Game Changer: mobile application saves youngster brides in Bangladesh

Game Changer: mobile application saves youngster brides in Bangladesh

Country has highest price of youngster marriages in Asia but brand brand brand new campaign shops many years on digital database for verification

Campaigners visit a household at a town in Kurigram region of Bangladesh to distribute understanding in regards to the dangers taking part in marrying their kids down at a early age. (Picture by Arrange Global Bangladesh)

Posted Might 15, 2018

Whenever teenager Roxana Parveen overheard her moms and dads speaking about her wedding leads one evening a year ago the initial thing she considered had been just exactly how miserable her buddies had been that has both been hitched down by the chronilogical age of 16.

“Both of those had been really unhappy they are suffering badly,” said the 15-year-old Muslim, a seventh grader in Kurigram district of northern Bangladesh about it as no one asked their opinion, and now.

If she was especially unlucky, legally sanctioned rape within the marriage, domestic abuse and one or more forced pregnancies as she listened to her parents discuss potential suitors, Roxana began to panic that her fate would be the same as that of her schoolmates: studies canceled, any idea of a career dashed, dreams aborted prematurely; or.

“that they had to drop away from school and from now on I do not have the chance to spend any moment they are busy taking care of their families,” she said with them as.

Roxana’s elder cousin got hitched during the chronilogical age of 14 and was a mom of two by 17.

“She also wanted to learn she said like me, but sadly that’s not possible now.

Roxana shared one of her teachers to her anxieties in school, whom informed her that the legislation has defenses set up for kid brides, aided by the forced weddings of underage kids a punishable criminal activity in Bangladesh.

The teacher made a decision to intervene by approaching her moms and dads.

“When they heard bout all of the dangers and negative effect this might have until i complete my studies,” she said on me, they told me they would forget about it and support me.

Roxana’s tale and people of her less fortunate buddies are typical in this impoverished South Asian country, where one out of five girls are hitched down before their 15 th birthday – the rate that is highest in Asia.

Overall, 59 per cent of females wed prior to the chronilogical age of 18, in accordance with statistics supplied by Girls Not Brides (GNB), a worldwide consortium of females’s and development teams.

It has place the nation sixth into the international youngster marriage index, relating to GNB.

The training of son or daughter wedding continues to be rampant in the united states regardless of the execution in February 2017 for the Child Marriage Restraint Bill (2017), an amended form of A uk colonial-era legislation that is designed to impose curbs on which numerous consider to be an unhealthy tradition.

What the law states considers males below 21 years and girls under 18 as underage. Punishments if you force kids to wed before they reach this age consist of jail sentences all the way to 2 yrs and a optimum fine of 100,000 taka (US$1,200).

However the law has courted controversy by permitting for exceptions, vaguely thought as “special instances.” An example could be where in actuality the wedding serves within the “best interest” for the underage female.

Normal catastrophes, poverty, too little understanding of domestic physical physical violence, and lax police force additionally donate to the higher rate of kid wedding in Bangladesh, mostly in remote rural areas like Kurigram.

a game changer that is real

To clamp down in the training, the federal government has teamed up with youngsters’ charity Arrange Overseas to build up a phone application called Game Changer which allows matchmakers, Imams and officers whom enroll marriages to confirm the many years regarding the of the wedding couple via an electronic digital database.

This is certainly being done in the hope that more young women can secure work, follow their dream and subscribe to the economy instead of being destined for a life of and servitude and drudgery from a very early age, pundits state.

The application is currently operating pilots tests in Kurigram region, which includes a rate that is exceptionally high of marriages, in accordance with Soumya Guha, deputy nation manager at Arrange Global Bangladesh.

“Two in three girls listed below are hitched before 18 additionally the price just isn’t reducing despite a slew of efforts,” Soumya told

“About 100,000 individuals have already utilized the application, which includes aided us to identify and avoid about 3,500 instances of illegal son or daughter marriage,” he stated.

“as we carry on with the battle. therefore we desire to tilt the balance gradually as time passes”

Shamsur Alam, an Imam and matchmaker in Kurigram, welcomed the development of the app that is new.

“I been utilizing it for months and I also been able to stop the weddings with a minimum of four girls that are underage was in fact proposed to,” Alam told

“we made their moms and dads realize that this could be harmful with their daughters plus they backed faraway from their choice,” he said.

“Now folks are slowly becoming conscious of the potential risks, therefore more parents are coming to see Imams first to register and obtain the approval that is proper the lady’s age was confirmed,” he included.

“It is helpful and never difficult to utilize. It even includes tutorials that assistance you realize how it operates. All you have to do is don’t forget to dial a certain quantity a number that is certain*16100# and it’ll walk you through every one of the actions.”

The database shops an identification that is unique associated with three papers which can be all necessary for a married relationship become lawfully authorized. The consumer merely kinds within the woman’s ID quantity and they will dsicover a red “warning! if this woman is of appropriate age, a “proceed” message arises; if you don’t,” flash up.

Magfurul Hasan, a senior federal government official in Kurigram district, shared similar sentiments.

“there is the software works well in underprivileged communities and ideally 1 day it’s going to play a level larger and much more vital part in assisting to stop illegal kid marriages,” Hasan told

“we keep in mind deploying it to annul one wedding where in fact the bride’s wedding certification ended up being discovered to own been falsified. We arrested her parents and delivered them to prison,” he included.

Arrange Global stated it aims to really have the application available nationwide within per year.

Females activists skeptical

“This application is a tremendously good clear idea but We have doubts about whether it really can avoid kid marriages,” Rita Roselin Costa, convener for the ladies’s Desk at the Catholic Bishops’ seminar of Bangladesh, told

“In Bangladesh, marriages are typically fixed by parents and matchmakers, therefore she said unless they change their hearts about having their daughters married off early, this practice will continue.

She stated some moms and dads feel they’ve no option but to marry their daughters off very early because of the dire circumstances that are financial but included that this is no reason because it sets girls vulnerable to domestic punishment.

Some have actually died due to the assault meted away by their spouses, she included.

“Child wedding isn’t only a sin but in addition a criminal activity like murder because it deprives girls of the youth and basic individual liberties, like the straight to education,” Costa stated.

“Yet society nevertheless considers girls become an encumbrance and discriminates she added against them.

“Unless we make a move to alter this you will see additional kid brides plus the specter for this scourge continues to haunt the life of numerous girls.”

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