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Minimum marriage age laws, child marriage and cumulative fertility: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa Authors: Belinda Maswikwa, MA Linda Richter, PhD Chris.

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Presentation on theme: "Minimum marriage age laws, child marriage and cumulative fertility: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa Authors: Belinda Maswikwa, MA Linda Richter, PhD Chris."— Presentation transcript:

1 Minimum marriage age laws, child marriage and cumulative fertility: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa Authors: Belinda Maswikwa, MA Linda Richter, PhD Chris Desmond, PhD Jay Kaufman, PhD Arijit Nandi, PhD

2 Outline  Background  Research aims  Research methods  Results  Discussion  Questions

3 Background 62.8 million 20-24year olds married before 18

4 Child marriage  Child marriage early child bearing  Child marriage higher maternal mortality  Child marriage higher child mortality  Child marriage higher HIV prevalence  Child marriage lower birth weights  Child marriagehigher total fertility rates

5 Research aims  Focus on three marriage laws  General minimum marriage age (civil)  Minimum marriage age with parental consent  Age of sexual consent  Association between all three minimum marriage age laws set at 18 or higher and child marriage (consistent 18 + laws)  Association between child marriage and fertility (total children born)

6 Contribution  Gap in the literature  South Asia focus – disproportionate burden in Sub-Saharan Africa  Few studies of effect of minimum marriage age laws  Significance  Reproductive health, mortality and morbidity concerns – child marriage and adolescent childbearing  UN MDG goals 4 and 5 (child mortality and maternal health)

7 RESEARCH METHODS

8 Data sources  Child marriage database  World Policy Analysis Centre at UCLA  Captures the legal minimum age of marriage  Demographic and Health Surveys  Funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID)  Captures population and reproductive health  Collaboration with Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Montreal Canada

9 Primary Research Question 3 consistent 18+ minimum marriage age laws Occurrence of child marriage Exposure:  Marriage age law consistency  0 if any marriage laws < 18  1 if all three marriage laws > 18 Outcomes:  Child marriage rates Analysis  Risk ratios  Weighted and controlled for clustering at country level

10 RESULTS

11 Sample CountryYearMinimum marriage age Parental Consent Age of Sexual Consent % married before 18 Mean children Countries with 3 consistent 18+ laws Burundi Ethiopia Rwanda Uganda Mean Countries with 3 inconsistent laws Burkina Faso Cameroon2011n/a15n/a Gabon Malawi Mozambique Senegal Tanzania Zimbabwe Mean

12 Control variables  Wealth quintile  Poorest, Poor, Middle, Richer, Richest  Location  Rural, Urban - dummy variable  Education  None (0 years)  Primary school (1-6 years),  Secondary school ( 7 – 12 years)  Post secondary school (+13 years)  Religion  Muslim, Catholic, Other Christian, Traditional – dummy variables

13 Results: Law consistency and child marriage Results: Law consistency and child marriage Child marriageRisk ratios (95% confidence intervals) Consistent 18+ laws0.79 (0.55 to 1.12) Richest quintile (ref) Richer1.12*** (1.04 to 1.21) Middle1.15*** (1.06 to 1.25) Poorer1.21*** (1.11 to 1.31) Poorest1.23** (1.10 to 1.38) School years0.96*** (0.95 to 0.98) Location (rural: urban)1.10** (1.01 to 1.20) No religion (ref) Muslim0.97 (0.86 to 1.09) Catholic0.88* (0.77 to 1.02) Traditional0.98 (0.85 to 1.13) Other Christian0.99 (0.90 to 1.09)

14 Secondary Research Question 3 consistent 18+ minimum marriage age laws Adolescent Fertility Exposure:  Child marriage  0 if first age at marriage >= 18  1 if first age at marriage < 18 Outcomes:  Fertility  Total children born Analysis  Poisson regression  Weighted and controlled for clustering at country level

15 Controls  Covariates:  Wealth quintile  Poorest, Poor, Middle, Richer, Richest  Location  Rural, Urban - dummy variable  Education  None (0 years)  Primary school (1-6 years),  Secondary school ( 7 – 12 years)  Post secondary school (+13 years)  Age  Religion  Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Traditional – dummy variables

16 Results: child marriage and fertility Results: child marriage and fertility CEBβ coefficients (95% confidence intervals) Child marriage0.53*** (0.46 to 0.60) Consistent 18+ laws-0.04 (-0.22 to 0.14) Richest quintile (ref) Richer0.07*** (0.02 to 0.13) Middle0.11*** (0.05 to 0.18) Poorer0.12*** (0.05 to 0.20) Poorest0.16*** (0.07 to 0.24) School years-0.02*** (-0.03 to 0.00) Location0.09*** (0.04 to 0.14) Age0.17*** (0.16 to 0.18) No religion (ref) Muslim-0.05 (-0.13 to 0.04) Catholic-0.01 (-0.09 to 0.06) Other Christian-0.04 (-0.11 to 0.04) Traditional-0.01** (-0.08 to 0.06)

17 Discussion  No significant association between law consistency and child marriage at country level  Households in countries with consistent minimum marriage age laws of 18 years or over for girls are 21% less likely to have women who marry as children  Significant positive association between child marriage and adolescent fertility  Girls who marry before the age of 18 years have more children than those who marry as adults.  Study limitations  Further work

18 Questions/Comments Thank you


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