Married Adolescents: An Overview


  Married adolescent girls have markedly less access to schooling than their unmarried counterparts. Similarly, the experience of most community-based, livelihoods, and social mobilization programmes directed at women tend to attract older, married, and parous women. Without special effort, they do not necessarily reach the newly married.   This article explores the variation and trends in early marriage in the second part of this overview, “Early Marriage Remains Extensive.” The sections “Marital Patterns Are Diverse” and “Early Marriage Is an Abuse of Rights” consider the diversity of marital patterns and examine the rights issues related to early marriage. The authors have also examined the social context of these marriages in the section entitled “Social and Economic Dimensions of Married Adolescent Girls’ Lives. Whether married adolescent girls differ from unmarried adolescents and slightly older married women in terms of mobility, decision making, social networks, and exposure to media has also been explored. 

WHO/UNFPA/Population Council Technical Consultation on Married Adolescents, WHO, Geneva 9–12 December 2003

Nicole Haberland, Erica Chong, Hillary Bracken



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