In "High Stakes for Young Lives," Senior Fellow Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Research Associate Lynn S. ElHarake examine the social, economic, and cultural factors driving child marriage in order to help policymakers and civil society leaders curb, and eventually eliminate, child marriage. Since no single strategy will end the practice, Lemmon and ElHarake argue for a combination of legal frameworks, education policies, enforcement standards, attitude shifts, and economic incentives.
"Fragile States, Fragile Lives" hones in on the correlation between child marriage and state fragility. Many of the countries with the highest rates of child marriage are found on the top of lists such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) list of fragile states and the Fund for Peace's Failed States Index, yet there is a wide gap in data that assesses the degree to which fragile contexts perpetuate child marriage.
Lemmon writes that closing this gap will help produce more effective and targeted interventions to assist the youngest and most at-risk members of communities in crisis, and improve the future prospects of all members of the next generation in some of the most challenging corners of the world.
This report was made possible thanks to generous support from the Ford Foundation, and is part of the Women and Foreign Policy program.
On NPR's Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, Lemmon and the International Center for Research on Women's Ann Warner discuss how child marriage not only leaves young girls vulnerable to physical and psychological health problems, but also has serious implications for community and global development goals.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is the New York Times best-selling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana and a senior fellow with the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Prior to joining CFR, Lemmon covered public policy and emerging markets for the global investment firm PIMCO, after working for nearly a decade as a journalist with the ABC News political unit and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Lemmon has reported on entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict regions for the Financial Times, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Daily Beast, Fast Company, Politico, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg. She is also the author of the Newsweek March 2011 cover story "The Hillary Doctrine" on former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's push to put women at the center of U.S. foreign policy. She has written regularly for the Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and Foreign Affairs. Lemmon appears frequently on news outlets including NBC News, National Public Radio, MSNBC, and CNN. Lemmon earned a BA in journalism summa cum laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she received the 2006 Dean's Award for her work on women's entrepreneurship.
Lynn S. ElHarake is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School and a former research associate in the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Prior to joining CFR, ElHarake worked for Global Health Strategies, a communications and advocacy consulting firm. There, she oversaw outreach to the Middle East and North Africa region, and also consulted directly for Women Deliver, a global advocacy nongovernmental organization, in the lead-up to its third global conference. She also worked as a research assistant to Iman Nuwayhid, dean of the faculty of health sciences at the American University of Beirut. She was a Fulbright scholar in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. She has written for CFR blogs and other international development websites on issues related to women, the Middle East, and entrepreneurship. ElHarake graduated cum laude from Duke University with a BA in biological anthropology and Asian and Middle Eastern studies.