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Child marriage is a common practice in many communities in Bangladesh. Fueled by generations of poverty, this cycle is tied to low education levels and few economic opportunities, especially for girls. With limited choices for families, social customs that restrict the rights of women and girls are especially common, and prevent gender equality from flourishing.
While the legal age of marriage in Bangladesh is 18 years old, 59% of girls are married by the time they turn 18. This number is higher in the country’s rural areas, where 71% of girls are married before the age of 18. The situation is made worse by a lack of availability and access to sexual and reproductive health information and services particularly for young, unmarried women.
- Build the agency of girls and boys to make decisions for their futures and to say ‘no’ to child marriage
- Mobilize families and communities to change attitudes and raise awareness of the harmful consequences of child marriage
- Scale up age verification and marriage registration systems to help leaders at all level of government to prevent child marriage
As today’s youth build their skills, understand and exercise their rights, they will be able to make informed choices about their futures, including if, when and whom to marry. Young girls and boys will become agents of change, supported at all levels of government, to help to prevent the practice and support of child marriage.