Conclusion and Recommendations of child marriage
Our review of the survey findings, literature and our empirical analyses shed light on gendered outcomes of ECM which directly lead to an increase in gendered poverty. Our findings reveal how ECM intersects with various social institutions to shape women’s risk of poverty, both absolutely and relative to men’s. While the relationship between gender and poverty is complex, several elements of this relationship are evident.
ECM’s dominance position in the gender inequality chain continues to flourish against the background of poverty, social expectations, sexual violence culturally-embedded sexual norms, gender stereotypes, social pressure and family hardship. This demands the necessity of finding new policies and solutions and acceptance of norms that reflect gender equality.
By placing children in adulthood roles, ECM affects the present and the next generation in terms of multiple pregnancies, restricted access to education and income generation opportunists, enforced social seclusion, early widowhood and abandonment and trapping survivors in a generational cycle of outdated roles and rules. The acute gender based oppression permeates into the collective thinking process and passes on to the next generation.
Regardless of geographical and cultural setting, child marriage in iran seems to directly correlate with conditions that typically characterise poor development, such as rural residence, low or no education, and poverty, with pronounced disparities emerging in the prevalence of ECM. “This in turn affects efforts to eradicate extreme poverty (goal one), since child brides miss out on the educational and economic opportunities needed to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Poverty, both a key determinant and a manifestation of child marriage as witnessed in Bangladesh, Mali, Mozambique and Niger where more than half of the girls are married before age 18. In these above cited countries, more than 75% of people live on less than $2 a day. Mali is an example of this dire economic survival.
Responses to ECM may geographically and culturally vary. What may efficiently work in some province can exacerbate the phenomenon in others and what is deemed acceptable in one nationality or culture may not hold true in the other. For instance the means in which preventive messages about ECM are transferred to people are different depending on the region. A holistic, comprehensive and coordinated policy must factor the specificities of each respective culture as a one size fits all approach may not simply be feasible. This requires adaptability and flexibility. Policies must be cognisance of differences and variation when enacting a core action programme to eradicate ECM.
There remains much to be done to combat ECM marriage in Iran. Based on the findings from the analysis and input from participants in the survey, the recommendations of the study are listed below. Many of the recommendations reinforce existing child marriage prevention programs and emphasize that multifaceted holistic approaches needed to tackle the problem of child marriage.