“I can’t believe this is my life” – Lipika was married at the age of 14

Lipika tyttärensä kanssa.

When Lipika was in eighth grade, her family and the family of her future husband made a decision that changed Lipika's life forever. A 14-year-old girl was going to be married. Back then, there was no awareness of the illegality of child marriage.

Now Lipika is a housewife who has been married for almost twenty years and the mother of a 10-year-old daughter. Lipika dropped out of school a long time ago.

– What saddens me the most is that due to my lack of education and poverty, I cannot support my own parents now, Lipika says.

Lipika knows that getting an education and, with it, a later marriage would have made life better. She would have had the opportunity to make her own choices and influence her own life in a different way.

Now everything is defined by my husband, and I can’t believe that this is my life.

– Now everything is defined by my husband, and I can’t believe that this is my life, Lipika says quietly.

Uneducated women that are married at a young age are completely dependent on their husbands. Lipika’s chances of making money are limited. Lipikas husband earns money, but she must support him. Lipikka’s husband is a craftsman and Lipika has taught herself how to sew. Although everything on the surface is fine in everyday life, there is no room for your own dreams, goals or anything else. You can’t chase after your own dreams.

A better future for your own daughter

Lipika’s 10-year-old daughter is still so young and child-like that marriage has not yet been a subject for discussion. She has tried to influence the fate of the girl who lives next door, but especially poor families are under great pressure to marry daughters off when they are young. In addition, other families wondering how their money is really going to be enough if they do not marry their daughters early.

– I want to help my own daughter study and get a job, Lipika says, adding that she doesn’t want to burden her in-laws with her costs either.

– I want a better future for my daughter, Lipika emphasises.

Advocacy work has been carried out in the area and trainings have been held on the dangers of child marriage. Lipika has seen how opinions have started to change and child marriages have declined. Change is possible. She considers education to be an important tool. As opinions change and understanding increases, the educational opportunities for girls increase and they get the opportunity to live a safe childhood.

Little girls are still ignorant, and they cannot take care of the family.

– Girls should be allowed to go to school and not get married. Little girls are still ignorant, and they can’t take care of the family, Lipika states.

Even one child marriage is too many. You can help prevent child marriage in Bangladesh and enable girls to be educated. By donating to the Eväät Elämään campaign, you support Fida’s long-term work in Bangladesh.


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