Asia

Child Marriage in South Asia: Realities, Responses and the Way Forward

Child Marriage in South Asia: Realities, Responses and the Way Forward

Tina Khanna, Ravi Verma and Ellen Weiss
2013

Child marriage is a serious human rights crisis and one of the most pressing development concerns in the world today. Defined as marriage under the age of 18, child marriage disproportionately and negatively affects girls who are more likely to be married as children than boys.  Currently over 60 million girls and women are affected by child marriage globally.  Child marriage is particularly pervasive across South Asia and Africa, where 50-70 percent of girls in some countries are married before the age of 18.

This technical note highlights the prevalence of child marriage in South Asia and its adverse social, health and developmental impacts on girls’ lives. It reviews legislative and other responses in the form of government policies and frameworks as well as programs adopted by different South Asian countries to address child marriage. Additionally it offers a way forward for both policy makers and development practitioners in terms of policy and program recommendations to eliminate child marriage in the region. 

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Masculinity, Son Preference & Intimate Partner Violence

Masculinity, Son Preference & Intimate Partner Violence

Priya Nanda, Abishek Gautam, Ravi Verma, Sanjay Kumar and Dhanashri Brahme
2013

A preference for sons over daughters has a detrimental impact on women's and girls' health and well being.  It also affects society by driving gender-biased, sex selection resulting in a skewed ratio of females to males at birth in favor of males.

This report presents the findings of a large-scale study that examines men’s and women’s underlying attitudes and behaviors around son preference, with a particular focus on how they conceptualize manhood and masculinity.  The study was conducted in seven Indian states (Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) involving more than nine thousand men and three thousand women, aged 18-49.  The study identified key factors that influence men’s views about masculinity, as measured by their support for gender equality and control of women’s behaviour, and how these views impact on their preference for sons and perpetration of intimate partner violence.  

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We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

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Son Preference in India

In India, gender inequality manifests in many different ways, including a preference for sons over daughters.  Girl’s lack of value and son preference are key drivers of gender-biased sex selection at birth, which is responsible for skewing India’s female to male sex ratio in favor of boys.  

This large-scale study examines men’s and women’s underlying attitudes and behaviors around son preference, with a particular focus on how they conceptualize manhood and masculinity.  The study is being carried out in seven Indian states (Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) involving more than nine thousand men and three thousand women, ages 18 to 49.  The study looks at what factors influence men’s views about masculinity, as measured by their support for gender equality and control of women’s behaviour, and how these views about masculinity impact on their preference for sons and perpetration of intimate partner violence.  

Duration: 
January 2013 - December 2013
Location(s): 
India

Expanding the Evidence Base for Primary Prevention of Gender-based Violence: Multi-country Evaluations of School-based Interventions in Asia

ICRW and Partners for Prevention will conduct a randomized controlled trial of school-based, violence prevention interventions for young adolescents across three countries in Asia: Vietnam, India and Bangladesh.  The intervention in each site is based on the Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS) program that ICRW and partners developed and tested in Mumbai, India, from 2008-2010.  That study demonstrated the feasibility and importance of intervening early to shift attitudes and norms around gender equality and gender-based violence. 

The current study will make a significant contribution to the evidence base of what works in developing gender-equitable and non-violent attitudes and behaviors among boys and girls through rigorous, mixed-method evaluations across three sites in the region.  

Duration: 
2013 - 2015
Location(s): 
Vietnam
Location(s): 
India
Location(s): 
Bangladesh

Ada Lovelace Day

Sun, 10/13/2013
The Hindu

To celebrate Ada Lovelace, this article discusses the role technology can play in helping women succeed in the economy. The article cites an ICRW report on gender and technology, while highlighting the challenges and opportunities surrounding women and tehcnology. 

In celebrating Ada Lovelace, who is thought to be the first woman computer programmer, this article cites ICRW's 2010 report on bridging the gender divide in technology. Specifically in regard to India, the article points to an ICRW survey that found that only 28% of women owned a mobile phone, in contrast to 40% of men. 

Advancing Women, Changing Lives

Advancing Women, Changing Lives
A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. Program

Priya Nanda. Anurag Mishra, Sunayana Walia, Shubh Sharma, Ellen Weiss and Jennifer Abrahamson
2013

Globally the garment industry is one of the biggest employers of low‐skilled women workers.  Despite their large numbers in the workforce, relatively few female garment workers advance to higher-level positions as they have limited opportunities to acquire the skills that would enable their professional and personal growth.  In response to this need, Gap Inc. initiated the P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) workplace education program to teach women the managerial, interpersonal, organizational and other practical skills needed to move forward in work and in life.   

This report summarizes findings from program evaluations conducted by ICRW from 2009 - 2013 at six factory sites where P.A.C.E. is implemented - two in India and one each in Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and China.

Research findings from these robust, multi-country evaluations demonstrate that P.A.C.E. is an effective, sustainable and scalable model that yields high returns for women, their families and the businesses where they work. 

(8.65 MB)

We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

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Solutions to End Child Marriage

Solutions to End Child Marriage
Summary of the Evidence

ICRW
2013

This policy brief highlights five evidence-based strategies identified by ICRW to delay or prevent child marriage: 1) Empower girls with information, skills and support networks; 2) Provide economic support and incentives to girls and their families; 3) Educate and rally parents and community members; 4) Enhance girls' access to a high-quality education; and 5) Encourage supportive laws and policies. In order for the next generation of development programs to make ending child marriage a priority, policymakers must pay attention to these strategies while continuing to test innovative approaches and evaluation techniques.

(2.41 MB)

We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

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Improving Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Bangladesh

The purpose of this project is to gain a better understanding of the key barriers to adolescents' sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and how these barriers can be overcome through programmatic and policy interventions. ICRW will use a variety of research methods and strategies, including primary and secondary data analysis, to assess the sexual and reproductive health status, needs and challenges of 10-19 year olds in urban Dhaka. The ultimate goal of the project is to formulate a set of recommendations for programmatic and policy options that the World Bank, and potentially other donors and implementing organizations, can utilize in improving ASRH in urban Bangladesh. 

Duration: 
July 2013 - February 2014
Location(s): 
Bangladesh

Malala's Forgotten Sisters

Girls as young as 5 are still being sold into marriage in Pakistan. And no one will stop it.
Fri, 07/12/2013
Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy delves into the issue of child marriage in Pakistan, particularly the tradition of marrying off young girls to resolve family and tribal disputes. In her assessment of the prevalence of child marriage, the author cites ICRW research.  

Illuminating Pathways to Reproductive Health, Rights and Empowerment for Girls

Through our past research ICRW has identified the causes and harmful effects of child marriage. Additionally, we have identified key program approaches that show potential for delaying and reducing child marriage. While this general understanding has been established, there is a demonstrated need for more specific guidance on programs and policies that will allow adolescent girls in the world's poorest countries to know, understand, and claim their rights and improve their lives. 

The primary objectives of this project are to: 1) illuminate potential "pathways to empowerment" for adolescent girls and women by conducting a deeper assessment of programs that have successfully delayed marriage and childbearing, and 2) mobilize funding, commitment, and action on girls' education, empowerment, and reproductive health through targeted research and advocacy. Currently ICRW is conducting case studies of several programs that are addressing child marriage in diverse settings, including India, Bangladesh and Egypt. We will release a major report in 2014 that will highlight the key findings from these case studies, providing guidance to donors, practitioners and policymakers on how best to address child marriage in the developing world.  

Duration: 
2012 - 2014
Location(s): 
India
Location(s): 
Bangladesh
Location(s): 
Egypt
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