Child marriage by 15
Child marriage by 18
Other key stats
|Are there Girls Not Brides members?||No|
|Does this country have a national strategy or plan?||No|
|Is there a Girls Not Brides National Partnership or coalition?||No|
|Age of marriage without consent or exceptions taken into account||No minimum legal age of marriage (all exceptions taken into account)|
What's the prevalence rate?
22% of girls in Gabon are married before the age of 18 and 6% are married before their 15th birthday.
5% of boys in Gabon are married before the age of 18.
According to a 2018 UNFPA-UNICEF study, Gabon has seen one of the greatest declines in child marriage in the West and Central Africa region since 1990.
What drives child marriage in Gabon?
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 Gabon, but available studies suggest that is exacerbated by:
Harmful traditional practices: Customary and religious marriages prevail in Gabon. The registration of customary and religious is not mandatory under the law, which put girls at a vulnerable position to be married off early and within the marriage.
What international, regional and national commitments has Gabon made?
Gabon has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2014, Gabon signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.
Gabon ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1994, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1983, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
As part of the current review process, the CEDAW Committee has requested Gabon to provide information on the measures taken to prohibit and prevent child marriage.
In 2016, the Child Rights Committee urged the State party to revise its legislation in order to ensure that the minimum age for marriage is set at 18 for girls and to take all measures necessary to eliminate child marriages.
During its 2017 Universal Periodic Review, Gabon supported recommendations to adopt a policy aimed at ending child marriage and to finalise the Children’s Code in order to curb child marriage.
In 2007 Gabon ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.
In 2011 Gabon 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.
In 2019, at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, Gabon committed to put an end to gender-based violence and harmful practices by revising legal texts and organising awareness campaigns.
What is the government doing to address child marriage?
In 2019, Gabon reported to the CEDAW Committee that a draft Children’s Code, that sets 18 years as the minimum age of marriage for girls and boys, is pending adoption by the Gabonese Parliament. As of early 2020, there are no news on the passing of this new legislation.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
Under the Civil Code 1995 the minimum legal age of marriage for girls in Gabon is 15 years, and 18 years for boys. However Article 203 of the Civil Code provides that the President of the Republic or the President of the Supreme Court may approve marriages below the minimum age "for serious reasons".
Content featuring Gabon
The Dakar Call to Action
The Dakar Call to Action was adopted at the West & Central Africa High-Level Meeting in Dakar from 23-25 October 2017. It calls on governments to address child marriage.
Child marriage in West & Central Africa
This brief provides an overview of child marriage in West and Central Africa and includes recommendations on how to address it.
Girls' education and child marriage in West and Central Africa
The report documents girls’ educational attainment and child marriage in the region, factors that lead girls to marry or leave school early, and the impact on development.
Child marriage, adolescent pregnancy and family formation in West and Central Africa: patterns, trends and drivers of change
This study analyses the levels, trends and relationships between child marriage, adolescent pregnancy and family formation across West and Central Africa.
- African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, https://www.achpr.org/legalinstruments/detail?id=46 (accessed January 2020).
- 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, https://au.int/en/treaties/protocol-african-charter-human-and-peoples-rights-rights-women-africa (accessed January 2020).
- Direction Générale de la Statistique et ICF International, Enquête Démographique et de Santé du Gabon 2012, 2013, https://www.dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR276/FR276.pdf (accessed January 2020).
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014, http://fngeneve.um.dk/en/aboutus/statements/newsdisplaypage/?newsid=6371ad93-8fb0-4c35-b186-820fa996d379 (accessed January 2020).
- Nairobi Summit, Declaration D’engagement Du Gouvernement Gabonais, [website], 2019, http://www.nairobisummiticpd.org/commitment/declaration-d’engagement-du-gouvernement-gabonais (accessed January 2020).
- OECD Social Institutions & Gender Index, Gabon, 2019, https://www.genderindex.org/wp-content/uploads/files/datasheets/2019/GA.pdf (accessed January 2020).
- UN CEDAW, List of issues and questions in relation to the seventh periodic report of Gabon, CEDAW/C/GAB/Q/7, 2019, p. 2, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fGAB%2fQ%2f7&Lang=en (accessed January 2020).
- UN CEDAW, Seventh periodic report submitted by Gabon under article 18 of the Convention, due in 2019, CEDAW/C/GAB/7, 2019, p. 3, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fGAB%2f7&Lang=en (accessed January 2020).
- UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Gabon, 2016, CRC/C/GAB/CO/2,p. 6, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2fGAB%2fCO%2f2&Lang=en (accessed January 2020).
- UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Gabon, 2017, p.12, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/GAIndex.aspx (accessed January 2020).
- UNFPA and UNICEF, Child Marriage in West and Central Africa At a Glance, 2018, https://www.unicef.org/wca/reports/child-marriage-west-and-central-africa (accessed January 2020).
- United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed January 2020).