Child Marriage Explained
Child marriage is defined as marriage before the age of 18 and applies to both boys and girls, but the practice is far more common among young girls. Out of the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world, nine are in Africa.
Too many African families practice child marriage simply because early marriage is the only option they know.
Between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides, according to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Out of the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world, nine are in Africa: Niger, 75 percent; Chad and Central African Republic, 68 percent; Bangladesh, 66 percent; Guinea, 63 percent; Mozambique, 56 percent; Mali, 55 percent; Burkina Faso and South Sudan, 52 percent; and Malawi, 50 percent. If current levels of child marriages hold, 14.2 million girls annually or 39,000 daily will marry too young.