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The global scandal of 400 million child brides

By Terri Kelleher - posted Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Globally, 400 million child marriages cut across countries, cultures, religions and ethnicities, with India by far having the greatest number of child marriages.

Although recent media has focused on consideration of lowering the marriage age by countries such as Iran and Iraq, in fact, 20 other developing nations have the worst record for child marriages.

Data from UNICEFs Demographic and Health Surveys in 2013 reveals that:


• almost 400 million women aged 20-49 were married before 18;

• one-in-three girls in the developing world are married before 18;

• by the end of the decade another 142 million girls will be married as children, unless the practice of child brides is stopped.

The top 20 countries for child brides, according to figures compiled by UNICEF, are:

1. Niger, 75 per cent.

2. Central African Republic, 68 per cent.


3. Chad, 68 per cent.

4. Bangladesh, 65 per cent.

5. Guinea, 63 per cent.

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About the Author

Terri Kelleher is National President of the Australian Family Association.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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