CiMLAS (Child Marriage Law and Attitudes Survey) is a follow-up survey to WiLCAS, conducted with a subsample of WiLCAS households in May-June 2018, designed to investigate the impact of the 2017 Child Marriage Registration Act in Bangladesh on social attitudes towards child marriage.
The survey is being conducted by the University of Kent and the University of Malaya in collaboration with DATA, Bangladesh (Data Analysis and Technical Assistance) with funding from the Economic Development and Institutions research (EDI) programme of the UK Department of International Development’s (DfID).
The new survey was conducted in 80 village clusters, selected from the original 391 WiLCAS rural clusters. The selection of survey clusters followed a two-stage randomisation process. At the first stage, 24 of the 61 districts covered under WiLCAS were randomly drawn. At the second stage, 80 village clusters were randomly picked from the WiLCAS rural clusters located in these districts. All female respondents to the original WiLCAS survey found in these clusters were selected for individual interviews. This procedure produced a sample of 971 female respondents.
The survey team also conducted parallel interviews with other members of the extended family who belong to the same household or are living in the same neighbourhood. The additional respondents were chosen from the following list, starting with the first relative present at the time of the interview, and continuing down the list till the required number of additional interviews had been obtained: (a) father-in-law; (b) mother-in-law; (c) eldest brother of father-in-law; (d) uncle-in-law; (e) husband’s elder brother; (f) husband; (g) husband’s elder brother’s wife. A total of 786 interviews with relatives of the WiLCAS female respondents were conducted during the survey.
In all interviews, the survey team collected information on the respondents’ parental background, schooling, own marriage history, exposure to information on child marriage through the media; knowledge of child marriage law; beliefs and attitudes regarding child marriage practices; beliefs and attitudes regarding traditional gender norms. In interviews with female respondents, the survey team obtained information on the marriage of their adolescent daughters.
During the interviews, the respondents were shown a video of a short drama of a hypothetical case of marriage of a girl of 15. There were small variations in the story across different respondents such that some were provided with information about the new law while others were not. Specifically, a control group (C) received information about the minimum age limit for marriage and the punishment for violating the minimum age limit under the old (CMRA 1929) law. A treatment group (T1) received information about the new law (CMRA 2017), including the exception clause. A second treatment group (T2) received information about the age limit and punishments specified in CMRA 2017 but not the exception clause. The respondents were randomised into the T1, T2 and C groups with an equal probability of being assigned to any one of the groups.