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OpenCRVS has the power to transform the lives of women and girls. For people to count, they must first be counted, and that’s what a Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system does, recording the details of all major life events, such as births and deaths. Birth registration is the first step in securing legal identity and accessing other basic rights like education, healthcare and social protection.
Without this system, a child can’t be issued a birth certificate, and without this basic document, they don’t exist in the eyes of the law. This means that children can’t prove their age, and for girls this can lead to a much higher risk of child marriage. However with an official birth record, it’s much harder to force girls into early marriage. For girls, this means they can avoid health issues or even death from early pregnancy. They’re less likely to suffer domestic violence from husbands and in-laws. And they’ll get to finish school, giving them better work and career prospects for the future.
CRVS systems have the potential to prevent child marriage, enable targeted sexual and reproductive health service delivery for girls already married, and provide full and equal protection under the law.
When it comes to data, women and girls are among the most invisible because current data collection fails to reflect the specific challenges they face – and other data relevant to their lives is not being captured at all.
OpenCRVS was designed with a gender lens, to better capture valuable data on women and girls, which can in turn provide critical evidence for governments to improve policies, services, and protections that respond to their unique needs, which plays a vital role in achieving gender equality.
Age verification functionality has been built into OpenCRVS, which enables marriage registrars and religious leaders to verify an individual’s age via sms, through their birth registration record, prior to officiating a marriage. In Bangladesh, this core function enables the government to uphold recent minimum age of marriage law amendments and reduce overall rates of child marriage across the country.
CRVS systems also provide the documentary proof required to access services and protections, like a single parent allowance, sexual and reproductive health curriculum, or an outreach breast-screening clinic.
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