FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) today will commemorate International Women’s Day with a high level panel discussion at the National Press Club, where it will also release initial findings from its evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program in India created to prevent child marriage and increase girls’ value in society.
The discussion will explore dimensions of adolescent girls’ education and transition to adulthood, and why it is crucial to place them at the heart of the development agenda. The panel will include speakers from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Nike Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations and ICRW.
A highlight of ICRW’s findings from its study conducted in the Indian state of Haryana, will be shared during the discussion. Launched in 1994, the program – called Apni Beti Apna Dhan (Our Daughter, Our Wealth) or ABAD – registered a cash bond to families living below the poverty line who enrolled their newborn daughters at the time of birth. Enrolled girls could cash their bond upon their 18th birthday on the condition they had remained unmarried. The first group of ABAD participants turned 18 in 2012.
The evaluation results illuminate the impact the program has had on the participants’ lives, including an increase in educational attainment in a region where adolescent girls often drop out of school well before their 18th birthday to marry.The groundbreaking study, “Impact on Marriage: Program Assessment of Conditional Cash Transfers (IMPACCT),” is funded by USAID. Further research findings on the ABAD schemes impact on girls’ lives and delaying their age at marriage will be released over the course of the next two years.
“International Women’s Day is the perfect time to bring together experts in the field and share research on how to best serve adolescent girls and advance gender equality worldwide,” ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou said. “Between our findings and the impressive experiences brought by our expert panel, I think we will be contributing to and hopefully influencing the global discourse on gender equality. Through applied research, we are able to indicate a pathway to what is most effective in designing policies that yield real and significant results.”
Event proceeds will go to ICRW’s Turning Point Campaign, whose aim is to help change the course for adolescent girls worldwide through evidence-based advocacy.
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Note to Editors:
Julie Katzman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Inter-American Development Bank (Moderator)
Carla Koppell, Chief Strategy Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Priya Nanda,Group Director, Reproductive Health and Economic Rights, and Project Director, IMPACCT, ICRW Asia Regional Office
Howard Taylor, Vice President and Managing Director, Nike Foundation
Rachel Vogelstein, Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, and Director of Women and Girls Programs, Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clinton Foundation