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Child Marriage and Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme

  3. DESPITE PROGRESS, MANY GIRLS REMAIN AT RISK OF CHILD MARRIAGE Ethiopia: Child marriage (CM) prevalent but declining Prevalence has dropped by 20 percentage points in last decade 2005: 59% of young women married before 18 2015: 40% of young women married before 18 Amhara region has lowest median age at marriage: 15.7 years Rate of decline insufficient to eliminate CM by 2025
  4. Cash transfers a promising strategy to reduce CM at scale PSNP delayed out-migration of adolescent girls Girls act as substitutes for adult labour  potential spillover effects on delaying CM Evidence remains limited & mixed Aim: Explore pathways through which PSNP may impact CM Evidence will inform PSNP5, intentional links to CM programming WHY WE DID THE STUDY
  5. Descriptive mixed-method study explores CM dynamics and pathways of change Quantitative Surveys with one female caregiver in 5,355 HHs Qualitative 15 matched, in-depth interviews with heads of HH & female adolescents (unmarried & married) Key Informant Interviews with woreda representatives STUDY DESIGN & METHODOLOGY Does not conclude causal relationships Does not make conclusions for full socioeconomic distribution of population Aim Explore how PSNP could impact decisions on CM & through which pathways
  7. 1. Prevalence of CM in study sample Child marriage prevalence by age group (Individual-level) Differences between ISNP survey and DHS: • DHS all Amhara – ISNP only 4 woredas • Different populations (includes large PDS population) • Lower rates may be result of PSNP effect Females married as child (currently residing in the hh) Females married as child (DHS) Age at time of Baseline Survey N Percentage N Percentage (1) (2) (5) (6) Females 20-24 466 0.322 277 0.430 Females 20-29 982 0.414 594 0.531 Females 25-29 516 0.498 317 0.617
  8. ATTITUDES & PERCEPTIONS: 16.6 YEARS IDEAL AGE FOR MARRIAGE All HHs (Mean) HHs with females 20- 24 years old (Mean) Ideal age a girl should get married 16.60 16.73 Ideal age a girl should get married: U18 0.60 0.56 Ideal age a girl should get married: U15 0.08 0.04 Age at which adolescent females usually get married in this community 16.63 16.77 In this community females usually get married before 18 years 0.60 0.57 In this community females usually get married before 15 years 0.10 0.10 N 5,355 536
  9. ATTITUDES & PERCEPTIONS: PHYSICAL MATURITY IS MAIN INDICATOR OF ‘BEING READY’ FOR MARRIAGE Everyone marries at this age 0.26 Will have finished desired schooling 0.16 Will be physically matured enough 0.56 Will be mentally matured enough 0.31 Will be time to start having children 0.19 It is the legal age 0.06 To avoid pre-marital sexual relationships 0.06 N 5,361 Girls generally described as ready for marriage once show physical signs of puberty. “She [is ready] when she starts seeing menstruation & she has the ability to become pregnant.” - unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem
  10. ATTITUDES & PERCEPTIONS: DRIVERS COMPLEX, MULTIFACETED & ENTANGLED Poverty one among many factors… Gender & religious norms restrict girls’ premarital sexual activity, maintain chastity & family honour Desire to consolidate or demonstrate wealth through marriage & expand social ties with better-off families Marital norms influence parents’ decisions & limit agency to avoid or break marriage proposals Limited value placed on girl’s education exacerbated by dearth of alternative options for girls
  11. “Our culture also forces us to let her get married at that age [15] because a girl might be exposed to unnecessary relationship with a male.” - parent of unmarried girl, Dewa Chefa
  12. “People say prostitute & tramp if a girl gets married at a later age. People say nothing if a boy gets married at a later age.” - married girl, Dewa Chefa
  13. KNOWLEDGE OF CHILD MARRIAGE LAWS IS LIMITED “The ideal age to get married for girls is 15 years old. […] Below this, now days it is illegal.” - unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem N All Knows there is a legal marital age for boys & girls 5,362 0.08 Knows legal marital age for girls (among those that know there is a legal age) 1,371 0.80 Knows legal marital age for girls (among all respondents) 5,362 0.21 Knows marital legal age for boys 439 0.32 ONLY 20% OF RESPONDENTS REPORT CORRECT LEGAL AGE
  14. Father Mother Parents Person getting married Parents with person getting married Who decides at what age a female should get married 7.3 4.4 58.7 18.1 11.4 Who should decide at what age a female should get married 5.8 1.3 60.4 19.1 13.3 Who decides who a female marries 6.2 3.0 52.5 22.3 15.8 Who should decide who a girl marries 5.1 0.8 52.1 24.0 17.7 MARRIAGE DECISION MAKING DYNAMICS: 70% OF RESPONDENTS BELIEVE THAT GIRL DOES NOT HAVE A SAY “Parents usually decide when a girl is ready to get married.” - unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem
  16. IMPROVED ECONOMIC SECURITY: DECREASE RISK OF CHILD MARRIAGE Payments decrease financial burdens & improve economic security • Reduced economic pressures to marry girls • Improved ability to keep girls in school: education has multiplier effects on girls Some evidence PSNP affects work allocation within HH • Girls required to help when adults engaged in public works &/or substitute for adult labour at public work sites • Negative effects on schooling Transfer amount based on HH size • HHs may retain girls to get larger transfers but CM attitudes may remain unchanged “If I want to work on PSNP she [daughter] performs household work.” - parent of unmarried girl, Dewa Chefa
  17. IMPROVED ECONOMIC SECURITY: INCREASE RISK OF CHILD MARRIAGE Additional income may increase HH resources needed to cover costs of wedding • Bride price and dowry remain important customs Participation in the PSNP can increase girls’ prospects for receiving marriage proposals Socio-economic gains through wealth consolidation obtained through marriage may outweigh benefits of PSNP “Both parents from the bride and groom side present dowry for each other. Both families give money, farmland, & different materials to boy & girl who get married to set up their house. The boy family gives money to her family for betrothal (Macha).” - unmarried girl, Dewa Chefa
  18. EDUCATION PATHWAY Knowledge & information empowers girls to express & exercise their choices “We discuss about early marriage at school in girls’ clubs. I discuss with my best friend not to practice early dating.” - unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem Access to social networks & support builds girls’ confidence to resist marriage “Last year one family planned to marry their daughter at the age of 16 years & then she reported it to her teacher. The teachers intervened with the police & the marriage was interrupted.” - parent of unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem Increased awareness of penalties & in-school mechanisms to report child marriage “In schools if a girl charges her parents for the act of early marriage they can even be jailed for two or more weeks.” - unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem
  19. ATTITUDINAL SHIFTS AT COMMUNITY LEVEL Additional components of PSNP4 behaviour change communication (BCC), case management by social workers, monitoring of co-responsibilities BCC key mechanism to shift beliefs & gender norms related to girls’ value in society & importance of education, especially if parents & community members involved Community conversations on harmful traditional practices tackle community attitudes around CM Interaction with SWs/Community Service Workers & co- responsibilities influence awareness & attitudes towards education & CM
  20. “Because of what we learn at every PSNP meeting about education, more people are [planning] to teach their children rather than pushing for marriage. We are now focusing more on education.” - parent of unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem
  21. “The participation of my father in the PSNP changed views on gender equality. He respects my mother & discusses with her to ensure all children attend school regularly. In our family there is no problem in sending children to school.” - unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem
  22. “[Service workers] teach us & we are happy with their advice. They tell us about birth spacing. If you give birth frequently, you may even die. If a girl is exposed to child marriage & she gives birth it is bad for both.” - parent of unmarried girl, Libo Kemkem
  23. CONCLUSIONS Despite progress, rates of CM still high in Ethiopia Interest in understanding effect of national programmes (PSNP) on CM Attitudes towards CM • Broadly supportive of CM • Religious & cultural values perpetuate CM • CM reinforced by limited voice & agency exercised by girls
  24. CONCLUSIONS Economic Pathway • PSNP reduce risk of CM: reduced financial burden, keep girls in school, relocate labour within HH • PSNP increase risk of CM: more resources for bride price Education Pathway Courses reduce CM: social networks & support, empowerment, awareness of penalties, report mechanisms Attitudinal Shifts Pathway • BCC & SWs influence decisions & investments of PSNP in education • If whole community is engaged, BCC in influence greater
  25. RECOMMENDATIONS & LEARNINGS To inform PSNP5 1. Additional support for poorest families to retain girls at school 2. Link girls at risk & married/divorced minors to empowerment programmes 3. BCC module on CM messaging 4. BCC to include all members of HH 5. Strengthen capacity of SWs & HEWs: case management & referrals to social services
  26. RECOMMENDATIONS & LEARNINGS To inform programming on CM: 1. Improve community awareness on CM laws 2. Promote dialogue & access to information on CM in schools 3. Target all community members including PSNP clients in conversations on CM 4. Develop specific interventions for out- of/school/married girls, and IDPs
  27. RESEARCH TEAM UNICEF Office of Research Maja Gavrilovic, Tia Palermo, Elsa Valli, Francesca Viola BDS Center for Development Research Teketel Abebe, Getinet Mesay Kebede, Alene Matsentu, Fekadu Muluye, Feredu Nega, Tadele, Yenenesh Tadesse UNICEF Ethiopia Ellen Alem, Getachew Berhanu, Karin Heissler, Mathilde Renault, Lisa-Marie Ouedraogo-Wasi, Vincenzo Vinci
  28. • Behrman JA, Peterman A, Palermo T. Does keeping adolescent girls in school protect against sexual violence? Quasi-experimental evidence from East and Southern Africa. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2017;60(2):184-90. • Dake F, Natali L, Angeles G, De Hoop J, Handa S, Peterman A. Income transfers, early marriage and fertility in Malawi and Zambia. Studies in family planning. 2018;in press. • Handa S, Halpern CT, Pettifor A, Thirumurthy H. The government of Kenya's cash transfer program reduces the risk of sexual debut among young people age 15-25. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85473-e. • Handa S, Peterman A, Huang C, Halpern CT, Pettifor A, Thirumurthy H. Impact of the Kenya Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children on Early Pregnancy and Marriage of Adolescent Girls. Social Science & Medicine. 2015;141:36-45. • Heinrich CJ, Hoddinott J, Samson M. Reducing adolescent risky behaviors in a high-risk context: the effects of unconditional cash transfers in South Africa. Economic Development and Cultural Change. 2017;65(4):619-52. • Hoddinott JF, Mekasha TJ. Social protection, household size and its determinants: Evidence from Ethiopia. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); 2017. • Hallfors D, Cho H, Rusakaniko S, Iritani B, Mapfumo J, Halpern C. Supporting adolescent orphan girls to stay in school as HIV risk prevention: evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Zimbabwe. American journal of public health. 2011;101(6):1082-8. • Mekonnen B, Aspen H, editors. Early Marriage and the Campaign Against it in Ethiopia. 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies; 2009; Trondheim. • Presler-Marshall E, Lyytikainen M, Jones N, Montes A, Pereznieto P, Tefera B. Child marriage in Ethiopia: A review of the evidence and an analysis of the prevalence of child marriage REFERENCES
  29. Maja Gavrilovic Elsa Valli @UNICEFInnocenti @TransferProjct THANK YOU.

Editor's Notes

  1. [Conclusion] Thank you and contact information #1