Despite a significant rise in the median age of marriage for boys and girls, India continues to demonstrate among the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world, accounting for over 40% of global child marriages. Rajasthan is in the bottom quartile of the states across the country with data from the most recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4 2015/16) showing that 35.4% of women between the ages of 20-24 were still married before age 18.
Four policy interventions to address the problem have been analyzed: bicycle transfers, conditional cash payments for secondary school attendance, the construction and maintenance of girls’ toilets in secondary schools and an 18-month vocational training programs.
In this paper by Reena V. Mithal of Sankhya Capital the costs of four policy interventions to address the child marriage problem in Rajasthan are compared with the benefits coming from both economic value derived from future employment and income opportunities, and social value resulting from a reduction in domestic violence, improvement in maternal and child health and lower rates of fertility.
Crime and Violence
A new research paper by Srinivas Raghavendra, Mrinal Chadha, and Nata Duvvury of the National University of Ireland Galway helps close gaps in the evidence related to interventions aimed at reducing domestic violence. Domestic violence in Rajasthan costs the state an estimated INR 8,200 crore per year.
The study looks at two interventions with a strong track record internationally. The first is based on the SASA! project, a community mobilisation intervention seeking to change the norms and behaviours that result in gender inequality and violence, pioneered in Uganda and used in more than 20 countries. The second intervention, used in South Africa, combines microfinance with training about domestic violence, gender norms and sexuality, thus providing women with the means and knowledge to improve their well-being.
Sector Expert Consultation
Rajasthan Priorities hosted a sector expert consultation on ‘Gender and Human Rights’ on September 22nd, 2017 at the Institute of Development Studies in Jaipur. Experts working in the field of gender, adolescent, women empowerment, and girls right were invited to join the consultation. Experts from the government, academia, civil society, and various development partners joined. The experts were briefed about the project and methodology along with a brief on the work of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.