22 years ago, the Indian state of Haryana launched Apni Beti Apna Dhan (“Our daughters, our wealth”), an ambitious cash-transfer (CCT) programme to change how girls were seen by their families and communities – as a burden to be married off, not an asset.
For every daughter that was born, a family that enrolled in the programme would receive approximately $400, on the condition that they remained unmarried until the age of 18. The impact, they hoped, would be three-fold: increased value of girls, improved educational attainment, and delayed marriage.
When the girls in the programme turned 18, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), a Girls Not Brides member, saw the perfect opportunity to evaluate its impact. Was the programme successful? Were girls now seen as more valuable? Were they able to delay marriage? Here is what they found."
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