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The Economic Impacts of Child Marriage

The Economic Impacts of Child Marriage

Preliminary findings from analyses of existing data:

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the World Bank are researching the economic consequences of child marriage, with a view to using the resulting evidence to strengthen the case for ending this harmful practice.

The joint ICRW-World Bank study of the economic impacts of child marriage is still underway, but preliminary analyses suggest quite strongly that, in addition to harmful effects on girls’ health, education, rights and wellbeing, the economic impacts of child marriage, from the individual to the national levels, are very large.  In addition, most of the benefits from ending child marriage would accrue to the poor, who are almost always the most likely to have higher rates of child marriage.  Ending child marriage would help greatly to eradicate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.

Much more research will be undertaken in the coming months, but given what we already know, global leaders —particularly finance ministries and donors— should invest in ending child marriage as not only the right thing to do, but also a strategic investment in current and future economic and human development.

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