Preventing child marriage through football
The UK aid supported Banchte Shekha programme has helped to set up a girls football team in Narail district, helping girls from impoverished backgrounds to avoid child marriage.
The main criteria to be a member of the Joti Nari (meaning shining woman) Football Team is that girls need to be in school, thus preventing them from being married early.
The team is made up of 33 girls between the ages of 10 and 16. They also campaign to stop child marriage and help girls continue their education. They have helped to break down social barriers, helping girls take up sports which traditionally have been played only by boys in Bangladesh.
UK aid is supporting community initiatives like Banchte Shekha, a programme from the Manusher Jonno Foundation which works in 2608 villages across Bangladesh, to end child marriage and tackle violence against women and girls.
Banchte Shekha (meaning learn how to survive) works to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through its work with a girls’ football team, adolescent group and a women’s rights group.
Picture: Ricci Coughlan/DFID
Interview: Marisol Grandon/DFID