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CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …
The report examines issues related to early marriage and offers policy and programmatic recommendations to end practice, which is widespread despite laws and agreements forbidding it.
The report presents the findings of an international comparative analysis of age at marriage and age at first birth, marital instability, informal unions, and teenage reproductive behaviour, with emphasis on trends over the past decade. For some trend analyses, this review is limited to countries where DHS surveys were conducted between 1990 and 2002.