Photo credit: World Vision | Boutaida
Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 15
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 18
* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old.
* According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2016.
Chad has the third highest rate of child marriage in the world – 68% of girls are married as children – and, unlike many other countries, the practice is prevalent in both wealthy and less wealthy households.
The volatile socio-economic situation, including malnutrition, high food prices and droughts make children more vulnerable to marriage.
In a 2013 report on child marriage in west Africa, The Ford Foundation pointed at “cultural tradition, conflict, state fragility and a general bewilderment by parents and communities about what to do with large numbers of children in the face of a failing education system and a stiffed economy” as reasons why the practice persists. Indeed, the primary completion rate in Chad stands at just 35%.
Legal age of marriage
In June 2015, the Parliament of Chad approved an ordinance signed by President Idriss Deby to prohibit child marriage and increase the age of marriage from 15 to 18 years old.
The new law includes 5 to 10 years of prison and 500,000 FCFA to 5 million CFA to anyone involved in a child marriage.
Initiatives to end child marriage
In June 2016, the Government of Chad adopted a roadmap to ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (2016-2018). The strategy has four strategic areas of focus:
- Coordination, monitoring and evaluation
- Social mobilisation and advocacy
- Multi-sectoral response
A thematic working group, created by the Ministry of Women, Social Action and National Solidarity, is responsible for implementing the action plan, mobilising resources, and conducting monitoring and evaluation. It is composed of line ministries, civil society, the police and the judiciary, human rights and gender-based organisations, religious authorities, as well as UN agencies.
In March 2015, President Idriss Deby and First Lady Hinda Deby launched the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage under the theme “All together, le’ts put an end to marriage of children”.
Members In Chad
- Association Chrétienne pour le Développement de l’Education des Enfants en Détresse (ACDEED)
- Association des Volontaires pour l’Encadrement et l’Intégration des Filles-Mères (AVENIF)
- Association Jeunesse Anti-Clivage (AJAC)
- Association Leadership pour le Développement Durable (LEAD Tchad)
- Association Tchadienne pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ASTBEF)
- Cellule de Liaison et d’Information des Associations Féminines du Tchad (CELIAF)
- Club des Lauréats Etudiants ressortissants de Massakory (CLEREM)
- Coordination Nationale des Associations des Jeunes pour la Lutte contre le Sida – CONAJELUS
- Service Santé Sociale (SSS)
- World Vision
- UNICEF, Child Marriage, Adolescent Pregnancy and Family Formation in West and Central Africa, 2015
- UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2016
- The Ford Foundation, Mapping Child Marriage in West Africa, 2013