Girls Not Brides Bangladesh has demanded a specific allocation in the National budget to prevent child marriage as well as increase the social security of girls and adolescents.
Platforms of 29 international, national, and grassroots organizations Girls Not Brides Bangladesh made this demand in a press release on Sunday before the budget was passed.
In the proposed budget of Tk 5 lakh 68 thousand crores for the financial year 2020-21, Tk 3,860 crore has been allocated for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.
Although the allocation has increased by Tk 71 crore this time over the revised allocation for the current financial year, Girls not Brides wants to allocate more budget due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Expecting “special attention and allocation” for women and girls in the disaster budget, the organization said, “Although the ministry’s allocation has been increased, unfortunately, no specific allocation has been made to increase the social security of girls and prevent child marriage and ensure adolescent girls return to school.”
Girls Not Brides Bangladesh also states that there is no specific allocation in the budget for the implementation of various programs of the National Action Plan 2018-30 for the Prevention of Child Marriage.
The organization has demanded the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to take effective steps in this regard.
Citing several surveys, the Girls Not Brides Bangladesh press release said, “The Covid-19 infection has added new challenges to the lives of women and girls. Women face health, employment, and food security risks.”
Violence and sexual harassment against women and girls are on the rise, the platform said in the statement.
“Women’s social security is declining. Girls and adolescents drop out of school, increasing the risk of child marriage. Reproductive health risks are increasing. ”
Girls Not Brides Bangladesh also fears that the coronavirus crisis threatens to slow down the “social progress that has been made over the decades” in preventing all forms of violence against women, including “child and forced marriages”.