Child marriage around the world:
Back to overview

Child marriage around the world:


In Pakistan, child marriage is more common in rural areas, where longstanding traditions are more closely followed than in more urbanised areas[i]. It is strongly associated with tradition, culture and customary practices, sometimes involving the transfer of money, settlement of debts or exchange of daughters (known as Vani / Swara or Watta Satta) sanctioned by a Jirga or Panchayat (council of elders from the community who form the local judiciary)[ii].

[i] DHS 2006-2007, as cited by UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2011

[ii] UNFPA, Rahnuma, Study Report: Child Marriage in Pakistan, page 16. Khawar Mumtaz, Sohail Warraich, Shariq Imam et al. Committee for Standardisation of Female Age of Marriage, Age of Marriage, a Position Paper, page 20

UNICEF 2014 % Married by 15


UNICEF 2014 % 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 (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2013)

More from Pakistan