Photo credit: Dominic Chavez | World Bank
Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
UNICEF 2017 % 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, 2017)
While child marriage is very common throughout Guinea, with more than 1 in 2 girls married before 18, its prevalence is highest in Upper Guinea, with 76% of girls marrying before 18 years.
Poverty and a lack of access to education are major drivers of child marriage in Guinea. More than 50% of the Guinean population lives below the poverty line and over one-third of children start school at an age that is two years or more above entry age.
Marriage is considered a union of two families, not the choice of two individuals, and a high status is attached to men who have multiple young brides. The average spousal age difference in Guinea is 14 years and more than 25% of girls ages 15-19 in are in polygamous unions.
Legal age of marriage
The current Law governing the minimum age of marriage in Guinea is the Child Code 2011. It sets the minimum age of marriage at 18 years for both males and females, with or without parental consent.
Initiatives to end child marriage
On 16 June 2017, Guinea became the 21st country to launch the African Union campaign to end child marriage.
- Gordon Brown, Out of Wedlock, Into School, 2013
- Judith Ann-Walker, Mapping Early Marriage in West Africa, 2013
- Population Council, Child Marriage in the Context of HIV Epidemic, 2007
- UNFPA, Child Marriage Country Profile: Guinea, 2012