It?s still a nightmare for many girls in poor families in Bangladesh to get married without troubling their parents to think about dowry, and again it is an uneven dream for many women not to be tortured physically or mentally by their in-laws or husbands when their families fail to comply with the dowry demanded. The resulting reality, published every day on newspapers with pictures of a number of cases where women get beaten to death, dead already, burned alive, killed or maliciously tortured by many other means.
According to the report by UNICEF 2014: The State of World?s Children 2014 in Numbers: Every child counts: Revealing disparities advancing children?s rights, 2 out of every 3 girl child faces child marriage before they are 18. Again according to the Bangladesh Mohila Parishad report, 74 women were tortured only in August-2014 due to dowry related violence in the country.
Jagoroni was designed to break this silence and it was the first of its kind in Bangladesh, the Social Rising for Dowry and Early Marriage Prevention project is helping 650 young people advocate against child marriage by creating youth led ?watchdog? groups. The project is using cell phones and online networking to track and report dowry and child marriage cases to local law enforcement agencies.
Jagoroni has been successfully completed in October-2014 with the C-Exchange Youth Initiative grant by Women Deliver, though its activities are still ongoing. There is a unique feature of this project, developing a systematic youth leadership on women?s rights among the volunteers, as each of the Jagori (youthful) groups have one elected leader polled out of 10 nominated sub-group leaders.
Since inception, Jagori teams have been receiving great responses from the communities and also tackling a number of child marriage and dowry cases. Each of the 13 sub-district Jagori groups have a hotline number managed by the local Jagori leader and he/she communicates with concerned authority and civil society leaders to stop a child marriage or prevent a dowry based marriage.
In addition Jagori groups form many kinds of non violent protests, human chains and demonstrations to mobilize local mass and create pressure on decision making gatekeepers.