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NAME: Nabila Zaman

ID: 1020030

TOPIC: Media plan to implement awareness and changes regarding child marriage.

SUBMITTED TO: Fariya Hossain Khan COURSE TITLE: Media and Development COURSE ID: CMN 305

I told them I was terrified and desperate, that I was just a child and far too young to get marriedI used to scream and cry all night. I was too young, too tender. It killed me inside. Life became meaningless. - Young Turkish Kurdish girl married at age 12 In the last decade, 58 million young women in developing countriesone in threehave been married before the age of 18, many against their will and in violation of international laws and conventions on womens rights. Even more disturbing, according to new figures, one in nine girls, or 15 million, have been forced into marriage between the ages of 10 and 14.3 With limited education and economic opportunities, child brides are often condemned to a life of poverty, social isolation, and powerlessness, infringing on their human rights, health, and well-being. In developing countries with a rapidly growing youth population, investments in adolescent girls are critical. Ultimately, to meet goals related to poverty, education, gender equality, maternal and child health, and HIV and AIDS, nations and communities must put an end to child marriage. Why Does Child Marriage Persist? Although most countries have passed laws declaring 18 as the minimum legal age for marriage, too often the laws are not enforced and social, economic, and cultural realities perpetuate the practice. Certain risk factors, such as poverty, low levels of education, and region, are directly correlated with higher rates of child marriage. Poor families have few resources to support healthy alternatives for girls, such as education, or even to feed and clothe them, and economic gains to families in the form of a bride price may act as further motivation for child marriage. The lack of education for girls as a risk factor for child marriage has been well documented. In a UNICEF study of 42 countries, women between the ages of 20 and 24 who attended primary school were less likely to marry by age 18 than women without a primary education. The same study found that in Tanzania, women with secondary education were 92 percent less likely to be married by their 18th birthday than women who only attended primary school. And traditional cultural norms of older men marrying young, virginal girls to prove their masculinity continue to drive this

behavior. These factors must all be taken into account in developing interventions that work to end child marriage and its devastating outcomes. Child marriage is alarmingly common in Bangladesh. Traditional notions and social systems continue to justify this practice of marrying daughters early as a positive social norm with social and financial benefits. Marriage may be seen as a way to provide male guardianship for daughters, protect them from sexual assault, avoid pregnancy outside marriage, extend their child bearing years on ensure obedience to husbands households.

The following are few media planning to implement awareness and changes regarding child marriages in the rural areas of our country: Theatre based awareness campaign- we could conduct screen play , songs and dances which would deliver the messages such as Legal age of the marriage(18 yrs for the girls and 21 yrs for the boys), Problems of early marriage, Severe health problems like anemia, Early pregnancy affecting the health of newborn and increased risks of mortality. Vicious increase in poverty, Domestic Violence/sexual violence, Children rights and laws, Skill Development of girls. We could also go for street theatre shows, where shows would be held in each school, market places, panchayats, Mosques, temples, etc depicting ill effects of child marriage and disseminating names and contact numbers of different agencies who may be contacted for preventing child marriage. The street theatres would be followed with audience interactions where villagers would be asked questions based on messages disseminated. JAATRA is a very popular theatre show among the rural people; we could deliver messages to them by using the help of Jaatra too. Workshops with adolescent girls- While theatre based activities could help to bring about attitudinal orientation, workshop and community meetings can be conducted to sensitize and discuss the value of a girl child, various laws against early marriage, dowry, domestic violence, and monitoring system by health workers

and routing discussions where they could share their problems and views etc. The objective of such workshops would be to encourage and motivate school going as well as out of school students to take a leading role in sensitizing their peers. Community Meetings-Community meetings could be held to sensitize parents, family members, influential persons in the village, religious leaders and mobilize their participation in spreading awareness. Detailed Discussions could be held on problems of early marriage, schemes for skill development and education of girls and laws like child marriage restraint Act, Domestic violence Act and Dowry Prohibition act.

Stakeholder consultation- The feedback provided by the villagers on the factors could lead to increased vulnerability of girls to early marriage and violation of their rights and can be shared with stakeholders at Block and Panchayat level.

Radio to raise awareness- At least 80 out of 100 households in rural areas are still glued to radios, therefore radio could be an efficient media for raising awareness among the villagers. Radio can help make a difference on issues of child rights by creating awareness on Right to Education and child marriage.

TV serials, reality shows and films- Just like the theater, we could conduct a night for watching a movie or a show or a serial which concerns matter related to child marriage. Television is also an effective media to deliver awareness of child marriages. Already there are TV serials and reality shows (aired on channel I, N TV and other news channels) made in our country emphasizing not only on child marriages, but also on other social problems of our country.

I was also thinking of an awareness campaign, and with the help of the awareness campaign, we will work at three different levels: sub-regionally, nationally and at the community level to help reduce the prevalence of child marriage. By working at all levels,

including through strategic communication messaging, legislative frameworks, local governance structures and with girls themselves, I believe with this plan/ awareness campaign the practice of child marriage can be significantly reduced and eventually eliminated. As part of the awareness campaign, we will also launch a dedicated media campaign. The media campaign will promote messages on child marriages across television channels, radio stations and social media networks targeting community members, traditional leaders and policy makers to raise awareness of the harms of child marriages and create a supportive environment to its elimination. This project/ campaign will help develop and strengthen mechanisms to ensure that children, especially girls, stay in school and finish their education. The campaign will help:

Provide scholarships to the vulnerable girls at risk of dropping out or who have dropped out, Equipping girls with sexual and reproductive health information and rights as a way of preventing early pregnancies, Strengthening girls and boys as agents of change by equipping them with life skills to help them advocate against and resist child marriages, Supporting girls clubs initiatives that help bring girls at risk of dropping out or have dropped out back to school, Organizing seminars for primary school teachers and parents as agents of socialization on gender sensitive approaches to socializing boys and boys, Support advocacy meetings targeting policy makers, and local influential leaders for the reduction and ultimate eradication of child marriages.