Bangladesh Is Allowing Child Marriages Despite The Efforts To Prevent Them
Many people are viewing this particular move as a great leap backward in Bangladesh’s campaign for reducing child marriage. It the parliament approves the law changes; girls below 18 would be eligible for marriage in “special cases.” However, the biggest problem is that no one defined these “special cases” in the law proposal. Experts are concerned that this would increase the risk of early pregnancy, domestic violence, and even rape.
Despite the law that was voted decades ago which bans marriage for girls under 18 and men under 21, the nation has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. The parliament is expected to revise the offered change during the next session which will begin on 22nd January. Although Bangladesh managed to reduce child marriages significantly in the past few years, this sudden change could severely jeopardize the statistics and become a giant step backward.
The spokesperson for the organization named Girls Not Brides, which is a coalition of over 650 charities said –
“We have worked with thousands of girls who have been pulled out of education, married off early, bear the scars of early pregnancy, and forced to marry their abusers. This is simply unacceptable.”
We can see that despite the great efforts of the officials to put an end to it, the conservative tradition doesn’t simply die off overnight.
However, as far as the “special cases” go, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that exceptions could be made in cases of accidental pregnancy, or protecting the “honor” of the girl and her family’s reputation.
For instance, in 2011, 32% of girls under 18 were engaged to be married. If we compare the data with the information from a decade before when 37% of girls engaged in premature marriage, we can see a drop of 5%, which is huge.
The most devastating fact in this whole mayhem is that the child brides often get denied their basic human rights such as proper education and free will. These violations directly affect their financial state, and most of them are forced to live and depend on their husband’s income.