One in three girls married in childhood worldwide lives in India (UNICEF 2014), and child marriage is linked to adolescent fertility, lowered female autonomy, reduced access to education and earning opportunities, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Yet, relatively little is known about life after marriage for adolescents and married young couples in India. A recent study, ‘Marital and fertility decision-making: the lived experiences of adolescents and young married couples in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India’, explores these experiences in two southern Indian states. The research was a qualitative sub-study under the Young Lives longitudinal study of childhood poverty that has traced the life trajectories of 3,000 children and their households in India over a 15-year period.
This policy brief offers a set of recommendations based on the key findings emerging from the research.