Are you aware that child marriages still exist in Africa?

Child Marriages in Africa: Risks and health issues associated

Child marriage is the formal or informal union between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child (Nour, 2006). This is a global issue that cuts across countries, cultures and religions.

In resource-constrained settings, the prevalence of child marriage is alarming. In 2020, the Central African Republic had the highest rate of women aged 20-24 who were married before age 15 (~26%), Nigeria had ~16% while South Africa recorded the least at 0.9% (Statista, 2020).

Also, about 115 million boys globally were married off as children, with 23 million of them being below age 15 (UNICEF, 2021). In 2019, the Central African Republic recorded the highest percentage (28%) of child grooms in Africa (UNICEF, 2019).

Risks and health issues associated with child marriage include:

  1. Domestic violence (Kidman, 2016);
  2. Adverse reproductive outcomes (Gogha et al., 2013);
  3. High-risk pregnancy which puts both mother and baby at risk (Nasrullah et al., 2014);
  4. Complications in pregnancy and delivery resulting in obstetric fistula (Yu et al., 2016) and;
  5. Cervical cancer.

Preventing child marriages in Africa

The following laws have been put in place to end the menace:

What else can be done to prevent child marriages? What could you do to end child marriage in your locality?

4 Likes

@Vee I don’t think these laws are being adhered to. Also, the sanctions should be made more serious and applicable to the adults involved (both the family giving the child out in marriage and the adult the child was married to)

3 Likes

Yea, there has really been no improvement since the laws were made. I agree with you as regards the sanctions, it might help reduce the menace.

2 Likes