Child marriage to reduce by 2021: Chumki

DHAKA, Jan 15, 2017 (BSS) - State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki today said the incidence of child marriage will reduce to a large extend by 2021 when Bangladesh will become a middle-income country.

"If the current trend of development continues, Bangladesh will become a middle income country by 2021," she said speaking as chief guest at an experience sharing meeting at CIRDAP auditorium in the city.

Citizens' Initiatives on CEDAW (CIC-BD), a platform of 56 non-government human rights organizations, organized the meeting.

A 15-member delegation of CIC-BD took part in the 65th conference of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) held in Geneva in Switzerland from November 4 to 6, 2016.

Today's meeting was held to share experiences of the conference.

Presided over by Bangladesh Mahila Parishad President Ayesha Khanam, the meeting was also addressed by Secretary of Women and Children Affairs Ministry Nasima Begum, Swiss Ambassador Christian Fotfch, UN Women Country Representative Christian Susan Hunter, UNICEF Representative Edouard Beigbeder, Bangladesh Human Rights Commission Member M Nazrul Islam and Manusher Janyo Foundation Executive Director Shaheen Anam.

Steps Towards Development Executive Director Ranjan Kumar Karmakar conducted the meeting.

The state minister said Bangladesh achieved progresses a lot in the area of women empowerment.

The presence of women is visible everywhere in government and private organizations and at the grassroots level, she said, adding that women are progressing along with men in all spheres in Bangladesh.

The tendency of early marriage is more in poor families, Chumki said, adding that there are many laws in the country to prevent child marriage but execution of those laws is difficult.

She said a mobile phone app has been created under Access to Information (A2I) programme of Prime Minister's Office to help women and children falling victims to repression.

The victims can send instant SMS to 10921 through the app seeking help in any situation, she added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)