Aug 302015
 
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Shekh Hasina, please stop child brides!

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Shekh Hasina, please stop child brides!

If you are a poor boy in countries like Bangladesh it is a sad challenge, but if you are a poor girl, it is a disaster and a dead end!

Let me explain. In developing countries, women ‘know’ their place in a male world. They either know it, or get beaten up, raped, or get disfigured by burning kerosene or acid. Any rebellion by a female is met with male violence.   This violence can happen to girls from poor or rich families and especially if a girl refuses an arranged marriage.

Knowing one’s place” starts very young for females. A girl watches as food is placed on a table or the floor. She soon learns that the grown-up males eat first, then her brothers and, if there is food left over, it will be shared between her mother and older female relatives and then it will be the turn of the young girls.

These are pictures and comments from the Huffington Post (USA).

MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 32 year old Mohammad Hasamur Rahman stands on a bed above his new bride, 15 year old Nasoin Akhter, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh.  In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it "protects" girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger  dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH – AUGUST 20: 32 year old Mohammad Hasamur Rahman stands on a bed above his new bride, 15 year old Nasoin Akhter, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it “protects” girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women’s earnings are insignificant as compared to men’s. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter poses for a video on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh.  In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it "protects" girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger  dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH – AUGUST 20: 15 year old Nasoin Akhter poses for a video on the day of her wedding to a 32 year old man, August 20, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it “protects” girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women’s earnings are insignificant as compared to men’s. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Arranged Marriages

Arranged marriages for girls can be difficult. Poor girls suffer the worse fate. Arranged marriages for the majority of them, means an end to education. They become baby producers and ‘servants’ particularly if they live with their husband and his mother and other family members. For educated girls, husbands often realize that their income and standard of living with be improved with a wife working before children. We must also remember that Bangladesh is vulnerable to national disasters. If look back a few years, hundreds of women have been burned in locked factories where they work for cheap wages. The products go to developed countries and the international companies enrich their stockholders.

Child Marriages

In many developed countries, girls can marry at 16 years (with the permission of their parents). In the majority of cases, the male and female agree to wed.

In many developing countries, it is custom or religion that can be held responsible for brides under the age of 15 years. In Northern Nigeria, for example, the religion of Islam allows Nigerian girls to marry at puberty. This can result in a girl menstruating as early as 10 or 11 years of age.

Poor families often use their daughters as a way to earn extra money or to educate younger males. UNICEF, has reported that nearly one-third of Bangladeshi girls are married by 15 years. UNICEF claims that theis in the highest rate for that age group in the world.

 

Should You and I ‘interfer’ in Other Countries’ Policies?

Do we have a right to “interfer” in other countries’ religious beliefs or customs? I, personally, think we have a right to speak out and defend any violation of human rights. When apartheid raged in South Africa, companies, individuals and groups boycotted that country.   South Africa was banned from competing in international sports and banned from FIFA and the Olympics.

The United Nations has a charter of Human Rights and Freedoms that most countries have signed. As a human race, we need to support this body of countries.

If We Don’t Advocate – the Wheel Of Justice – Grind Slowly!

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced last year that child marriage would end in the nation by 2041, but a recent Human Rights Watch report points out that the government of Bangladesh has taken few tangible measures to stop the practice.

Child brides are at serious risk of physical abuse and early pregnancy.

 

Have You Got 10 Minutes? Can You Spare Half an Hour?

 If you want to befriend a child bride, here are some ways to do it.

 

  1. Type a short letter with no address for the moment.

Explain that you care about the fate of young Bangledeshi

girls. You might state that you are an admirer of Malala of neighboring Pakistan. It was Malala that made you aware of the need for young girls to get an education. State that

Malala has made parents aware that a girl’s education benefits her family and her future husband. You might add that a girl’s education also economically enriches her village, her state and the country of Bangladesh.

 

After these words, you might add that child brides do not economically help anyone. They might be a ‘quick fix’ to an individual family’s economic needs, but in the long run, an uneducated wife does not help the groom and his family.

Then, may you might add that health authorities realize the risk to a young child bride’s health especially in pregnancy.

 

These are just ideas.

 

  1. Now, with that letter written, you can “cut and paste” and send it to: Embassies and Government Officials in Bangladesh.   Thank you, paula.

 

Bangladeshi Embassy in Australia

Bangladeshi High Commission in Canberra, Australia

57 Culgoa Circuit, O’Malley, ACT 2606, Australia

PHONE(+61) 2 6290-0511 and (+61) 2 6290-0522 / 33

FAX(+61) 2 6290-0544

WEBSITE

http://www.bhcanberra.com

EMAIL

OFFICE HOURS

09:00 – 17:00

DETAILS

Masud Uddin Chowdhury – High Commissioner

 

Bangladeshi Embassy in Netherlands

Bangladeshi Embassy in The Hague, the Netherlands

Wassenaarseweg 39, 2596 CG, The Hague, Netherlands

PHONE(+31) 70 328 3722

EMAILmission.hague@mofa.gov.bd; consular@ziggo.nl

FAX(+31) 70 328 3524
WEBSITEhttp://www.bangladeshembassy.nl

 

DETAILSMr Muhammad Ali Sorcar – Ambassador

 

Bangladeshi Consulate in Norway

Bangladeshi Consulate General in Oslo, Norway

Meltzers gate 4, 0257 Oslo, Norway

PHONE(+47) 22 55 65 09, (+47) 907 47 509
FAX(+47) 22 43 12 20
EMAILpeter.daae@ccn.no

 

DETAILSMr Peter Daae – Consul General

 

Bangladeshi Consulate in Germany

Bangladeshi Consulate in Potsdam, Germany

Eisenhartstrasse 2, Potsdam 14469, Germany

PHONE(+49) 331 278 70
FAX(+49) 331 27 87 25
EMAILbangladesch@knauthe.com
OFFICE HOURSMonday to Friday 09:00 – 12:00
DETAILSDr Karlheinz Knauthe – Consul

Bangladeshi Embassy in Sweden

Bangladeshi Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden

Anderstorpsvägen 12, 1st floor, 171 54 Solna, Sweden

PHONE(+46) 8 730 5850 – 52

EMAILbanijya@bangladeshembassy.se; doot@bangladeshembassy.se

FAX(+46) 8 730 5870
WEBSITEhttp://www.bangladoot.se

 

DETAILSMr A. F. M. Gousalazam Sarker – Ambassador

 

Bangladeshi Consulate in Switzerland

Bangladeshi Consulate in Geneva, Switzerland

Rue de Lausanne 65, 1202 Genève, Switzerland

PHONE(+41) 22 906 80 20

EMAILmission.bangladesh@ties.itu.int

FAX(+41) 22 738 46 16
WEBSITEhttp://www.bangladeshmissiongeneva.ch

 

Bangladeshi Embassy in United Kingdom

Bangladeshi High Commission in London, the United Kingdom

28 Queens Gate, London SW7 5JA, United Kingdom

PHONE(+44) (20) 7584 0081

EMAILinfo@bhclondon.org.uk

FAX(+44) (20) 7581 7477
WEBSITEhttp://www.bhclondon.org.uk

 

DETAILSMohamed Mijarul Quayes, High Commissioner

 

Bangladeshi Consulate in United States

Bangladeshi Consulate General in Los Angeles, the United States

4201 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 605, Los Angeles, California 90010, United States

PHONE(+1) (323) 932-0100

EMAILinfo@bangladeshconsulatela.com; bcgla09@gmail.com

FAX(+1) (323) 932-9703
WEBSITEhttp://www.bangladeshconsulatela.com
DETAILSMr MMuhammad Enayet Hossain – Consul General

Thanks, again and again.

 

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