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Empowering adolescent girls to stop child marriage in Bangladesh

Local Inter Pares implementing partner Nijera Kori putting up graffiti during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Credits: © Nijera Kori / Inter Pares, Bangladesh, 2021

Even before the pandemic, the incidence of child marriage in Bangladesh was very high. Due to COVID-19, many families suffered economic hardship and tried to marry their young daughters as a way to survive. But Canada’s support to Inter Pares’ project Strategic Interventions to Build Momentum on Sexual and Reproductive Health has helped raise awareness about these practices.

Nijera Kori, a local project partner, worked with adolescent girls and women to create graffiti in public spaces to spread messages against sexual and gender-based violence and child marriage. A 14 year old girl named Trisha (pseudonym) came across the graffiti message “Stop Child Marriage—Right Now!” outside Nijera Kori’s office. That gave her the courage to tell Nijera Kori’s staff that her parents wanted to marry her against her will.

With the girl’s consent, the organization informed local officials and sent administrative officers to both her family’s home and the home of the potential groom to warn them of the consequences of allowing child marriage. As a result, Trisha’s parents signed an agreement that said she did not have to marry.

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