The modest proposal: Keep your daughter in school for two years and don't marry her off and you'll get a goat or two chickens. The  animals pictured above live in Ethiopia, where the strategy to stop child marriage was tested

Many girls get married before age 18 in the northern, Amhara region of Ethiopia. The legal age of marriage is 18 — but the law is seldom enforced.
“My family received a request for my marriage when I was in grade 6,” says one young woman from the area, who asked not to be named to protect her privacy. “All my elder sisters were married when they were children. It was common in the kebele [neighborhood].”
The youngest in her family, she is now 23, a university graduate and still unmarried.
And the reason has a lot to do with … a chicken.
“See, one misperception is that child marriage is an intractable practice,” says Annabel Erulkar, a social scientist at the Population Council who helped launch a program called Berhane Hewan in Ethiopia about 14 years ago. “My experience is that communities are quite open to change,” she says — especially when they …