Friday, 14 Aug 2020

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Child marriage marks sharp rise in June: MJF

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Health Desk-13 July, 2020: Child marriage increased sharply in the country with 462 girls falling victim to such malpractices in June during the coronavirus pandemic, Manusher Jonno Foundation on Sunday said in its monthly telesurvey report.

The organisation said the number of child marriage was 170 in May while disclosing findings of the report titled "Violence against Women and Children: Covid-19" at a virtual press conference.

Overall, violence against children went up last month from the month of May, the report showed.

It said 233 and 207 attempted child marriages were averted in May and June respectively due to prompt action.

About the reasons behind the child marriage rise, the organisation pointed to lack of monitoring by the local government authorities amid the pandemic.

Besides, closure of schools, social insecurity, poverty, and neighbours influence prompted guardians to marry off their girl children secretly, MJF said.

Presenting the report's findings, MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam said gender inequality in family along with lack of recognition of woman's contributions and tendency for not respecting her were mainly responsible for increasing domestic violence or violence against women.

According to the MJF report, 2,896 children and 9,844 women became victims of different forms of violence last month, and 2,171 children and 11,323 women faced similar incidents in May.

Of them, some 1,376 children and 1,956 women experienced torture and violence for the first time in June, said the report.

A total of 12,740 women and children faced violence in June, while the number was 13,494 in May, it said.

Of the women who faced violence in June, a staggering 98 percent or 9,693 experienced domestic violence.

Also, 97 women were sexually harassed, 36 either raped or subjected to attempted rape. Besides, five others were sexually harassed while receiving food or other support.

At home, 4,622 women were tortured mentally, 1,839 physically, and 223 sexually.

Of the child victims, 1,764 faced domestic violence, 292 violence at workplaces, nine were raped and 99 subjected to attempted rape. Besides, 12 others were sexually harassed while receiving food or other support.

Of them, 1,219 were boys and 1,677 girls.

The MJF, with support from its partner organisations, conducted the survey in 53 districts for the monthly report of June.

 Earlier, it published similar reports for the months of April and May.