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Getting the Evidence: Asia Child Marriage Initiative

Overview

Getting the Evidence: Asia Child Marriage Initiative

In 2014 and 2015, as part of the Asia Child Marriage Initiative (ACMI), Plan International and Coram International undertook a research study in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. 

The purpose of the ACMI research was to gather in-depth and detailed evidence on the root causes of child marriage practices. It focused on exploring social attitudes, values and norms concerning child marriage, and identifying the structural and environmental factors which influence them. In addition, the research informed the development of an index for measuring environmental factors associated with the acceptability of child marriage which will be used by Plan International to track progress and improve the effectiveness of our child marriage programming globally. 

The research found rates of child marriage of girls to be high across all 3 countries, particularly in Bangladesh; rates of marriage of boys were found to be highest in Pakistan. 

The research found that the number of years a girl spends in education is associated with her age of first marriage; girls who stay in school longer tend to marry later. Furthermore, male sexual violence and control of female sexuality underlie the practice of child marriage, whilst improved access to sexual and reproductive health rights reduces child marriage acceptability. 

The summary report presents the research findings and makes a series of recommendations that are necessary to reduce levels of child marriage throughout Asia.