Trade liberalization & effects on marriage

Publication Subtitle

Case studies from Bangladesh, Vietnam and Egypt

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Publication Author

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Economic growth and trade liberalization can transform the institution of marriage by increasing employment opportunities for women. Marriage, especially early marriage of adolescent girls, may become less economically essential as young women become financially independent. The case studies presented in this paper show, culture mediates the impact of economic change on marriage differently in different contexts, thus prohibiting any generalizations about trade liberalization and marriage. As countries implement liberal trade policies, or otherwise alter these regimes, it is crucial that scholars, activists and policymakers are aware of the potential divergent socioeconomic effects that could result, both those intended and unintended.