Identifying the policies that work best against child marriage
Despite significant progress against child marriage, it remains a huge challenge. Last year 320 lakh girls under 18 were married according to UNICEF estimates.
Reduce domestic violence, and it will unleash an economic bonanza worth thousands of crores
Indian states would enjoy an economic boon worth thousands of crores of rupees if they reduce domestic violence, brand new research reveals.
Despite a significant rise in the median age of marriage for boys and girls, India continues to demonstrate among the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world, accounting for over 40% of global child marriages. Andhra Pradesh is in the bottom quartile of the states across the country with data from the most recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4 2015/16) showing that 33% of women between the ages of 20-24 were still married before age 18.
Four policy interventions to address the problem of child marriages in Andhra Pradesh have been analyzed – bicycle transfers, conditional cash payments for secondary school attendance, the construction and maintenance of girls’ toilets in secondary schools and an 18-month vocational training programs.
Research by Reena V. Mithal from Sankhya Capital compares the benefits coming from both economic value derived from future employment and income opportunities, and social value resulting from a reduction in domestic violence, improvement in maternal and child health and lower rates of fertility with the costs of four policy intervention to address child marriage.
Crime and Violence
A new research paper by Srinivas Raghavendra, Mrinal Chadha, and Nata Duvvury of the National University of Ireland Galway helps close gaps in the evidence related to interventions aimed at reducing domestic violence. Domestic violence in Andhra Pradesh costs the state an estimated 1.8% of GSDP, or INR 13,000 crore per year.
The study looks at two interventions with a strong track record internationally. The first is based on the SASA! project, a community mobilisation intervention seeking to change the norms and behaviours that result in gender inequality and violence, pioneered in Uganda and used in more than 20 countries. The second intervention, used in South Africa, combines microfinance with training about domestic violence, gender norms and sexuality, thus providing women with the means and knowledge to improve their well-being.