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 Oman.
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 limited information on child marriage in Oman.
What has this country committed to?
Oman has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Oman acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1996, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2006, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
During its 2017 review, the CEDAW Committee highlighted that child marriage was on the decline in Oman and welcomed Article 7 of the Personal Status Law, which set the minimum age of marriage at 18 for both girls and boys. It raised concerns, however, that child marriage is still allowed by some judges in rural areas.
In 2011 the CEDAW Committee raised concerns about the requirement of a wali (male guardianship permission) for a woman to enter into marriage, drawing attention to patriarchal norms in Oman and the lack of space for women and girls to influence decisions affecting them.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
The minimum legal age of marriage in Oman is 18 years. Under the Personal Status Law, marriage under the age of 18 is allowed (with the woman’s consent) if her guardian consents, or with permission from a judge.
Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch Submission to the CEDAW Committee of Oman’s Periodic Report for the 68th Session, [website], 2017, (accessed May 2018)
UN CEDAW, Concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of Oman, 2017, p.6, (accessed May 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)