Early female marriage in the developing world

Robert Jensen, Rebecca Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many women in the developing world are subject to marriage at an early age. Most such women have little choice in the age at which they marry, or whom they marry. In this article, we examine patterns and trends of early marriage in the developing world. The incidence varies widely, from a high of 70 per cent in south Asia to a low of 30 per cent in South East Asia. Women who marry young tend to have less education and begin childrearing earlier, and have less decision-making power in the household. They are also more likely to experience domestic violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalGender and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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