Early and child marriage (ECM) has persisted in many parts of the world, despite decades of laws and numerous interventions, because of limits on the opportunities and freedom of women and girls. AJWS believes new feminist research—focused on adolescent girls and the social norms that shape their lives—can fill significant gaps in knowledge about the causes and consequences of ECM and lead to more effective solutions. To that end, AJWS is supporting efforts to investigate ECM in India, where we have spent more than a decade funding social change organizations and learning from their work.
We support innovative research conducted by partners in India who explore the complex phenomenon of ECM, examine the most challenging barriers to improving girls’ lives, and help identify the most promising, evidence-based policies and interventions. We then apply these findings to our grantmaking in India and share them with other global funders—with the ultimate goal of expanding girls’ options beyond early and child marriage and helping them develop the skills to advocate for their rights throughout their lives.
“We identify seven root causes of early and child marriage: the economics of marriage; sexuality; gender norms and masculinity; educational and institutional gaps; the centrality of marriage; risk, vulnerability and uncertainty; and age as an axis of power.”
Since 2014, AJWS has funded 24 research projects conducted by experts on early and child marriage in India.