Putting an end to the practice of child marriage became an international commitment under Sustainable Development Goal 5 that focuses on empowering girls and women worldwide. Dreaming of a Better Life: Child Marriage Through Adolescent Eyes offers fresh insights and evidence to inform these efforts, based on findings from research and intervention projects funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to investigate different aspects of child marriage. Spanning rural and urban settings across Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Togo, and Zambia, the chapters address themes such as adolescent girls’ agency and roles in marital decision-making, teenage motherhood, sexual and gender-based violence against children, and lessons learned from trying to influence policies and implement programs to reduce child marriage. The short chapters, and mix of photo, visual, interview, and traditional reporting formats, are designed to appeal to policymakers in their national contexts, as well as resonate with others committed to supporting and empowering marginalised children and young people everywhere.
Gina Crivello is a senior researcher with Young Lives, University of Oxford, UK, where she leads the research on gender, adolescence, and youth. She is co-principal investigator of the Young Marriage and Parenthood Study (YMAPS) funded by IDRC. Her current research explores the interrelated schooling, work, and marriage trajectories of girls and boys who grow up in poverty and their support needs as they transition to adulthood.
Gillian Mann, a social anthropologist, is co-principal investigator for the four-country Young Marriage and Parenthood Study (YMAPS), and is also Head of Research and Evaluation for Child Frontiers and a research associate with Young Lives. Her work is focused on bridging the divide between academic and policy- and intervention-oriented research on issues related to children’s well-being and protection.