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Trends in the timing of first marriage among men and women in the developing world

MENSCH, Barbara S
SINGH, Susheela
CASTERLINE, John B
August 2005

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The timing of first union merits investigation not only because of the close temporal link between marriage and the onset of childbearing, but also because the age when men and women marry has implications for the organization of family life and for gender relations within society. This paper begins by reviewing the contributions of various social science disciplines to an understanding of the timing of marriage. Using current status data from 73 countries provided by the United Nations Population Division and retrospective data from 52 Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 1990 and 2001, we then examine recent trends in the timing of first marriage or union for men and women in the developing world. With the exception of South America for both sexes and South and Southeast Asia for men, substantial declines have occurred in the proportion of young men and women who are married. Given the differentials in the timing of marriage by educational attainment and residence, we assess whether the decline in the proportion of young people who are married is related to increases in schooling and urbanization. Expansion of schooling for women has had some impact, but a considerable portion of the reduction in early marriage is not explained by changes in levels of education. We consider other factors that might account for the increase in age at marriage. Finally, we review what is known about the consequences of changing age at marriage with a particular focus on risk of HIV infection.

Double burden : a situation analysis of HIV/AIDS and young people with disabilities in Rwanda and Uganda

YOUSAFZAI, Aisha
EDWARDS, Karen
2004

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This analysis was carried out by Save the Children UK after reports from the field suggested that disabled people were not accessing HIV prevention information or services, despite being at higher risk of infection. It outlines ways in which disabled people are not fully included in safer-sex communications: for instance blind people hear talk about condoms, but have never held one; the necessity to have a sign-language interpreter for deaf people compromises their right to confidentiality; young girls with disabilities are more likely to be raped and are less able to negotiate safe sex. It recommends the greater integration of disabled people into health and HIV communications and further research to develop disabled-friendly means of communication

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