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Armed conflicts and girl child marriages: A global evidence

Risha Singh, Srinivas Goli and Abhra Singh

Children and Youth Services Review, 2022, vol. 137, issue C

Abstract: Armed conflicts have profound socio-economic and developmental impacts on populations, far beyond direct deaths and injuries. Women and girls more often bear the indirect consequences of conflicts. During conflicts, marriage has been used as a ‘coping or protective mechanism’ to save young girls from physical and sexual exploitation, and also for consumption smoothing to sustain the household economy in difficult times. Previous studies on the relationship between ‘conflicts and girl child marriages’ are mostly localised and qualitative. For the first time, we provide global level empirical evidence of the association between ‘conflict events and girl child marriage rates’ using robust macro-level econometric analysis of multi-country panel data. The study uses data from multiple sources: Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Demographic Health Surveys, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys and World Development Indicators for 217 countries for the period, 1989 to 2018. Our findings based on multiple econometric models demonstrate a consistent significant positive relationship between conflict events and girl child marriage rates. Our results showed an increase of 0.03 to 0.08 percent points in girl child marriage rates for each battle-related death per thousand. In conclusion, we advance that humanitarian actions in conflict settings must consider preventing child (or forced) marriages of girls, with pro-active policy priorities.

Keywords: Child marriage; Armed conflicts; Battle deaths; Developmental impacts; Gender-based violence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106458

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