Despite the previous best laid efforts to fight underage marriage, Bangladesh is currently witnessing a sharp rise in child marriages during the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by multiple disparate factors including reduced income flow among families, especially in the lower income categories, and schools’ closure. Aiming to make a renewed push to re-establishing child marriage prevention as a national priority, USAID, through itsUjjiban Social Behavior Change Communication Project, implemented by Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP) is going to launch the ACTIONS TO PREVENT CHILD MARRIAGE campaign, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MOWCA). The campaign aims to encourage families to appreciate the value of girls and to provide them with the opportunity in achieving their dreams and aspirations. The campaign is designed to advance the goals and objectives of the 10-year national strategy (2018-2030) to prevent child marriage.
The launching event will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at 10.00 a.m. via zoom platform.
Md. Sayedul Islam, Honorable Secretary, MOWCA has kindly consented to grace the event as Chief Guest.
Amir Hossain, Director, Information, Education, Motivation Unit, Directorate General of Family Planning and Xerses Sidhwa, Director, Office of Population, Health, Nutrition and Education (OPHNE), USAID Bangladesh will grace the ceremony as Special Guests.
The campaign will implement radio, television, and digital advertising nationally as well as community-level activities in Sylhet and Chattogram accentuating the health risks of early pregnancy, the high returns of investing in girl’s education, the current law in Bangladesh that prohibits child marriage, and the existing instruments available for reporting child marriage and seeking victim support.
Part of the campaign includes collecting 1 million pledges from adolescents, parents, community leaders, policy makers, private sector, and civil society representatives as a reminder that everyone has a responsibility to protect girls from early marriage, create safe and healthy environment for girls and boys in their households and communities, and help them reach their full potential, which will benefit the society as a whole.