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Govt plans to lower age limit of marriage

By UNB, DHAKA
03rd-Oct-2014       
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The government has planned to lower the age limit for the marriage of girls and boys since it is under pressure
from rural areas as rural girls 'flee home' to get married, says a junior minister.
"Our Prime Minister (Hasina) is under pressure from rural areas to lower the age limit of marriage since rural adolescent girls flee home to get married," State Minister for Health and Family Affair Zahid Maleque told a discussion here on Thursday.
He said, the government is thinking of reducing the age limit of marriage for girls from 18 years to 16 years and for boys from 21 years to 18 years. "We're just considering the issue but yet to decide it."
The junior health minister said the government will hold consultations with civil society members and relevant stakeholders before taking the final decision in lowering the age limit for marriage.
Voicing deep concern over the government move to reduce the age limit of marriage, health secretary MM Neazuddin said it will be a great concern for the Health Ministry if the government reduces the age limit for marriage as maternal mortality in most cases in the country is caused by early marriage.
The Planning Wing under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare organised the policy dialogue on the Mid-Term Review- 2014 of the Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Programme (HPNSDP) at Cirdap international conference centre in the capital.
WHO representative Dr N Paranietharan, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Deen Mohammad Nurul Haq, director general of the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) Nurul Hussain Talukdar and president of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Prof Mahmud Hasan, among others, spoke at the meeting.

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