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Campaigners Against Child Marriage In South Asia Receive $23M Donation For Bangladesh, Nepal, India

Campaigners against child marriage in south Asia have received a $23 million donation to help “underpin awareness and empowerment efforts in Bangladesh, Nepal and India, which “have three of the highest rates of child marriage, with 68.7 percent, 56.1 percent and 50 percent respectively of girls married before the age of 18,” The Guardian reports. “Care USA, the U.S. arm of the anti-poverty [non-governmental organization (NGO)], and the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) [last] week received grants of $7.7 million and $15.3 million respectively from the Kendeda fund to tackle child marriage in south Asia,” where “[b]oth organizations will use the money to support local NGOs,” the newspaper writes. “Founded 10 years ago, the Kendeda fund worked initially on environmental sustainability in the U.S., but last year created a girls’ rights portfolio,” The Guardian notes, adding, “AJWS will focus on India, Care on Nepal and Bangladesh.” The newspaper writes, “Child marriage is not just a question of poverty — although that is a critical issue — but also of how girls are viewed in society,” adding, “All three countries have laws against child marriage, but implementation has proved difficult. Civil child marriage laws are not enforced, and religious or social customs prevail.” The newspaper continues, “For Care and AJWS, the logical route is to work through local partners familiar with regional conditions and practices, and based where the pressure points are” (Tran, 8/23).