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." Also read: 13,886 child marriages in 7 months during Covid-19 outbreak: MJF 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. Also read: 10 million additional girls at risk of child marriage: Unicef 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." Also read: Bangladesh has the highest prevalence of child marriage in S Asia: UNICEF 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."
Between April and October last year, at least 13,886 children were married off in 21 districts when Bangladesh was grappling with Coronavirus in its initial stage, according to a survey.
Education Minister Dipu Moni on Saturday called upon guardians, teachers and health workers to create awareness among adolescents about safe sexual and reproductive health.
Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) on Thursday urged the government to reform rape laws, enact witness protection laws, and complete investigations and trial in a timely manner.
At least 626 children were “sexually abused” during January-December last year despite the closure of educational institutions and the absence of public gatherings amid the pandemic.
Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) on Sunday honoured 10 Heroes of the Covid Pandemic, who came forward voluntarily in providing food, cash livelihood and health support, stood up against stigmatization of certain groups, or stopped and prevented child marriages including violence against women and girls.
A staggering 74 percent of Bangladeshi youth are not taking any initiative to upskill themselves for post-COVID-19 job market challenges, according to a survey. Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), with support from Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the UK Government, released the findings at a webinar on Saturday. The study’s goal was to assess the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on Bangladeshi youth, BYLC said in a press release issued on Sunday. When COVID-19 hit Bangladesh, the government was prompt in prioritising remote learning strategies to keep education uninterrupted, yet students’ learning was affected by regional and institution-wise disparity in digital readiness, it said. According to the study, although COVID-19 has given rise to the demand for a whole new set of skills, young people are yet to recognise the importance of acquiring such skills. Young entrepreneurs with limited cash runway struggled to stay operational during the pandemic. Besides, 62 percent of the surveyed young entrepreneurs reported that they had to shut down their businesses temporarily or permanently due to the virus outbreak. In the absence of low-cost funding, digital and physical infrastructure, and mentorship support, young entrepreneurs foresee the business landscape of the country as bleak for them. As the youth were trying to disentangle the challenges posed by COVID-19 in their education, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities, their mental and emotional well-being suffered. Sixty-one percent of the surveyed youth mentioned experiencing mental stress in this situation, but only 20 percent of them took expert advice. Help-seeking behaviour was lower in women than that of men mainly due to social taboos and family restrictions. Speaking at the webinar as the chief guest, Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury stressed on the importance of vocational training for youth to address the gaps in skills and employment opportunities. "It is essential for us to prioritise technical and vocational education, or else we will not be able to reap the benefits of demographic dividend,” he said. The survey was conducted from April to September and 1,464 youth, aged between 18 and 35, across eight divisions of Bangladesh took part. The respondents included students, fresh graduates, young professionals, and young entrepreneurs. Among the students, there was representation from public universities, private universities, colleges under National University, Bangla and English medium schools. Educators and industry experts were also consulted to suggest ways forward to address the challenges pertaining to employment, youth's experience of online education, entrepreneurial opportunities, and mental well-being during and after the pandemic. The webinar was moderated by Ejaj Ahmed, President and Founder of BYLC. Special guests Shaheen Anam, Executive Director, MJF, and Tina F.Jabeen, Managing Director and CEO, Startup Bangladesh Limited, also spoke at the webinar. Read Also: BYLC hosts virtual run to observe Int’l Youth Day