1.0 million pledges to end child marriage

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More than 1.0 million signatures were collected as part of the USAID-funded Ujjiban Social and Behavior Change Project to end child marriage in the country.

The pledges were presented to Minister of State for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nessa Indira at an event titled “From Commitment to Action: Ending Child Marriage in Bangladesh” at a city hotel on Saturday.

Speaking as guests of honor were Director General of Women’s Affairs Farida Parvin and USAID Director of Mission Kathryne Stevens. MP Salima Ahmad also spoke.

Participants and stakeholders express their utmost concern, saying that while child marriage is illegal in Bangladesh, the practice still persists.

Despite significant progress, Bangladesh has the fourth highest prevalence of child marriage in the world, they say, adding that the incidence has risen significantly over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to the pledges, the event highlighted a new digital library developed by the Ujjiban project in partnership with the ministry concerned.

The library is hosted on the ministry’s website and provides centralized access to information on existing laws and other resources to prevent child marriage.

It also offers ready-made social behavior change communication materials designed to enable government and other stakeholders to reach a wider audience with messages specifically designed to end child marriage.

Regarding the role, the Minister of State said Bangladesh is recognized worldwide as a role model for women’s empowerment.

She goes on to say that Bangladesh’s position in the global index for women’s development and empowerment is commendable.

At the 75th United Nations General Assembly in 2020, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pledged to make women’s participation in the workplace 50%.

Ms Indira says her ministry has taken many steps to implement it, while offering 35 types of training for women to improve their job creation skills.

Meanwhile, Ms Parvin mentions that the ministry’s safety net program, which targets vulnerable women, has provided basic food security for 104,000 women.

The country has 4,883 youth clubs for training and education.

Ms. Stevens reaffirms America’s commitment to supporting the Bangladesh government and its partners to protect and nurture the capacities of girls and boys to better themselves, their families and communities.

dr Faisal Mahmud, Party Chairman of USAID’s Ujjiban Project, delivered a welcome speech.

dr Zeenat Sultana, deputy party leader, gave a lecture here on the situation of child marriage.

Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Md Muhibuzzaman and Zakia Haq Neela from Ujjiban jointly shared the overview of the digital library.

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