Share-Net Bangladesh brings together the Communities of Practice (CoP) that consist of social and medical researchers, development practitioners, health workers, government officials and legal experts to engage with one another to find solutions and take critical issues forward. The purpose of the CoP is to have a systematised, focussed and demand driven approach and a clearer focus on maximising impact by using knowledge effectively for improved SRHR practices and policies. The CoP of Share-Net Bangladesh is aligned with the concept of the CoP of Share-Net International.
Child Marriage in Bangladesh: Child marriage or early marriage is not a new phenomena in Bangladesh. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the numbers are seen to be increasing rapidly since 2020. The Gender Justice and Diversity department of BRAC, found that child marriage increased by 13% studying the impact of the pandemic on women and adolescents in 11 districts across the country last year. This is the highest rate of child marriage in Bangladesh in the last 25 years. The survey found that the loss of income of parents and school closures amid the pandemic are the main reasons behind the increase in child marriages.
Share-Net Bangladesh (SNBD) aims to bring together the CoP working on child marriage to find solutions to this problem and gather evidence for national advocacy.
For 2021, the activities of the CoP is focused on child marriage, especially induced by climate change.
Child Marriage and Climate Change: Climate change is another key factor that fuels child marriage in our country. Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to climate change, and studies show it is affecting rural Bangladesh and reshaping social relations (p.2, Islam et al., 2020, p. 139, Alston et al., 2014). The United Nations has found Bangladesh to be among the five most hazard-prone countries in Asia and the Pacific according to its 2021 Regional Focus Model (RFM) on disaster vulnerability. Women and children become the most vulnerable during and after the disasters as impacts of climate change. In a given society like ours, to cope with climate induced poverty, girls are married off at an early age.
Creating a Knowledge Product: The knowledge product should be an Infographic portraying the projects/interventions/actions currently ongoing with regard to child marriage portraying evidence linking with climate change. Another part of the knowledge product will be Mapping of the NGOs working with child marriage and related project brief, climate induced child marriage including data on child marriage during COVID-19.
For the year 2021, two members of the CoP expressed their interest to develop the knowledge product. Mohammad Bellal Hossain (Population Sciences Dept., University of Dhaka) and Sigma Ainul (Population Council) are together working on developing the knowledge product as part of this CoP. Md. Anwer Hossain (Masters Student, Department of Population Sciences, University of Dhaka) will also work as part of the team with the them.
Participating in the Knowledge fair 2021: The CoP members will participate in the Knowledge Fair 2021, the biggest annual SRHR event in Bangladesh as SRHR experts and practitioners, where Child Marriage induced by climate change will be one of the key thematic tracks. Apart from them, all the members of the Share-net Bangladesh family will also be invited to this knowledge fair.
Members of the CoP on Child Marriage:
Sigma Ainul, Population Council
Mohammad Bellal Hossain, Population Sciences Dept., University of Dhaka
Dr. Sushmita Ahmed, PSTC
Dr. Shawkat Akbar Fakir, ActionAid
Saiyara Zaheen Karim, JAAGO Foundation
Farhana Jasmine Hasan, Individual Consultant
Tahia Rahman, Center for Men and Masculinities Studies
Sanzida Akhter, Dept. of Women and Gender Studies, University of Dhaka
Mongchingsha Marma, ARBAN
Mushfiqua Satiar, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
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