Child marriage refers to any marriage of a child younger than 18 years old, in accordance to Article 1 of the Convention on the Right of the Child. While child marriage can happen to both sexes, it disproportionately affects girls.

Child marriage is now widely recognised as a violation of children’s rights and a direct form of discrimination against girls who are often be deprived of their basic rights to health, education, development and equality.

1 in 3 girls in the developing world will be married by the age of 18

In developing countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death for girls aged 15 to 19 years

Between 2011 and 2020, it is estimated that more than 140 million girls will become child brides

FORWARD works closely with partners in Africa to support girls affected by child marriage and child pregnancy through the creation of girl clubs and networks. We are also working to change attitudes towards child marriage through research and education to end the practice. You can read more about our work in Africa here. FORWARD has carried out research and published reports on child marriage in Ethiopia, Liberia and Tanzania, you can find all our PEER reports on our Resources page.