Credit photo: Jessica Vassie | Girls Not Brides
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.
Nearly 1 in every 2 girls in Uganda is married before the age of 18.
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.
Members In Uganda
- Action for Community Development Uganda (ACODEV-U)
- Agape of Hope – Female Youth Development Association
- Agoro Community Development Association
- Allied Youth Initiative
- Amani Initiative
- Amref Health Africa
- Blessed Child Care Foundation
- Bulogo Women’s Group
- Butenga Orphanage Care & Development Organization (BOCADO)
- Child Aid Uganda
- Child Care And Youth Empowerment Foundation (CCAYEF)
- Child Rights Empowerment and Development Organization (CEDO)
- Coalition of Uganda Private School Teachers Association (COUPSTA)
- Community Awareness and Response on AIDS (CARA)
- Community Empowerment and Education Projects Initiative (CEEPI)
- Concern for the Girl Child (CGC)
- Educate a Child International
- Education & Development Opportunity
- Girl Child Network Worldwide
- Girl Up Initiative Uganda (GUIU)
- Girls In School Initiative
- Global Batwa Outreach
- Gwanga Power
- Health Promotion and Rights Watch
- Help African Girl Child Uganda
- Hope Foundation
- Human Rights and Democracy Link (RIDE) Africa
- Ibanda Child Foundation
- Joy for Children Uganda (JFCU)
- KAANA Foundation for Outreach Programs
- Kids Club Kampala
- Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation (LUYODEFO)
- Mutyabule Foundation
- Nabirye Foundation
- Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI)
- Rural Focus Initiative Uganda (RUFI-U)
- Rwenzori Peace Bridge of Reconciliation
- Rwenzori Pro-Life & Child care Foundation
- Rwenzori Youth Leaders’ Network (RYLN)
- Shalom Women’s Development Initiative Agency
- Silcreation Uganda Network (SUN)
- Sule Integrated Development Organization (SIDO)
- The Hunger Project
- Uganda for her Initiative
- Uganda Rural Information and Communication Technology / Education Center (URICT-Uganda)
- Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum (UYAHF)
- Uganda Youth Network (UYONET)
- United Children Integrated Development Action Uganda (UNCIDA)
- VSO International
- Wakisa Ministries
- Women of Uganda Network (Wougnet)
- Women Participatory Development Initiative (WOPADI)
- World Action Fund
- Youth Empowerment Trust
- Youth Partnership Uganda
- 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