
Religious and traditional leaders, too, can play a key role in
speaking out against child marriage and changing community
attitudes. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has spoken forcefully on the
need for men and boys, as well as religious and traditional
leaders, to support efforts to end child marriage.
=> 5. Enacting and enforcing laws that set a legal minimum age for marriage
While most countries legislate for a minimum legal age for
marriage, this is often not enforced. Some countries continue to
have a legal age for marriage lower than in the UN Convention on
the Rights of the Child. The legal age for marriage is also
higher for men than women in many countries.
=> 6. Introducing incentives
Introducing economic incentives can help to encourage families to
consider alternatives to child marriage. Incentives include
microfinance schemes to help girls support themselves and their
families, and providing loans, subsidies and conditional cash
transfers to parents of girls at risk of becoming child
=> 7. Raising awareness in the media.
Let there be a world free of Child Marriage!What should YOU(th) do to make the world free of Child Marriage?