Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women and Children’s Affairs Believes Eloping Girls Cause Rise in Child Marriages: Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK)’s Concern

The Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs believes girls eloping at a very tender age after falling in love is contributing to the child marriage problem. MP Meher Afroz, made this remarks at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs held at the Sangsad Bhaban on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses concern in this regard. Such comments from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs have disappointed ASK like many others.

ASK opines that it is not acceptable at all to blame girls in this way. Everyone, including parents, family and responsible persons in the administration, has an obligation to stop child marriage. It is not desirable from the committee to blame the girls only without emphasizing on the necessity to properly discharge the responsibilities of all the authorities concerned. Such comments will create a tendency in society to blame the female child for child marriage, in other words this will promote victim-blaming. Basically, it happens that most of the time, girls are married off against their will due to various reasons including economic and social status and insecurity of a family. Moreover, child marriage has increased due to the closure of educational institutions during the pandemic. In this situation, it is extremely heartbreaking that the female child is being blamed for this when they are already in the midst of insecurity. In accordance with the fourth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the government is committed to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promote lifelong learning opportunities.ASK thinks that in order to achieve the SDG goal 4, the government should take effective steps and find out the social, economic, cultural and structural reasons of the country to prevent child marriage. The Chairman of ASK Committee asks MP Meher Afroz, to withdraw this comment.

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