‘Image for Change’ is a social media platform of IMAGE Plus project which is an initiative for early married girls of Bangladesh. IMAGE Plus is the continuation of the IMAGE I project, which is currently implementing in 6 unions of 3 northern districts Kurigram, Gaibandha and Nilphamari in Bangladesh. Through this project around 9,000 married adolescent girls will receive support in Family planning, Mother and Child Health Care, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Nutrition, Gender based violence, Income generating activities and Education for livelihood.
IMAGE Plus is about millions of young girls who are wives and children at the same time. Their health and well being is at risk because of being married off in early age. Their health rights are not recognized, they are not protected. Yet, future generation depends on them. Families and communities rely on them. They run households, cook, raise children, clean yards and care for the sick and the old. They deserve respect and support.
Adolescent girls become married ‘women’ overnight. They leave their birth family, enter an unknown family and get isolated from society in the process. Bangladesh has one of the world’s highest rates of early marriage. Currently Bangladesh is a country with 5th highest rate of child marriage and 52% of the girls get married before the age of 18.
The negative impact of child marriage is acknowledged worldwide. Policies and programs focus strongly on prevention. It is necessary to protect the child rights of girls who are at risk of being married off. It is equally important to protect the rights of girls who have already entered marriage. IMAGE Plus focuses on their health rights. Empowering the already married adolescent girls will plant the seed for prevention of future child marriages. Married girls, aware of their child rights and their human rights, will become aware of the need for alternative strategies for their daughters.