Articles, Blog

Epidemic of Child Marriage in Bangladesh

December 10, 2019


[Voice-over]
Marriage is a turning point in anyone’s life. For women and girls in Bangladesh it’s often the moment when they leave their parents home for the first time and move to a new home and belong to a new family. But for millions of girls in Bangladesh, marriage comes too soon and the damage follows them throughout their lives. [Title]
“MARRY BEFORE YOUR HOUSE IS SWEPT AWAY”
CHILD MARRIAGE IN BANGLADESH [Testimony of Sharmin, married at 14]
The river took everything that we had. My parents would’ve never let me get married, but they had to because we became poor. We weren’t always poor. We had a house. But it was destroyed by the river. [Testimony of Moin Uddin, Sharmin’s Father]
Then we bought land and built a new home there. Then that house washed away. So we moved to another property and built a home there. A few years later the river took that house away. So after my fifth house was destroyed we moved here to this house. [Voice-over]
The combination of extreme poverty and repeated natural disasters creates a perfect storm to destroy girls lives. Without help from the government, child marriage becomes a survival strategy for families. [Testimony of Sharmin, married at 14] What could my parents do? Because they couldn’t even feed me, they gave me away. [Testimony of Mizanur Rahman. Chair, National Human Rights Commission]
If you consider the whole of Asia, and particularly South Asia, Bangladesh probably is the country which is mostly beset with this problem of child marriage. The curse of child marriage, I would say, is the highest in the region. [Voice-over]
Bangladesh has the world’s highest marriage rate for girls under 15. It’s an epidemic. [Testimony of Parvin, married at 11]
I’ve been married for 2 years. I studied until class 4, but my family went through a financial crisis, and I couldn’t go to school anymore. Then I was sent to work in a house [as a maid] when I was a kid. I worked there for almost 3 years. They didn’t pay me at all. [Voice-over]
Parvin’s older sister Belkis also had to work as a maid at the age of ten, and then married because the family was losing their land and livelihood to river erosion. [Testimony of Belkis, married at 13]
[My husband] is much older than me. My in-laws would hit me, beat me and harassed me. My husband would treat me badly. It was terrible for me. They would beat me so I came back to my father’s house. [Voice-over]
Their bodies are still developing and so are their minds. Yet these girls are forced to endure situations that no child should face. [Testimony of Sharmin, married at 14]
I have a one-year-old daughter. The child was ill when she was born and I couldn’t buy the medicines she needed to get better. So we had to borrow money in order to buy the medicines. We had to buy so many medicines. It was very hard having this baby. I want my little sister to study. I’ll help her find a job
and hope she’ll be independent enough to make her own choices. Testimony of Ahmed Mizanur Rahman, school Principal]
Without educating girls, we cannot educate our next generation. Due to child marriage I have lost three students this year. [Parents] want to reduce their burden. They think that girls are the burden to them. [Voice-over]
Even when education is “free”, many families can’t afford
the additional fees for exams, uniforms, pens or stationary. So poor girls leave school. And girls who leave school, get married. [Testimony of Sifola, Married at 13]
The school was really far away from our house and my parents were very poor. And that’s why I was married off instead of continuing my education. I cried a lot and asked my mother, “Why are you marrying me off so early?” “If I go to school I could become an intellectual and have a career.” [Testimony of Muhammad Jahangir, Marriage Registrar]
In the case of girls the minimum age is 18. For boys the minimum age is 21. Upon presentation of the birth registration
we decide whether they’re eligible for marriage. Maybe on paper it says they’re at the legal age, on paper, but basically it’s not so. If they’re not, it’s against the law. The marriages that take place in the local neighborhoods, almost 100 percent of them are performed by the imams. If [the people] insist, there’s nothing I can do about it. [Voice-over]
Local government officials are not just turning a blind eye to child marriage, but are facilitating it. [Testimony of Sifola, married at 13]
At that time, my birth registration papers said I was 13 years old. My brothers gave money to the people who do the birth registration and changed my age to 18 and then married me off. [Testimony of Mizanur Rahman. Chair, National Human Rights Commission]
Quite surprisingly we found that there have been a government initiative to lower the age of the marriageable girl and the plan is to lower it to the age of 16. In that case you will find 1001 reasons when the guardians or the parents would be tempted to lower the age of their girl child and give her to marriage which is something we do not want to see any farther in the country. We want to prohibit child marriage as such and the position of the National Human Rights Commission has been not only to prohibit but also to make child marriage a punishable offense in the law. [Outreach theater performance by “Wedding Busters” Child Protection Group]
How old is your daughter? Not [young], she’s 13 years old. Sister is right, she’s 13 years old, a grown girl. She is only 13 years old and you are saying she is a grown girl? [Voice-over]
The government isn’t enforcing its own law on the minimum age of marriage. So some children are taking matters into their own hands. [Outreach theater performance by “Wedding Busters” Child Protection Group]
Let’s get her married. She is only in grade 6. How does that even matter? She’s a big girl now. I want to study more and become a successful doctor. Why are you getting me married? [Voice-over]
The Wedding Busters are a group of children who are working to end child marriage by educating their communities through theater and door-to-door outreach. [Door-to-door outreach by “Wedding Busters” Child Protection Group] If she becomes pregnant at such an early age, then there’s a risk that both mother and child might lose their lives. [Testimony of Muhammad, “Wedding Busters”Child Protection Group]
If we keep working at it, I believe that child marriages in our area will come down to zero. Please let her study and play and help her become an independent woman. Please don’t get her married before 18. [Testimony of Tanzila, “Wedding Busters” Child Protection Group]
I’m 12, and on November 7th, I’ll turn 13. As a girl I don’t want another girl’s life to be ruined. I want her to be free the same way I’m free. [Voice-over]
Despite many promises, the government of Bangladesh is failing to protect its girls. And even worse, is putting them in danger by proposing to lower the minimum age of marriage from 18 to 16. The government should act before another generation of girls is lost.

47 Comments

  • Reply jen dukie May 20, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Those girls have a future ahead of them, why take that away?

  • Reply mohammed hanif May 27, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    stop making propaganda ,,,this days only few poor idiots parent does child marriage, and they are from low class family .working in peoples house, and working in rice fields .or rickshaw drivers

  • Reply idylle♡doll June 13, 2018 at 5:53 am

    It is absolutely ludicrous how so many sick fucking pedophiles or uneducated enablers justify child marriage with the menstruation argument when FACTS and EVIDENCE prove that children who conceive often either die themselves, or the baby dies or are plagued with pregnancy issues because their bodies are not mature yet. Having your period starts to prepare you into adulthood and is the beginning of sexual maturity, it does not mean their bodies are sexually mature. How many people can still be so ignorant is beyond me.

  • Reply MangaMango 2 June 14, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Are they not made to have birth certificates from birth and ID that should be presented to apply for a marriage license? I guess they'll forge one – so sad …. Good for Marriage Busters!!!

  • Reply Humaira Hiya June 17, 2018 at 6:26 am

    I knw Bangla… but I don't knw why the hell I'm watching the subtitle!!!!!!!

  • Reply Ts 1toughact2follow June 18, 2018 at 2:29 am

    My heart really truly goes out to them .

  • Reply Raisa mahmud July 10, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    ist not right thi

  • Reply Gladys Colon July 29, 2018 at 2:00 am

    STOP BUILDING HOUSES BY THE RIVER!! BUILT 5 HOUSES BY THE RIVER AND THEN COMPLAINS THEY WERE SWEPT AWAY!! YOU FOOL!!! STOP BUILDING BY THE RIVER!!

  • Reply Belin Romero August 1, 2018 at 6:12 am

    You don't have money for school don't send them but don't marry them to pedophiles

  • Reply Jenalyn Calunsag August 9, 2018 at 2:42 am

    The govt. Should provide or think some livelihood programs for the poor families. To survive somehow. And teach them on how to reach their dream by completing their schools.

  • Reply Monira tasneen August 27, 2018 at 2:14 am

    i am also bangladeshi , i feel very sad for them

  • Reply charon banks August 31, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    I DON'T RESPECT ANY MEN FROM THESE REGIONS WHO DOES THIS TO THESE LIL GIRLS! SO SICK AND DISGUSTING!

  • Reply Deanna Taylor September 15, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    How about moving away from the river? That us no excuse to have your child married off….duh

  • Reply Katie Stephenson September 17, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    That's just silly to marry at a young age person because they wont no half of the stuff what marridge is and they wont then bean teeched all about it and what its about before you settle down and thing about it . Sure they need a life to do what they want and to make them more better when they grow up then they might of had a bit more time to then think about what it is . Men over there oversley don't understand what it properly means and it s forcing someone to do it and they have no right to do that if it's with the girl who doesn't want that is called harassment

  • Reply Sue Rebel September 20, 2018 at 2:52 am

    I don’t give a damn if this is a old school tradition. It is child pedofile. Let a child be a child and live free to be a kid. These men are pervs need their ass beat by a MOM.

  • Reply Sue Rebel September 20, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Come to the US with this shit. Your ass will go to jail and be on FDLE page for life. Then your ass will be pimp in prison bitch. No child should be marry to no one. The child should enjoy being a kid.

  • Reply wadud abdul September 23, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Instead of lowering down at the age of16 why not at the age of 3 years old. SO STUPID BANGLADESHI PARENT

  • Reply unoino 111 September 29, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Instead of building 5 houses he should have built a houseboat

  • Reply Shazana Khan October 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

    We paid for my cousin to study n at 18 she dropped out got preg n married that’s the only way there I think. Plus my aunt is a thief stole my elderly mothers (73) house which she spent her whole life building. I have no sympathy for these losers. Hubby will whore out his wife for medical cost. They will lie for money, stab u in the back with voodoo. In fact my sis brought my cousin here for holiday he ran off after 3 years of complaining to the immigration he finally got deported, thank god. He used my mother for money n got married with two children. His whole family is cheap n disgusting everyone just wants to get married, have sex n have children. How can u raise them, feed them or educate them, give them medical attention? Pathetic animals. Utterly disgusting behaviour

  • Reply Jing Garcesa October 5, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    The state of mind of this kind of parents is no good
    the government should put them in jail

  • Reply grayze gazi October 7, 2018 at 7:52 am

    omg!!?so verry sad girls!! Im verry thankful to God for my good life!!

  • Reply Chary Rapada October 7, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    OMG…..

  • Reply Rita Fernando October 18, 2018 at 12:07 am

    YOU. KNOW THAT YOU CANNOT AFFORD AFAMILY. AND GIVE A GOOD. LIFE .ATLEAST. EDUCATION. SO. WHY. YOU. BRING. SO MANY. INNOCENT. BABIES. TO. THIS. WORLD? AND GIVE. THEM TO. MARRY. OLD. FOOLS? EVEN THEY. DONT HA VE. CHILDHOOD. STUPID FOOLS. BUILDING. HOUSE S NEXT. TO. RIVERBAND. AND. LOOSE. YOUR. GOVT. NOT. HELPING. YOU. WHY. CANT. YOU. USE. BIRTHCONTROL?

  • Reply Mahmud Emon October 27, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Now Bangladesh government taken necessary steps for Child marriage. Currently, it is develop & taken action against parents. I think after couple of year it will decrease gradually. Inshallah

  • Reply caroline jena November 13, 2018 at 2:31 am

    They couldn’t afford a nearly free education but can afford to change her legal age to 18 to be married…hm.

  • Reply Luis Mariano December 7, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Omg ??

  • Reply Lavonia Duda January 5, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Good. 🙂

  • Reply Tanzil Sardar February 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    nice job check out my chanel posting new videos

  • Reply Angelica Felix February 3, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Poor little girls,! That's the end of their lifes,???

  • Reply Syed Mohd gulam Asghar February 19, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Nice report , one thing which is satisfactory is that now they are spreading awareness among themselves that child marriage is itself a abuse .

  • Reply Abdul Matin March 24, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Too bad

  • Reply Tomas Bodling March 26, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Economic reasons mentiond 13 tims, religios reasons 0. Interesting bit of edeting thete

  • Reply imaslowlerner June 29, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    The problem is not young girls getting married the problem is those young girls are producing too many brown babies= population control. Rarely do you hear anything about the Eastern European young girls marrying.

  • Reply merryweatherflowers July 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    If I was the parent I’d make sure she stayed in school because she could become something amazing and even support her family better. All your doing is loosing a daughter and fantastic possibilities. Unfortunately I’m not the parent but if we educate we can eradicate the practice

  • Reply MICROSOFT HQ August 18, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Why not makes boat and have huge heavy Acer's on the ground so if there is a flood it stay in place and the boat will move only a few feet and go back on the ground

  • Reply michelle shell August 29, 2019 at 7:05 am

    I'm sorry all men from Bangladesh are rude I don't like them and now I hate them making their little girl marry old pedophiles!!!

  • Reply bangladesh52 September 16, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    If you can't feed them don't breed them

  • Reply bangladesh52 September 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Because of uneducated parents the poverty never end .its come round through children.One should get marry or not its their personal decision.Lets educated them support them to stand up their own feet.Society and people should change their mind set.They call their own misery through marriage.

  • Reply bangladesh52 September 16, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    dariddro circle akare ghurte thake

  • Reply mohammad sagar September 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Rare bad cases are being used to promote western agenda og jobless people working in various agencies like HRW. What do u think they are not geting pregnent if they are unmarried? Because of early marriage many girls are saved n family saved. What we are made confused with is…. Dating in western countries are not equivalent to marriage in bangladesh. Just check the abortion list in hospitals and their age in BD. You will know what i mean. I think BD should adapt to current situation and break marriage into 2 legalized stage. 1st.. registered engagement where dating is legalised but girl not handed over. 2nd.. proper marriage where girl is ready to be handed over n bare child. This is only way to counter sick western agenda n mental abnormalities.

  • Reply mohammad sagar September 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Anyone who does not have broader knowledge about my country. Who doesnt have the ground level experience. And yet making comment based on mere assumption, please leave my country , go to western countries and stay away. This video was made by people who coul not secure a job anywhere and now try ing to make money out of tax payed by people of western countries in the name og charity, not for profit org.

  • Reply navi dasor October 11, 2019 at 3:07 am

    poor rotten mind of this ppol..

  • Reply Anneka Elliot Stalvandinsky October 25, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Stop This Marriage its ridicolous, your making a majority of females, contract harmful diseases, because the males and girls do not have access to propure health or medical care, in severe poverty, And please build your home on strong bricked stilts, to avoid being washed away, And Pay your Housekeepers, their not leaving without the money you owe them.
    And move up the age to be married to 18 years or older, and
    form a group to protect girls and boys make sure they stay in schools, work, study, no skiving, and get educated.) Improve The police, and government.

  • Reply Candace Lions November 22, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    My daughters too

  • Reply Aniqa Usha November 22, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    This is what everyone shows of Bangladesh but I’m not agreeing that this is a good things it’s not but ppl from outside of Bangladesh only see the nasty heartbreaking news but there is still some of Bangladesh which is good

  • Reply Jerry Singh November 29, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    No wonder the people are illiterate

  • Reply Jerry Singh November 29, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Government/ stupid culture is the problem

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