Expert consultation on strategies for ending child marriage held in Dhaka

News Hour:

An expert consultation on Evidence-Based Strategies for Ending Child Marriage: Why Empowerment Matters was held at BRAC Centre Inn in Dhaka on 10th November. This consultation meeting was chaired by Dr Sajeda Amin, Senior Associate of the Population Council.

HE Leoni Cuelenaere, the Ambassador of the Netherlands was present at the event as a distinguished guest. Also, Dr. Ubaidur Rob, Country director of Population Council, Dr. Noor Mohammad, Executive director of PSTC, Sara Hossain, Advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court and others expressed their valuable insight and opinion on the issue. Besides, representatives from different development agencies and academicians were present at the event.

As a global hotspot for child marriage and a setting that has witnessed much improvement in social sector programs, Bangladesh has become a test bed for policy experiments on how to end child marriage. A synthesis of the Bangladesh experience has much to offer countries trying to undertake similar programs in South Asia and elsewhere.

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At present, there are multiple government and non-government stakeholders led interventions to stop the practice of child marriage in the country. They range from education focused schemes to rights-based solutions to those that emphasize on financial incentives.

The objective of the consultation was to critically evaluate our collective experience to date and articulate a generalizable underlying theory of change. The main concept paper “Can Conditional Transfers Eradicate Child Marriage?”

The discussion assessed along with qualitative evidence and drawn upon findings from recently, conducted program and fieldwork to share personal accounts of victims of early marriage to highlight in what ways social (instead of economic) constraints govern marriage decisions in rural Bangladesh. The workshop participants also analyzed legal solutions to the problem.

Based on the presentation and discussion, the experts argued in favor of a multi‐dimensional, longer‐term and holistic view of programs, that takes into account dimensions such as realized rights, health and access to education rather than cost‐benefit based approaches that rely on single‐focus indicators.

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The workshop participants also analyzed legal solutions to the problem. Based on the presentation and discussion, the experts argued in favor of a multi‐dimensional, longer‐term and holistic view of programs, that takes into account dimensions such as realized rights, health and access to education rather than cost‐benefit based approaches that rely on single‐focus indicators.

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