In a co-authored commentary in Economic & Political Weekly, an Indian peer reviewed academic journal focusing on social sciences, Population Council’s Sajeda Amin assesses the body of evidence on child marriage and whether conditional transfers can delay the practice.
The article explores whether conditional transfers—a payment made to a girl’s family if she is not married off as a child—can have similar effects to conditional transfers for keeping children in school. Additionally, Amin and her co-authors evaluate whether such programs influence girls’ autonomy and community social norms, beyond simply delaying a marriage event. The commentary concludes with a series of recommendations for the governments, donors and NGOs working to end child marriage:
“Policymakers should support a multidimensional, longer term and holistic view of the impact, which takes into account dimensions such as realised rights, health and access to education, rather than cost–benefit based approaches that rely on single-focus indicators that may or may not have a lasting impact on individual well-being. The former will have added pay-offs in terms of improving the well-being of women within marriage, including freedom from marital violence, irrespective of how the interventions affect the age at first marriage. Under their own constitutions, and as per international human rights law, all countries have committed to securing girls’ rights to personal liberty, freedom of expression and freedom of movement. It is essential that the development agenda strengthen, rather than undermine this commitment.”
Read more at Economic & Political Weekly.