“Many people of Bangladesh treat girl children as a burden. My mother was also a victim,” Dola shared. She remembered asking her mother to describe memories from her childhood, but her mother struggled to recall much. She had been forced into child marriage at 13. “From her childhood she had to manage a family.”
“She dreamed of becoming a banker, but her father and mother treated her as a burden,” Dola said. “They forced her to get married. She faced physical and mental violence from her husband.”
Dola nearly suffered the same fate at 12 years old when community members insisted that she be married off to “a very good boy”. Dola’s mother turned them away, determined to keep her child in school. She didn’t see Dola as a burden. She knew her daughter was a blessing.
Inspired by her mother, Dola has been advocating with World Vision to end child marriage since she was 10 years old. Dola, now 16, continues to show that girls are a blessing to their families. Addressing the United Nations on Day of the Girl Child 2019, she declared, “Girls are not a burden. Girls can go further than we imagined.”