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Child marriage is a social evil that is still widely practised in many parts of the world. In fact, Bangladesh is said to have the fourth-highest rate of child marriages in the world, and according to a Human Rights Watch report, 43 per cent of Bangladeshi girls are married by the age of 18, and this is after the numbers have declined. The government has vowed to eradicate the evil completely by 2041, and is taking small but important moves in that direction.
Now joining forces with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, UNICEF has launched a campaign to raise awareness. In order to fight the age-old social evil, the initiative is urging people to raise their voices. Called the ‘Raise the Beat’ campaign it was launched on July 31 this year and is supported by the government of Canada and UNFPA.
Two videos have been released as part of the campaign and both have struck an emotional chord with people. One video shows a schoolgirl who tells her father that she wants to study more, not get married, while the other shows a prospective groom taking a stand against marrying an underage girl. Both end with everyone around supporting the cause of the girl child, and her right to not marry before 18.
The short-clips stress on legal age of marriage, 18 for girls in the country and argues wedding will not happen until its attained.
Earlier, another powerful video fighting against domestic violence in the country went viral, spreading important message and leaving everyone teary-eyed. Watch it here.