Early Marriage Data

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Early Marriage: A Harmful Traditional Practice

Author: UNICEF 
Price: Free 
No. of pages: 40 
Publication date: April 2005 
Publisher: UNICEF 
Languages: English 

ISBN: 92-806-3869-6 
Available in PDF only

 [Download a PDF copy]
Child marriage is a violation of human rights, compromising the development of girls and often resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation. Young married girls face onerous domestic burdens, constrained decision-making and reduced life choices. Using data from the Demographic and Household Surveys, this publication estimates the prevalence of child marriage and seeks to identify and understand the factors associated with child marriage and cohabitation. The statistical linkages identified can help programmeers promote delayed marriage and use advocacy and behaviour-change campaigns to prevent child marriage. http://www.unicef.org/publications/index_26024.html

http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Early_Marriage_12.lo.pdf

Early and forced marriage - facts, figures and what you can do

Plan UK wants child marriage to become a thing of the past. Here we provide statistics, analyse the legal issues, the causes and consequences, and explain how education is key to putting an end to early and forced marriage. Ten million girls under the age of 18 marry each year.

That’s around …
* 833,333 a month
* 192,307 a week
* 27,397 a day
* 19 every minute
Or, around one girl every three seconds.
One in every five girls in the developing world is married by the age of 18. One in seven marries before they reach the age of 15. In countries like Niger, Chad, Mali, Bangladesh, Guinea and the Central African Republic (CAR), the rate of early and forced marriage is 60 per cent and over. Child brides are particularly prevalent in South Asia (46 per cent) and in sub-Saharan Africa (38 per cent). Countries with the highest rates of early and forced marriage in Europe include Georgia (17 per cent), Turkey (14 per cent) and Ukraine (10 per cent). At least 10 per cent of adolescents marry before the age of 18 in Britain and France. Early and forced marriage in Africa

Some countries in Africa are amongst those with the highest proportion of early marriage, including Niger, Chad, Mali, Guinea, Central African Republic, Mozambique and Malawi. Sub-Saharan Africa has the second highest rate of early and forced marriage. 14.3 million girls in the region become child brides (are married before they reach 18). Among the countries where the rate of early and forced marriage exceeds 70 per cent – Niger, Chad and Mali – adolescent fertility and maternal mortality rates are also high.  

In countries where the legal age of marriage differs by sex, the age for women is always lower. In Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the legal age of marriage is 18 for males and only 15 for females. Is early or forced marriage legal?

Marriage is a formalised, binding partnership between consenting adults. Child marriage involves either one or both spouses being children and may take place under civil, religious or customary laws with or without formal registration. A child is usually someone under 18. According to the Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW) - marriage before the age of 18 shouldn’t be allowed since children don’t have the ‘full maturity and capacity to act’. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that marriage should be ‘entered only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses’. Where one of the parties getting married is under 18, consent cannot always be assumed to be ‘free and full’. Why does early and forced marriage happen?

The causes of early and forced marriage are complex, interrelated and dependent on individual circumstances and context. But the practice is driven by these main factors: * gender inequality – women and girls often occupy a lower status in societies as...
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