Research Publication

Examining early marriage in India: Qualitative findings

The More Than Brides Alliance (MTBA) implements the “Marriage: No Child’s Play” program (2016–20) in India, Malawi, Mali, Niger, and Pakistan. The MTBA is a holistic program that addresses early marriage through multiple strategies, including: sexual and reproductive health and rights, livelihoods, education, and prevalent community social norms around marriage. Furthermore, the program operates at multiple levels (girl, family, community, block, and district) to address individual, familial, and structural barriers to reducing child marriage in these communities. This report first looks at the legal environment in which programs operate by examining participants’ awareness of laws, acts, and programs related to early marriage prevention and how awareness of such laws might influence the timing of girls’ marriage. Next, it focuses on the family environment and parental expectations for girls as important drivers of child marriage. Finally, it summarizes the main findings of this study and provides programmatic recommendations based on the research.