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Combating Early Marriage in Bangladesh

RDRS Bangladesh is implementing Combating Early Marriage in Bangladesh project in Rangpur, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh and Lalmonirhat districts. The project is being implemented in partnership with Plan International Bangladesh. The target community of the project is district CMPC members with 334 programme participants of the project areas. The Combating Early Marriage in Bangladesh project is designed in line with SDG -5 (Gender Equality).  

The Government of Bangladesh has set a goal of eliminating child marriage by 2041 from the country in line with target 5.3 of SDG. To achieve this goal, GoB has set two intermediate targets for 2021 which will contribute to the 2041 goal. The first one is to reduce the existing child marriage prevalence rate for girls under 18 by a third and, the second is to bring down the existing prevalence rate for child marriage of girls below age 15 to zero. In this context, RDRS Bangladesh has initiated this project to address the Vision 2041 of the government and the targets of SDG - 5.   

The goal of the project is to combat CEFM (Child Early and Force Marriage) and reduce the vulnerability of adolescents, particularly girls in Rangpur division of Bangladesh. The objectives of the project are: 

  1. Increased agency of adolescents, especially girls to protect themselves from harmful gender norms and practices, including CEFM, and to access economic empowerment opportunities; 
  2. Increased community acceptance of norms that value the girl child and actions that support girls and boys to delay marriage; 
  3. Increased responsiveness of duty bearers at national, District, and sub-District levels to prevent and respond to child rights violations, particularly CEFM, among vulnerable girls. 

The main activities of the project are training for ToT of Master Trainers for National Resource Pool consisting of trainers from DWA training cell -   on CMRA 2017, GE, child rights and protection, roles and responsibilities training package at District Level; Obtaining endorsement of District and administrations to hold orientation sessions for CMPC members; Conducting orientation training sessions of district level CMPC members on CMRA -ACT-2017, CMRA-Rule-2018, Child Rights and Gender; Day observance (16 Days Activism, International Women’s Day, National Child Marriage Prevention Day, and National Girl Child Day); Orientation to adolescent on CMRA -ACT-2017, CMRA-Rule-2018, Child Rights and Gender. 

The key highlights of the project are – District child marriage prevention committee reformed in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur and Panchagarh districts as per CMRA-Rule-2018; Upazila child marriage prevention committee is in function; District action plan is prepared on the basis of NPA.