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.
Approximately 8% of girls in Jordan are married before the age of 18.
However, with increasing political instability in the region, rates of child marriage within the Syrian refugee population are dramatically increasing.
Poverty and the need to protect girls from sexual violence and risk of pregnancy in times of conflict and instability drive child marriage in Jordan.
Syrian refugee families often marry off their daughters young to protect them from rape and give them protection. Indeed, according to UNICEF, almost one third (32%) of refugee marriages in Jordan involve a girl under 18.
Families that have nothing to feed their children often resort to marrying off their daughters to ease the burden.
Conservative social and religious norms, as well as the useful status that marriage can have when crossing boarders or settling into a new host community, are also reasons cited in new research with Syrian refugee communities.
Legal age of marriage
The legal age of marriage in Jordan in 18. However, with the authorisation of two judges, a waiver can be granted for underage marriages.
Members In Jordan
- UNICEF, A study on early marriage in Jordan, 2014
- Save the Children, Too Young To Wed: The Growing Problem of Child Marriage Among Syrian Girls in Jordan, 2014
- BBC, Syrian conflict: Untold misery of child brides, 20 August 2014