Ending Child Marriage and Meeting the Needs of Married Children: The USAID Vision for Action

Ending child marriage is not only the right thing to do; it can also pay enormous dividends for development. Delaying marriage and childbearing can improve the health of a mother and her child. For one, the risk of malnutrition in children born to mothers over the age of is smaller. Improved nutrition in infants leads to increased schooling and cognitive ability, which contributes to an increase in lifetime savings. Increasing the age of first marriage reduces girls’ risk for physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse. Delaying marriage can also increase girls’ and women’s decision-making power. Keeping girls in school and delaying marriage increases incomes for individuals and advances economic development for nations.