What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?
There is no publicly available government data on child marriage in The Bahamas.
Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?
Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that women and girls are somehow inferior to men and boys.
There is very limited information on child marriage in The Bahamas.
What has this country committed to?
The Bahamas has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. However the government did not report on progress made against target 5.3 during its 2018 Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum, the mechanism through which countries report their progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Bahamas co-sponsored the 2013 Human Rights Council resolution on child, early and forced marriage.
The Bahamas ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991 which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
Under the Marriage Statute Law of the Bahamas 1976 the legal minimum age for marriage is 18 years.
However the Supreme Court can grant dispensation to marry to minors who are at least 13 years old and under 15 years “upon good cause shown”.
United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)
United States State Department Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017, Bahamas, The, 2018, (accessed May 2018)
* 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, 2017)