The Church of Bangladesh is helping women end poverty by providing accommodation for female students in an area where child marriage was common. The Diocese of Kushtia has provided two college hostels in Rajshahi and Meherpur that houses 21 students, aged between 17 and 19.
The students attend the Women’s Degree College in Meherpur, where they are studying arts, commerce and science. Facilities are provided for them in the hostel.
The Meherpur district once had the highest rate of child marriage across Bangladesh – with a rate of 64 per cent. But the area declared itself to be “child marriage free” earlier this year when some 15,000 people attended a meeting and made a pledge against it.
“Cabinet Secretary Mohammed Shafiul Alam told them that the area – the site of the declaration of independence for Bangladesh – had “witnessed another historical milestone when we declared the district as child marriage free. But it’s not the end rather just the beginning of protecting the children from child marriage.”
Save the Children’s deputy country director for Bangladesh, Tim Whyte, was at the gathering. He said: “If we want to save our children we need to protect them from child marriage and stand by them to help building their lives. Today’s healthy child tomorrow’s better Bangladesh.”
The Church of Bangladesh is a united church. It is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches in addition to being a Province of the Anglican Communion.