67pc girls get married before 18: Study

About 67 per cent of girls in the country get married before the age of 18, said a research on ‘Child Marriage and its implications’.

The information came out at a discussion at Nawab Nabab Ali Chowdhury Senate House Conference Hall at Dhaka University (DU).

The Department of Population Sciences of DU and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) jointly conducted the study with the support of Department for International Development (DID).

The study said, in households where fathers have higher secondary and above education, the girls bdrate of child marriage nearly halved and where mothers have education beyond secondary, the rates of child marriage were more than two thirds lower.

Girls who receive no education are three times more likely to become victims of child marriage, it added.

The study also said, the under-five child mortality rates become 1.8 times higher when children are born of mothers who become pregnant before the age of 18.

Chief guest of the programme DU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr A A M S Arefin Siddique said, “The higher the education, the lower the rate of child marriage, this study confirms what has been my thinking, now we have the evidence.”

Dean of Social Sciences Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, Associate Professor M Bellal Hossain and officer in charge of UNFPA Iori Kato also spoke.

Emphasizing the importance of education, especially education of girls the speakers requested the policy-makers to consider making provisions for compulsory higher secondary education for girls.

The survey was conducted in 14 districts.