The escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel is leaving people in Gaza in urgent need of humanitarian support. Please donate now.

Available documents

No available documents

Oxfam Policy & Practice provides free access to Gender & Development and Development in Practice journal articles.

Download from publisher


This article explores the connections between poverty and the early marriage of girls. These links are rarely acknowledged in development research, policy and practice, despite the fact that in parts of sub- Saharan Africa, where women form the majority of the poor, it is estimated that over 60 per cent of girls under 19 are married (UN 2000). Poverty is characterised by both economic and social factors; in this paper, social factors are the primary focus because of the gender disparities in these social indicators. Early marriage perpetuates the feminisation of poverty, preventing girls from attaining their full potential in terms of developing their social capabilities. Hence, it violates girls’ human rights, especially their right to sexual and reproductive choice and health care. The article ends by proposing an agenda for change.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

Additional details





How to cite this resource

Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context.  You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:

Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL

Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.

Related resources

Here are similar items you might be interested in.

Browse all resources