What India must Learn from Bangladesh's attempts to curb Child Marriage

If child marriage in India is often seen as a solution by communities not a problem, how can we begin to tackle it? Dr Zaki Wahhaj and Dr Amrit Amirapu have been working on research evidencing that legislation is not the fix it may appear.

Dr Zaki Wahhaj and Dr Amrit Amirapu have co-authored an editorial along with Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India in prominent Indian newspaper, The Hindustan Times on a recently proposed bill regarding child marriage.

‘The bill seeks to raise the marriage age of girls in India from 18 to 21 years,’ Amirapu explains ‘and in the editorial we caution against this for a number of reasons – some of which are informed by our recent research paper on the effect of a reform to the child marriage law in Bangladesh. The main thrust of the argument is that in order to raise marriage ages (a goal that we agree with), you need to empower and educate girls – changing the law in this way is likely to be unhelpful and may even produce a backlash.’

Read the full editorial here

Read ‘Can Child Marriage Law Affect Attitudes and Behaviour in the Absence of Strict Enforcement? Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh’ here

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