She Cannot Just Sit Around Waiting to Turn Twenty

Type Working Paper
Title She Cannot Just Sit Around Waiting to Turn Twenty
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL ICRW Packard Report web.pdf
Choosing whether, when and who to marry is one of the most
important, personal decisions that one can make. Yet, in many places
around the world, girls and boys are forced into marriage before
they’re ready, a practice known as “child marriage”. Around the world,
an estimated 15 million girls are married each year before they turn
18, and UNICEF estimates that 720 million women alive today were
married as children.1
The harmful consequences of child marriage
have been well documented. Child marriage often means the end of a
girls’ formal education, limited economic prospects, constrained social
engagement, increased health risks and heightened risk of physical,
emotional and sexual violence.2-4 Considerable research to understand
the determinants of child marriage has been conducted in South Asia;
however, despite increased attention to the issue in recent years, the
evidence base on the experience of child marriage in diverse contexts
in sub-Saharan Africa remains limited. To fill this evidence gap and to
provide information that can inform programmatic and policy actions,
the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), in partnership
with Plan International Zambia and Kisumu Medical Education Trust
(KMET), conducted intensive qualitative research in Zambia and Kenya.

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