Dhaka, Nov 24: The Bangladesh cabinet on Thursday approved the draft of the “Child Marriage Prevention Act 2016” keeping the minimum age for girls’ marriage unchanged at 18 years. The cabinet, however, incorporated a provision paving the way for marriage of minor girls under 18 years in special circumstances, Xinhua news agency reported. The cabinet meeting, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasi in the chair, allowed marriage of minor girls under 18 years under special circumstances subject to clearance from the court and their parents’ consent, Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam said.
He said the minimum marriage age for men also remained unchanged at 21 years. Bangladesh, which has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world despite a three-decade-old law banning marriage for girls under the age of 18, in September 2014 proposed measures to lower the marriageable age for girls from 18 years to 16 years.
Over the last two years, the move to lower the legal marriage age for girls has been met with widespread protests. (IANS)