Preventing child marriage: Coordination between govt, private sector a must
Comprehensive and integrated database crucial to prevent early marriage, said speakers at a discussion today.
Speaking at "Coordination of Government and Private Helplines to Prevent Child Marriage", they also highlighted the need for mobilising early marriage prevention committees and adolescent clubs at district level.
The event was organised by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and Multi-Sectoral Programme on Violence Against Women (MSPVAW) at Dhaka's Cirdap auditorium.
Speaking as chief guest, Director General Farida Parveen of the Department of Women's Affairs, said, "Prevention of early marriage is key to achieve equal gender participation by 2030. Efforts are necessary to ensure services in every district through the 109 helpline."
Special guest Zakia Afroz, director (joint secretary) of the same department said, "We need to enhance coordination and effectiveness among early marriage prevention committees, helplines, and various organisations to establish a comprehensive and integrated database in this regard."
MSPVAW Director Dr Prakash Kanti Chowdhury, also the joint secretary of women's and children's ministry, said they are investigating early marriage causes, strengthening committees, and digitising marriage records.
"All government staff training covers early marriage prevention discussion, and we've signed MoUs with 999 and 333 helplines for emergency coordination," he added.
Saleha Binte Siraj, additional director (joint secretary) of women's affairs department proposed a plan to gather age-specific marriage data in the census, for more accurate data on marriages involving individuals below the age of 18.
BLAST Director Mahbuba Akter, its legal advisor SM Rezaul Karim and MSPVAW programme officer Raisul Islamalso spoke at the event, moderated by BLAST advocacy advisor Tazul Islam.