Development of the Youth CARE Program
Girl Child Marriage Prevention via Peer-Led Intervention
Epidemiologic data document no significant reductions in girl child marriage among older adolescent girls (16-17 years) in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan over the past 20 years. Social norms shifts in marriage of younger girls do not appear to be transferring in shifts for this older adolescent population. Young marriages in South Asia are typically characterized by non-use of contraception and subsequently early and unplanned pregnancies. Evidence suggests that older adolescent youth themselves influence early age at marriage and non-use of contraception, holding norms related to these practices. Youth CARE (Youth Capacity building to Advocate for Reduction of Early marriage and early pregnancy) was developed to train unmarried boys and girls in areas affected by early marriage and low contraception use to have conversations with other unmarried boys and girls with the goal of shifting norms related to these practices. Pilot evaluation of the program is currently being conducted in rural Maharashtra, India.
*Funded by the National Institutes of Health