Highlights of Initiatives of Child Marriage in Bangladesh Part 7
Programme Coordinator (Gender Justice and Diversity)
Girls Not Brides is a global network which is working with almost 1000 organisations from 90 countries across the globe. In Bangladesh, they are working with 26 organisations which includes national, international and local NGOs. If any organisation wants to be a member of Girls Not Brides, they must have at least 3 years of experience in the field. For the progress and success of a movement, one must approach collectively. When different organisations working on an issue come together on one platform, their voice becomes stronger.
In July 2016, with the help of funds from Amplify Change, a project called “Empowering Girls on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights towards Combating Child Marriage” was initiated which involved the grassroots network to fight against child marriage. 12,000 students were reached with the help of this project. Through an endline survey that was conducted in July 2018, it was discovered that there was a huge change in the thinking of students regarding child marriage and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH). This report was shared in a national learning/ sharing meeting. This way the grassroots findings were brought to the national level.
Ambassadors from the grassroots are brought to every learning/ sharing meeting. Previously, there was one ambassador, a student who collected 1tk from every student from his school every day. This money was used to help the families of girls who were vulnerable to getting married due to financial hardships and economic pressure. Girls Not Brides encourages people like this to come forward to share their stories. Another project that will be initiated in the future aims to engage men and boys to raise their voice for ending violence against women.
This way Girls Not Brides brings organisations from different platforms together to spread awareness and conduct workshops among students, parents, teachers, imams and other members of society.