Child marriage rate up by 82% in Eidgaon upazila of Cox’s Bazar
A recent study on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on child marriage situation in Cox's Bazar found that its rates have increased significantly in the district since March 2021, with the highest increase of 82 percent in Eidgaon upazila.
According to the study carried out by the COAST Foundation in 32 union parishads and 3 municipalities throughout 9 upazilas in the district also found that the second highest increase was 75 percent in Ukhiya upazila.
The findings were presented at a virtual press conference today.
Jahangir Alam, assistant director of COAST presented the findings in the conference and he said that the higher child marriage trends were also observed in Ramu (72 percent), Teknaf (66 percent), Maheshkhali (61 percent), Kutubdia (54 percent), Cox's Bazar Sadar (51 percent).
Md Mujibul Haque Munir, joint director of the same organization, said that child marriage eats up 9 percent of women's income and 1 percent of national income.
"Preventing child marriage by 2030 could save 11 percent of our educational budget," he said.
The study covered 384 families as a sample by which they or their close relatives committed at least one child marriage during 2020 and 2021 and was conducted from August 4 to September 26, 2021.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said child marriage rates increased during the pandemic, while 47 percent said closure of schools was the main reason for increasing child marriage rates. Economic downturn was also found to be another important cause behind the surge.
The conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, executive director of COAST Foundation.