Dr. Anita Raj

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Elimination of Girl Child Marriage- Why and How?

Every year, 14 million girls globally are married prior to the age of 18 years, increasing their risk for domestic violence, reproductive health concerns, and maternal and infant mortality. Girl child marriage is the single most important impediment to maternal and child health that can be eliminated in a single generation. Supporting girls to know what they want and how to achieve it is key to elimination of this practice.

About the Speaker:

Anita Raj, PhD, is Director of UCSD’s Center on Gender Equity and Health and is a Professor in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine. Dr. Raj is a developmental psychologist with approximately 20 years of experience conducting research on sexual and reproductive health/HIV/STI, gender-based violence, substance misuse and abuse, and the intersection of these issues. Her current research is based in South Asia, the United States and Russia. This work includes qualitative and quantitative research to support intervention development and implementation, as well as efficacy and effectiveness trials to evaluate behavioral interventions. She has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on more than 30 grants from various federal funding agencies including NIH [NIMH, NICHD, NIDA, NIAAA], CDC, SAMHSA, and the Office of Minority Health, as well as foundations including the Lucile and David Packard Foundation and Kaiser Foundation. She has authored or co-authored 100+ peer-reviewed publications from these studies. In addition to this research, Dr. Raj has for the past 20 years been involved with various community based organizations working for immigrant rights and against gender-based violence against immigrant health vulnerabilities. Currently, Dr. Raj has projects related to adolescent girls’ early marriage and reproductive/maternal health, HIV prevention and test and treat interventions, sexual violence and intimate partner violence prevention programs, and immigrant and refugee health.

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