Having a Child Before Becoming an Adult: Exploring the Economic Impact in a Multi-Country Analysis

This report, prepared by Population Council and Women Deliver, presents findings from one of the first multi-country analyses to examine the short- and long-term impacts of having a child before 18 on employment and monetary compensation (cash earnings). Cash earnings (as opposed to in-kind payments and unpaid work) play an important role in economic empowerment, as research suggests women receiving cash are more likely to be able to make decisions about their own healthcare and education. The study dives further into women’s economic empowerment by analyzing married women’s sole control over her cash earnings. A woman’s power to make her own decision over her health, income and life choices is a marker of empowerment and core elements of gender equality.