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The Economic and Political Dividends of Ending Child Marriage
November 7, 2013Washington, D.C.

The practice of child marriage is a violation of human rights. Every day, girls around the world are forced to leave their families, marry against their will, endure sexual and physical abuse, and bear children while still in childhood themselves. This practice is driven by poverty, deeply embedded cultural traditions, and pervasive discrimination against girls.

A Gender and Development Seminar Series Event


This session discusses the main findings of recent work by the Council on Foreign Relations on “Ending Child Marriage: How Elevating the Status of Girls Advances U.S. Foreign Policy Objectives.” It reviews the drivers of child marriage and discusses its implications for poverty and economic development. In addition to perpetuating inter-generational poverty, child marriage is a threat to the prosperity and stability of the countries in which it is prevalent and could, the report argues, undermine U.S. interest and foreign policy priorities at the global level.

Rachel Vogelstein, Director of Women and Girls Programs in the Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Clinton Foundation and Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Quentin Wodon, Advisor, Education Sector, World Bank

Jeni Klugman, Director, Gender and Development Group, World Bank

  • Rachel B. Vogelstein

    Rachel B. Vogelstein is Director of Women and Girls Programs in the Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Clinton Foundation. She is also a Fellow in the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC and an adjunct professor of women's human rights at Georgetown Law School. At CFR, Ms. Vogelstein's research focuses on the relationship between women's advancement and prosperity, stability, and security. She also directs a roundtable series on child marriage and U.S. foreign policy. From 2009 to 2012, Ms. Vogelstein was Director of Policy and Senior Advisor in the Office of Global Women's Issues within the Office of the Secretary of State at the U.S. Department of State. Ms. Vogelstein is an attorney by training with expertise in women's issues. Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Vogelstein was an advisor to then-Senator and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, serving as assistant counsel to Senator Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and as an advisor to her first U.S. Senate campaign. She was also senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., where she specialized in women's health and reproductive rights. In 2004, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work on women's health policy. Ms. Vogelstein graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University and cum laude from Georgetown Law School, where she was executive editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. She is a recipient of the Secretary of State's Superior Honor Award and a National Association of Women Lawyers Award.
  • Quentin Wodon

    Quentin Wodon is an Adviser in the Education Department of the Human Development Network at the World Bank where he serves as cluster leader for equity, resilience, and early childhood development. Previously, he managed the Bank’s unit working on faith and development, served as Lead Poverty Specialist for West and Central Africa, and as Economist/Senior Economist in the Latin America region. Before joining the World Bank, he worked for Procter & Gamble, the International Movement ATD Fourth World, and the University of Namur. He holds graduate degrees in business engineering, economics, and philosophy, and PhDs in Economics and in Theology and Religious Studies.
  • Jeni Klugman

    Jeni Klugman is the Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank Group, where she serves as lead spokesperson on gender equality issues, and is responsible for developing strategic directions to support the institution’s gender and development priorities. Prior to taking up this position in August 2011, Klugman was the director and lead author of three global Human Development Reports published by the United Nations Development Programme: Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development (2009); The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development (2010); and, Sustainability and Equity: a Better Future for All (2011). From 1992-2008, she held various positions at the World Bank, focusing in particular on poverty, inequality and human development in low income countries in Africa, Europe and Asia. Klugman holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University, as well as postgraduate degrees in Law and Development Economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.