Quartz: Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Calls Out Hypocrisy of Critiquing Child Marriage Policies

Regulating longstanding cultural traditions to protect individuals can ignite political backlash. Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, strives to be a champion of women’s empowerment, but proposed legislation that would allow marriage for underage girls who become pregnant is under fire. “Critics say the bill would weaken the existing law and send the message to parents that child marriage is acceptable if an unmarried girl becomes pregnant,” writes Neha Thirani Bagri for Quartz. “Worse, an exception for ‘unlawful pregnancy’ might lead to cases where girls who have been raped are forced to marry their rapists – essentially legitimizing statutory rape, says a spokesperson from Girls Not Brides Bangladesh.” Just over half of Bangladesh girls marry under the legal age, though the law bans marriage for women under age 18 and men under age 21. Pew Research reports that more than 100 nations, including many in the West, to allow people under the age of 18 to marry. Supporters of the legislation contend that city dwellers do not understand social systems in rural areas, and regulations that address cultural traditions are best imposed gradually. – YaleGlobal

Quartz: Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Calls Out Hypocrisy of Critiquing Child Marriage Policies

More than 100 nations allow girls under 18 to marry: Bangladesh prime minister defends her country on legislation allowing child marriages for pregnancy
Neha Thirani Bagri
Friday, February 10, 2017

Neha Thirani Bagri is an editorial fellow for Quartz.

Copyright 2017

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