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Madagascar

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
12%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
41%
International Ranking*

13

* 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 (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
12%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
41%
International Ranking*

13

* 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 (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

41% of girls in Madagascar are married before their 18th birthday and 12% are married before the age of 15.

According to UNICEF, Madagascar has the 13th highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world.

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. In Madagascar, child marriage is also driven by:

What has this country committed to?

Madagascar has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals The government did not provide an update on progress towards this target during its Voluntary National Review at the 2016 High Level Political Forum.

Madagascar co-sponsored the 2013 and 2014 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage, and the 2013 Human Rights Council resolution on child, early and forced marriage. In 2014, Madagascar signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Madagascar ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1989, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

In 2015, the Ministry responsible for Women’s Advancement launched the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa. The campaign plans to work with partners, the police, policy-makers, women’s associations, local communities and traditional leaders to end gender-based violence, including child marriage.

In 2005 Madagascar ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.

In 2004 Madagascar signed, but has not yet ratified, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, including Article 6 which sets the minimum age for marriage as 18.

Madagascar is one of 20 countries which has committed to ending child marriage by the end of 2020 under the Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.

During its 2014 Universal Periodic Review Madagascar supported recommendations to improve constitutional and legislative protection related to child marriage.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

In 2007, the government changed the minimum age of marriage to 18 for both girls and boys. Previously, girls could be married at 14 and boys at 17.

However as per the Law on Marriage and Matrimonial Regimes 2007, marriage can be allowed by the President of the Court of the First Instance before the age of 18 if parents ask for it, and when the tribunal receives the formal consent of the person to be married.

Source

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018 (accessed February 2018)

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [website], 2018 (accessed February 2018)

African Union, Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa: Call to Action, 2013, (accessed February 2018)

Care International, Vows of Poverty: 26 Countries Where Child Marriage Eclipses Girls’ Education, 2015, (accessed May 2018)
Glick, Handy and Sahn, Schooling, Marriage and Age of First Birth, 2015, (accessed May 2018)

Madagascar Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, CEDAW Shadow Report on Madagascar, 2015, (accessed February 2018)

Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African [website], 2014,(accessed February 2018)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014, (accessed April 2018)

Plan International, A Girl’s Right to Say No to Marriage, 2013, (accessed February 2018)

UNFPA, Malagasy Women Wounded by Child Marriage and its Aftermath, [website], 2012, (accessed February 2018)

UNICEF, Madagascar statistics, [website], 2018, (accessed May 2018)

UNICEF, UNICEF Congratulates the Government of Madagascar on Two New Laws to Reinforce Child Protection, [website], 2007, (accessed February 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Madagascar, 2014, p.19 (accessed February 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 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)