Beyond Marriage and Motherhood
Empowering girls by addressing adolescent pregnancies, child marriages and early unions
Across Asia and the Pacific, many girls have their adolescence disrupted by marriage and motherhood. A pregnancy, marriage or union, during this pivotal period of development, can have profound and life-long consequences for a girl, including negative impacts on her health and well-being, and that of her children.
The Beyond Marriage and Motherhood series has been developed to advance sustainable development not only through action to address child marriages, early unions and adolescent pregnancies, but also by empowering girls. The first paper explores adolescent pregnancies, child marriages and early unions in Southeast Asia and the Pacific by investigating their prevalence, trends, drivers, patterns and typologies. It highlights the heterogeneity across the region and proposes the differing patterns of adolescent pregnancy, marriage and union observed require different intervention strategies. This lays the foundation for the second paper in the series which discusses a targeted approach to these issues, providing evidence-based recommendations for interventions, based on the respective drivers and context.
The Understanding Pathways to Adolescent Pregnancy in Southeast Asia reports aim to shed light on the contextual factors, dynamics, and influences that contribute to adolescent pregnancy in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Lao PDR. Through comprehensive country analyses, they examine the distinct pathways followed by adolescent girls in relation to their pregnancies, as well as the diverse outcomes they experience. The findings from these country reports reveal the presence of six to eight recurring patterns that drive adolescent pregnancy in the four countries. These patterns are determined by factors such as marital status, consensus in sex, girls’ autonomy in making informed decisions. These reports build on the recommendations of the Beyond Marriage and Motherhood report.