Dr Akanksha Marphatia

Research Fellow - Gender & Sanitation

United Kingdom

I am an interdisciplinary global health researcher, with a central focus on gender. I completed my PhD in human geography and an MPhil in International Education at the University of Cambridge with ESRC funding. I hold an EdM in International and Comparative Education (Harvard Graduate School of Education).

My research examines the life course emergence of educational and economic inequalities, and the impact of early women’s marriage (<18 years) on gender inequality.

I currently work on a project linking gender, sanitation and quality of life.

Before joining LSHTM, I worked on a joint University of Cambridge-UCL project investigating maternal and child health and human capital outcomes associated with women’s early marriage in lowland rural Nepal and rural India.

Prior to my PhD, I worked in international gender and education policy for 18 years, with the International Centre for Research on Women, UNESCO, the World Bank and Save the Children, finishing as Acting Director of ActionAid’s International Education Team. During secondments to Ministries of Education across Sub-Saharan Africa, I integrated gender into national policy, programmes and budgets.


Department of Disease Control
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


I have lectured on introductory statistics (geography), and given interdisciplinary seminars linking global health with women's early marriage, education, nutrition, mental health, and gender inequality.

I have also been an advisor on MSc theses, and a secondary PhD Supervisor.


My research uses a bio-social framework to examine gender inequality across the life course and at different spatial and temporal scales.

My work aims to connect different aspects of women's lives, including the age at which they marry, their educational and nutritional status, and how differential access to water, sanitation and economic resources constrains women time-use, life opportunities and mental health.

My research uses a range of methods, from survey and time-use data to qualitative and participatory approaches.
Research Area
Global Health
Adolescent health
Statistical methods
Research : policy relationship
Social and structural determinants of health
Disease and Health Conditions
Mental health
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Generational trends in the transition to womanhood in lowland rural Nepal: Changes in the meaning of early marriage.
MARPHATIA, A; Busert-Sebela, L; Manandhar, DS; Reid, A; Cortina-Borja, M; Saville, N; Dahal, M; Puri, M; Wells, JC K;
American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council
Prevalence of diabetes and associated risk factors in Ga Mashie, Accra, Ghana – the CARE Diabetes community-based survey
GRIJALVA-ETERNOD, CS; Sedzro, KM; Adjaye-Gbewonyo, K; Kushitor, SB; Lule, SA; Kushitor, MK; MARPHATIA, AA; Gray, E; Amon, S; Sanuade, OA; Baatiema, L; Kretchy, IA; Arhinful, D; Koram, KA; Fottrell, E;
Maternal mental health and economic autonomy in lowland rural Nepal
MARPHATIA, AA; Busert-Sebela, LK; Gram, L; Cortina-Borja, M; Reid, AM; Manandhar, DS; Wells, JC K; Saville, NM;
Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health
Why can't we keep our children healthy?
Life history trade-offs associated with exposure to low maternal capital are different in sons compared to daughters: Evidence from a prospective Brazilian birth cohort.
Wells, JC K; Cole, TJ; Cortina-Borja, M; SEAR, R; LEON, DA; MARPHATIA, AA; Murray, J; Wehrmeister, FC; Oliveira, PD; Gonçalves, H; Oliveira, IO; Menezes, AM B;
Frontiers in public health
Girls start life on an uneven playing field
MARPHATIA, AA; Saville, NS; Manandhar, DS; Cortina-Borja, M; Reid, AM; Wells, JC K;
Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health
Associations of age at marriage and first pregnancy with maternal nutritional status in Nepal
Wells, JC K; MARPHATIA, AA; Manandhar, DS; Cortina-Borja, M; Reid, AM; Saville, NS;
Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health
Associations of maternal age at marriage and pregnancy with infant undernutrition: Evidence from first‐time mothers in rural lowland Nepal
Wells, JC K; MARPHATIA, AA; Cortina‐Borja, M; Manandhar, DS; Reid, AM; Saville, NM;
American Journal of Biological Anthropology
The role of education in child and adolescent marriage in rural lowland Nepal.
MARPHATIA, AA; Saville, NM; Manandhar, DS; Cortina-Borja, M; Wells, JC K; Reid, AM;
Journal of biosocial science
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