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Millions of girls under 18 are married each year against their will. Here is a look at a few facts and figures on child marriage worldwide and in Ethiopia:  

WORLDWIDE

  • Child brides number more than 60 million worldwide
  • If present trends continue, 25,000 girls will become child brides each day
  • An estimated 10 million girls are married each year before 18, at an age below which people are defined as children by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • One in three girls in developing countries (excluding China) is married before 18, and one in seven before age 15
  • Forty-six percent of girls under 18 are married in sub-Saharan Africa; 38 percent in South Asia; 21 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean; 18 percent in the Middle East and North Africa

Sources: ICRW, UNICEF, UNFPA, Population Council 

 

ETHIOPIA and AMHARA REGION

  • Although child marriage is illegal in Ethiopia, 49 percent of girls marry before 18, at an age below which people are defined as children by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Nearly one in five Ethiopian girls is married by 15, although recent surveys show this rate is declining
  • Ethiopia’s Amhara region has one of the world’s highest rates of child marriage; 74 percent of women 20 to 24 were married before age 18
  • Almost half of 15- to 19-year old girls in Amhara have been or currently are married
  • Marriage through abduction and rape is not uncommon, with one in 20 women in Amhara reporting that they were abducted into marriage

Sources: UNFPA, USAID, Population Council, Pathfinder International