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The Population Council and partners are working on a program to generate evidence on what works to prevent child marriage in Bangladesh. This report is an integral part of the program and presents evidence from a baseline study conducted in three districts in southern Bangladesh. The study documents data from a survey conducted in 96 villages on education, livelihoods, sexual and reproductive health, and social life. The program, which offers skills development for girls who are at highest risk and live in impoverished areas of the country with the highest child marriage prevalence, explores the potential benefits of investing in skills development for girls 12–19 years of age. The study finds that there are few opportunities for income earning or skills training. Similarly, very few of the respondents have opportunities to develop social networks or participate in civic engagement. By offering a place to meet other girls, socialize, build networks, and acquire skills, Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents (BALIKA) centers can help fill an important void in the lives of girls in the study area.






BALIKA (Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents)