Child marriage around the world:

Uganda

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 15
10%
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 18
40%
International Ranking*

18

* References

* 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.

Credit photo: Jessica Vassie | Girls Not Brides

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 15
10%
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 18
40%
International Ranking*

18

* References

* 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.

Nearly 1 in every 2 girls in Uganda is married before the age of 18.

Drivers

In Uganda, child marriage is often a result of poverty. Many parents marry their daughters in the hope of securing their financial security. Bride price can also a motivation for parents: a younger bride means a higher bride price for the family.

Limited access to education for girls and traditional and social norms which dictate that girls are married at a young age in order to fulfil their role as a wife and mother, play a role too.

In addition, displaced population living in refugee camps often feel unable to protect their daughters from rape. Marrying them off to a warlord or other authority figure is seen as a form of protection.

Legal age of marriage

The minimum age of marriage in Uganda is 18 for both girls and boys, but a girl can marry at 16 with parental consent.

Initiatives to end child marriage

On 16 June 2015, the Government of Uganda launched the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage and its first ever National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy (2014/2015 – 2019/2020), which was developed in partnership with civil society organisations, including Girls Not Brides members in Uganda, and UN agencies.

Led by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the strategy contains a multi-sectoral monitoring and evaluation framework, as well as an indicative budget for the implementation of the strategy.

UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage

Uganda is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, multi-stakeholder programme working across 12 countries over four years.

National Partnership in Uganda

Girls Not Brides Uganda is the official Girls Not Brides National Partnership in Uganda.

View their profile

Members In Uganda
Sources
  • UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2016
  • Joy for Children Uganda, Child, early and forced marriage in Uganda, 2013
  • UNFPA, Uganda: Child marriage country profile, 2012
  • Demographic and Health Surveys, 2006