Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It’s Not Just Poverty | Inter Press Service

It’s Not Just Poverty | Inter Press Service: "Mar 20 2016 (The Daily Star, Bangladesh) - You give dowry and I receive it, why are you bringing government into this?”said a woman in a village in Rangpur district during a discussion on women’s status. I had the opportunity to facilitate the session, and have thought of this many times since hearing several years ago. The comment reminds me that it is extremely challenging to get rid of a harmful practice if it is socially accepted, even when it is prohibited legally. Law is important, but not enough to bring social change.

Recently there have been several discussions about child marriage, since there were reports that the government might lower the minimum age of marriage for girls. Like many others, I strongly believe that the minimum age of marriage for girls must remain 18 years, and any move to change this is a serious violation of child rights. But today’s article is not about this. I would like to reflect on why the rate of child marriage (64 percent) is so high in Bangladesh, even when we have the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929."

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