This qualitative study defies some of the myths associated with child marriage, and explores the complex reality of child marriage in six districts in Zambia.
The study found that poverty is more likely to drive child marriage than culture and tradition in Zambia. It also highlighted six different forms of marriage, pointing out that child marriages often happen between girls and boys who are about the same age, and that those marriages often end in divorce.
It found that efforts to end child marriage need to cut across sector and address the underlying causes of the practice. It points out that awareness campaigns will not work on their own and may even drive the practice underground, increasing the risks for boys and girls.
This study was also included in the "Best of UNICEF Research" 2016, an annual competition to recognise outstanding pieces of research commissioned or supported by UNICEF staff around the world.