Early marriage of girls is rising up in Bangladesh
Due to poverty and social insecurity, the rate of early marriage in Bangladesh has become higher. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) survey titled “Bangladesh Sample Vital Statistics 2016″ has found that rural women got married at an average age of 18.3 and urban women at 19.9. The data is collected from 2.2 lakh households across the country. The age of marriage has dropped from 19.3 in 2012 to 18.8 in 2017.
A special provision in the child marriage restraint act passed by parliament in February has allowed the parents to marry off their children before 18.
Plan International has reported four reasons of child marriage; young brides are preferred because they are more submissive, families’ belief in marriage as rescue system from sexual violence, parents cannot afford the expense of their daughter and marriage gives them economical security and lack of law enforcement.
Most of the girls are married off against their consent. About 49% women are married off against their will while only 4% boys reported the same.
Of the eight divisions, Sylhet has the highest average marriage age for both men (26.6 years) and women (20.4 years). Women in Rangpur and men in Rajshahi are getting married the earliest, at 17.9 and 24.5 years.
There are districts where girls are married as young as 16.3 to 17.5 years. They include Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Bogra, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj, Sirajganj, Tangail, Sherpur, Chuadanga, Magura, Narail, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Khagrachhari, and Patuakhali.
Rebecca Momin, who leads the parliamentary standing committee on women and children affairs ministry, said,”We’ve issued letters to all districts asking prompt actions against any marriage being solemnised with underage brides”
Aminul Haque, chairman of Dhaka University’s Department of Population Sciences has pointed on this alarming issue, said that social insecurity, job insecurity, and social media are affecting the age for maariage.
Source: Daily Star