Economic impacts of child marriage : Ethiopia synthesis report

Human Rights – Development

Economic impacts of child marriage : Ethiopia synthesis report
World Bank
Working Paper 2018 :: 101 pages
Wodon, Quentin T.; Male, Chata; Onagoruwa, Adenike Opeoluwa; Savadogo, Aboudrahyme; Yedan, Ali; Kes, Aslihan; John, Neetu; Steinhaus, Mara; Murithi, Lydia; Edmeades, Jeff; Petroni, Suzanne
The international community is increasingly aware of the negative impacts of child marriage on a wide range of development outcomes. Ending child marriage is now part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet investments to end the practice remain limited across the globe. Ethiopia recently adopted a strategy to end child marriage, and some of the projects being implemented in the country should contribute to reduce the practice child marriage. Still, more could be done. In order to inspire greater commitments towards ending child marriage, this study demonstrates the negative impacts of the practice and their associated economic costs. The study looks at five domains of impacts: (i) fertility and population growth; (ii) health, nutrition, and violence; (iii) educational attainment and learning; (iv) labor force participation and earnings; and (v) participation, decision-making, and investments. Economic costs are estimated for several of the impacts. Overall, the costs are high. They suggest that investing to end child marriage is not only the right thing to do, but also makes sense economically.


Media Release
Child Marriage May Cost Ethiopia Billions of Dollars, Says New World Bank Report
ADDIS ABABA, May 3, 2018 – Ethiopia’s economy could potentially lose billions of dollars annually due to child marriage, says a new report by the World Bank and the International Center for Research for Women, which was launched today together with the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs. In contrast, ending the practice of child marriage would have a large positive effect on the educational attainment of girls and their children, reduce population growth, and increase women’s expected earnings and household welfare.

The report, titled Economic Impacts of Child Marriage: Ethiopia Synthesis Report, is part of a global program of work funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Global Partnership for Education. According to the study, the prevalence of child marriage (marriage or union before the age of 18) remains high in Ethiopia, affecting more than one in three girls. In addition, almost one in five girls gives birth before the age of 18.

“Child brides are often robbed of their rights to safety and security, to health and education, and to make their own life choices and decisions,” said Quentin Wodon, Lead Economist at the World Bank and author of the report. “Child marriage not only puts a stop to girls’ hopes and dreams. It also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity. Ending this practice is not only the morally right thing to do but also the economically smart thing to do.”…