Put an end to child marriage
The Disadvantaged Adolescents Working NGOs (DAWN) Forum held a conference of adolescent boys and girls in the city with a call to put an end to child marriage.
Dr Mahbuba Nasrin presented the keynote paper at the conference held at the Shishu Academy Auditorium on Saturday.
Quoting a survey, the speakers at the conference said that about 78 percent of girls in Bangladesh are married off before they reach 18.
There is a strong link between early marriage and high mortality rate of young mothers, they said, adding that early marriage is also a key obstacle to women's empowerment.
The speakers also said about one third of teenage girls aged between 15 and 19 have already given birth or become pregnant.
They underscored the need to ensure birth registration of children as a measure to prevent child marriage.
Prof Latifa Akand, Ayesha Khanam, president of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, journalist Shah Alamgir and Gulshan Ara Chowdhury and Kazi Baby, president and secretary general of DAWN Forum respectively, spoke at the conference.
Later, young boys and girls presented a cultural programme about the negative effects of early marriage.