UZGP launches ‘Red Card Campaign’ to combat early marriage, sexual harassment

UZGP launches ‘Red Card Campaign’ to combat  early marriage, sexual harassment

The Upazila Governance Project (UZGP) is going to launch a school-level “Red Card Campaign” today (Wednesday, 7 September 2016) aimed at raising awareness among school students, teachers, guardians and community people to fight against early marriage and sexual harassment.

The project will run the campaign at 195 high schools under 65 Upazila Parishads (UZPs) of selected seven districts and expected to mobilize around 150,000 high school students, teachers, guardians and community people to fight the issues. The seven districts are—Kishoreganj, Brahmanbaria, Sirajganj, Khulna, Barguna, Sunamganj and Rangpur.

The campaign will be started with Jamtoil Dhopakandi Girls’ High School at Jamtoil Union Parishad (UP) under Kamarkandi Upazila Parishad of Sirajganj district.

As part of the campaign, the schools will hold a day-long workshop and discuss with students, teachers, guardians, government officials, local opinion leaders and community people the consequences–reproductive health, social and mental risks–of the early marriage and sexual harassment and find ways out  of the social menace.

The UZGP has prepared a red card with slogans against early marriage and sexual harassment and two hotline numbers of Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Vice-Chair (female) of Upazila Parishad (UZP) to seek help from local administration to prevent the social  ills. The red card will be distributed among the students during the workshop and they will take oath to fight against the issues.

A complaint box will also be set up in each school and a school-level prevention-committee will be formed to address the social ills.

Earlier in 2015, the UZGP has carried out the same programme in 130 high schools under 65 Upazila Parishads of selected seven districts and mobilized 1.3 lakhs community people to combat gender-based violence.

Being implemented by the LGD, the European Union (EU),  Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), UNDP and UNCDF are providing technical and financial support to the project.