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Untying the Knot: Exploring Early Marriage in Fragile States
November 18, 2016

Author: World Vision
Publication Date: March 2013

Description: This report considers the ways in which current interventions by governments and the international community could be strengthened to help end the cycle of poverty and inequality created by early marriage. Roughly 14.2 million underage girls are married each year, and the impact of the practice on their lives is often catastrophic, ranging from severe sexual and reproductive health complications to domestic violence, social isolation, and extreme poverty.  Girls who live in areas suffering from humanitarian crises are particularly vulnerable to being married underage, and early marriage usually occurs with the consent of—or pressure from—the child’s parents.  This report found that fear of rape and sexual violence, of unwanted pre-marital pregnancies, of family shame and dishonor, of homelessness and hunger or starvation were all reported by parents and children as legitimate reasons for early marriage, while poverty, weak legislative frameworks and enforcement, harmful traditional practices, gender discrimination and lack of alternative opportunities for girls (especially education) are all major drivers of early marriage.  The report argues that existing programs have failed to adequately recognize the role of fragility as a major driver of early marriage and recommends several interventions to address the problem in future humanitarian responses.

To access the resource, please click here Untying the Knot: Exploring Early Marriage in Fragile States

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