Policy-makers and practitioners around the world today readily recognise the integral role of education and gender equality in fostering human and economic development in a society. But facets of these two dimensions of development remain under-researched, with questions that can help design better policy still unanswered: How does improved access to education impact upon gender roles within a traditional society? Does education affect attitudes and beliefs regarding traditional gender roles and subsequent life choices of those exposed to education? Are there investments complementary to schooling that can accelerate social transformation, particularly greater economic participation by women and investment in the health and education of the next generation?

IntEGGrA is a collaborative research initiative among researchers at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom and Malaya University in Malaysia to investigate these questions with a focus on countries in South and Southeast Asia. The initiative is supported by an international partnership between the University of Kent and Malaya University, based on a Memorandum of Understanding that facilitates academic visits by Integgra researchers, participation in Integgra research by students at both institutions, and collaboration on externally funded research projects. This website has been developed as a outlet for disseminating the research findings and related articles produced by the Integgra research team.

Upcoming Events

Child Marriage in Behavioural Economics: Nudge, Push, Shove or Sledge-Hammer?

Panel Session at 2019 BDI Conference at Yale University

with participation by Dr Sajeda Amin, Barrister Sara Hossain and Dr Zaki Wahhaj 
Venue: Room #4400, Yale School of Management
Date: Saturday 23rd March 2019
Time: 15:00 - 16:25 

In many parts of the world, including Bangladesh, adolescent girls face strong social pressures to marry from the onset of puberty. Recent research has established that the practice of early marriage has adverse consequences not only for the women who experience it but also for the next generation of children. But there remains wide-ranging debate among policymakers and researchers about the most cost-effective strategies – as well as innovation in the design of programmes and policies – for tackling the issue. While there exists a broad consensus among stakeholders about the proximate causes of early marriage – including poverty, vulnerability to adverse shocks, and lawless – there is less understanding of the deep drivers: why the practice has persisted in some societies while others with similarly patriarchal traditions have managed to eradicate it in recent decades. This panel session at the 2019 Bangladesh Development Initiative Conference will consider the pros and cons of different strategies for reducing the incidence of child marriage considered by national governments, international aid agencies, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders.

Please also see announcements on Twitter: @InteggraNews


Past Events

Conference on "Men & Women: Towards Gender Equality"

with participation by Professor Niaz Asadullah 
Venue: Center for Foundation Studies in Science (PASUM), University of Malaya
Date: Saturday 29th September 2018
Time: 08:30 - 17:30 
 The conference is jointly organised by the University of Malaya and the charity
"We Empower" to tackle issues related to gender inequality in Malaysia including
sexual harassment in the workplace and female child marriage, and the gap
between the formal law and existing cultural practices.

"Marriage, Work and Migration: The Role of Infrastructure Development in Gender Norms"

by Professor Niaz Asadullah 
Venue: Room 106, Zhonghui Building, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
Date: Tuesday 13th March 2018
Time: 09:00 - 13:30 
The workshop is jointly organised by the Institute of Economic and Social Research (IESR)
at Jinan University and the Global Labor Organization. Professor Asadullah will present findings
from joint research with Drs Amirapu and Wahhaj on the impact of a large transport infrastructure
development project in Bangladesh on labour and marriage markets and female long-distance

"Child Marriage in Bangladesh - Current Situation and Potential Solutions"

by Professor Niaz Asadullah and Dr Zaki Wahhaj
East West University Public Seminar
Venue: East West University Faculty Lounge, Aftabnagar, Dhaka
Date: Thursday 3rd September 2015
Time: 16:30 - 18:00 
We will present findings from the 2014 WiLCAS survey and the 2012 BRAC ADP survey
to provide a picture of the current situation regarding child marriage in Bangladesh,
and discuss potential policies to address the issue from a historical perspective.
Mr Asaduzzaman Noor, MP and Minister of Cultural Affairs will be the Chielf Guest
at the event. Mahbub Ara Begum Gini, MP and member of the Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Women's and Children's Affairs will attend as special guest.

"Ending Child Marriage - Empowering Girls or Strengthening the Rule of Law"

by Professor Niaz Asadullah and Dr Zaki Wahhaj
BRAC Research and Evaluation Division Public Seminar
Venue: BRAC University Auditorium, Bldg-2, 66 Mohakhali, Dhaka
Date: Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
In light of the recent debate regarding proposed changes to age-of-marriage laws,
we will present findings from the 2014 WiLCAS survey and the 2012 BRAC ADP survey
on early marriage and women's voice in their own marriage decisions and explore
their implications for policy.
Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University, will be Chief Guest at the event. 
Syeda Rizwana Hassan, Advocate, Supreme Court and Chief Executive of Bangladesh
Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), and Dr Binayak Sen, Research Director of
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), will attend as special guests.

"Learning Crisis in South Asia" 

by Professor Niaz Asadullah
BRAC Research and Evaluation Division Public Seminar
Venue: BRAC Centre Conference Room, Dhaka
Date: Monday 24th August 2015
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
The presentation will share preliminary results on the state of student learning
in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh drawing upon insights from WiLCAS 2014 
and BRAC's Adolescent Development Progamme.

"Early Marriage and Social Norms: Theory and Evidence from Bangladesh"

by Dr Zaki Wahhaj
UNICEF WCARO Special Seminar 
Venue: UNICEF WCARO 4th floor meeting room, Almadies, Dakar
Date: Monday 23rd June 2015
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
The presentation will focus on the role of social norms in sustaining early marriage
and findings from the WiLCAS 2014 survey in Bangladesh and discuss implications 
for programmes and policies related to adolescent development in developing countries.

"Female Education, Economic Participation and Adolescent Development in Bangladesh"

by Dr Zaki Wahhaj
IRD and LARTES Joint Seminar 
Venue: LARTES, Camp Jeremy, Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar
Date: Friday 10th June 2015
Time: 10:00 - 12:00
During the last twenty years, the secondary school enrollment for girls has risen sharply
in Bangladesh and has achieved parity with the enrollment rate for boys. This achievement
is generally associated with a number of educational reforms including stipend schemes
which were launched in Bangladesh in the 1990's as well as increased opportunities for women
in the labour market. During the same period, Bangladesh has experienced a sharp decline in
fertility and increased participation in higher education by girls. 
The presentation will focus on changes in schooling, marriage, fertility and employment of
adolescent girls in Bangladesh over a 20-year period and propose hypotheses for the anomalies
we observe in the trends. The wider objective of this analysis is to gather insights that would
enable donors and policy-makers to formulate more effective programmes for adolescent
development not only in Bangladesh but also in other parts of the world.

Articles in the Print and Electronic Media

VoxDev, 11 March 2019
The Malaysian Insight, 12 October 2018
Protecting Girls from Child Marriage
by Niaz Asadullah and Wan Farihah Ahmed Fahmy
Review of Faith and International Affairs, 05 June 2018
The Daily Star | Star Weekend, 30 March 2018
UNESCO World Education Blog, 16 March 2018
Gender Stereotypes in Textbooks in South & South-East Asia
by Niaz Asadullah and Kazi Mukitul Islam
UNESCO World Education Blog, 30 May 2017
Gender Stereotypes in Bangladeshi School Textbooks
by Niaz Asadullah, Samia Huq, Kazi Mukitul Islam and Zaki Wahhaj
Project Syndicate, 01 May 2017
Mending Bangladesh's Garment Industry
by Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj
The Round Table > Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 18 April 2017
Eradicating Child Marriage in the Commonwealth
by Sajeda Amin, Niaz Asadullah, Sara Hossain and Zaki Wahhaj
Ideas for India, 10 April 2017
Cash Transfers to End Child Marriage: The Indian Experience
by Sajeda Amin, Niaz Asadullah, Sara Hossain and Zaki Wahhaj
Project Syndicate, 08 March 2017
A Blueprint for Ending Child Marriage
by Sajeda Amin, Niaz Asadullah, Sara Hossain and Zaki Wahhaj
  Reprinted in The Daily Star on 11 March 2017
  Translated to Spanish and Reprinted in El Pais on 17 April 2017
  Translated to Bengali and Reprinted in Daily Bonik Barta on 28 May 2017
The Conversation, 08 March 2017
Bangladesh’s New Child Marriage Law Swings in the Wrong Direction
by Sajeda Amin, Niaz Asadullah, Sara Hossain and Zaki Wahhaj
  Reprinted in The Huffington Post on 08 March 2017
  Republished by The Wire on 08 March 2017
  Republished by Scroll.In on 11 March 2017
  Translated to Bengali and Reprinted in Prothom Alo on 29 May 2017
Economic and Political Weekly Commentary, 11 February 2017
Can Conditional Cash Transfers Eradicate Child Marriage?
by Sajeda Amin, Niaz Asadullah, Sara Hossain and Zaki Wahhaj
Development and Cooperation, Monthly e-Paper, August 2016
by Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj
UNU-WIDER Angle Blog, July 2016
by Niaz Asadullah, Fathema Khatoon and Abdul Alim
  Reprinted on the Oxford CSAE blog on 14 July 2016
Daily Banik Barta, 10 May 2016
by Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj
Open Democracy 50.50, 07 April 2016
by Zaki Wahhaj and Niaz Asadullah
  Reprinted on bdnews24 on 16 April 2016
  Reprinted in the New Age on 09 May 2016
  Reprinted on South Asia @ LSE on 27 July 2016
Economic and Political Weekly Commentary, 16 January 2016
Development and Cooperation, 03 January 2016
by Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj
  Reprinted in the Dhaka Tribune on 10 January 2016
The Daily Star Op-Ed, 13 September 2015
Sustaining Women's Literacy and the SDGs
by Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj
  Reprinted by the Asia News Network on 13 September 2015
The Daily Star Op-Ed, 28 August 2015
Child Marriage Law and Freedom of Choice
by Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj
BRAC blog, 26 July 2015
Delaying Marriage, Educating the Next Generation
by Niaz Asadullah, Md Abdul Alim and Fathema Khatoon
The Diplomat, 06 December 2014
  Reprinted in the East Asia Forum on 09 January 2015
World Bank South Asia Blog, 03 November 2014
by Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj
The Conversation UK, 10 October 2014
On the Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi
by Zaki Wahhaj and Niaz Asadullah
  Republished by bdnews24.com on 12 October 2014

Press Coverage

The Daily Star, Dhaka
06 August 2016
Financial Express, Bangladesh
30 May 2016
Daily Banik Barta
Interview of Niaz Asadullah:
09 January 2016
Brac Blog
08 September 2015
Dhaka Tribune
07 September 2015
The Independent, Bangladesh
03 September 2015
The Daily Star, Dhaka
03 September 2015
Prothom Alo

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