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Marriage and divorce certificates: Tools for women’s empowerment

Statistics about vital life events such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces reside in civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems. When they function well, these systems are particularly beneficial to women and girls. Civil registration provides proof of identity and legal status, while vital statistics provide sex-disaggregated demographic data and key indicators, such as population distribution and maternal mortality, for better planning that meets women’s needs.

Our previous Perspectives article discussed how birth registration can empower the lives of girls and women. The case is no different for marriage and divorce registration. Marriage and divorce certificates are much more than simple pieces of paper — they are effective tools for women’s empowerment. Proper marriage and divorce registration contributes to a woman’s ability to inherit financial assets, obtain a fair division of assets, lay claim to spousal and child support, and provide proper birth registration for her child.

Irina Dincu; Deirdre Appel; Shaida Badiee
International Development Research Centre
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