Although the overall rate of child marriage has dropped in the country, the number in the Bhola district is still alarming.
The national child marriage rate for children under the age of 15 is 15.5% but it is 19% in Bhola.
Also, the national rate of marriage of children under 18 is 51.4%, but it is 80.3% in the district.
COAST Foundation Joint Director Iqbal Uddin Saturday came up with the findings at the webinar "Causes, Impact and Ways to Prevent Child Marriage."
The COAST study notes that "insecurity" among parents is one of the major causes of child marriage as 41.7% of those surveyed identified insecurity as the main cause of child marriage.
Other factors included protection of family honour (41%), lack of awareness (44.9%), and poverty (50.9%). The study found that 67.3% of girls get married after passing eighth grade.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women and Children Affairs Ministry Chairman Meher Afroz Chumki said despite many initiatives of the government, there is still a problem of attitude towards girls in society.
Shireen Huq, member of Naripookho, said: "Not only punishment but also cultural change and social movement are needed to prevent child marriage. Integrated sex education can play an important role in preventing child marriage."
Manusher Jono Foundation (MJF) Executive Director Shaheen Anam said, "To prevent child marriage and its negative impact, it is crucial to bring the girls back, who have dropped out, to school."
SM Latif said a study found that 33% of parents find child marriage acceptable. "This situation must change. The primary reasons for child marriage vary widely in different areas. So solving the problem will require division-based programs."