Cette page a été traduite par Google Traduction, un service de traduction instantanée. Aucune garantie n’est donnée quant à l’exactitude de ces traductions.

Back to the original version

Visit our new interactive Atlas!


Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
Classement international*


* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

Credit photo: Jessica Vassie | Girls Not Brides

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
Classement international*


* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

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

34% of girls in Uganda are married before their 18th birthday and a 7% are married before the age of 15.

6% of boys are married before their 18th birthday.

Uganda has the 14th highest absolute number of women married or in a union before the age of 18 in the world – 723,000.

Customary marriages or informal marriages, where a girl lives with an older man, are significantly more common than registered civil or religious marriages. In addition, 10.6% of currently married 15-19 years old girls are married to men who have two or more wives.

A World Bank/ICRW study estimated that ending child marriage in Uganda would generate USD 14.48 million in earnings for Ugandan women who married early.

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys.

In Uganda, child marriage is exacerbated by:

  • Poverty and lack of opportunities: Girls living in Uganda’s poorest households marry at a younger age than those living in the richest households. Some parents, especially in rural areas, see their daughter as a source of wealth as they can fetch bride price from the husband’s family, while relieving the financial burden on the family. In highly vulnerable households, some Ugandan girls seek marriage to cover basic needs, such as sanitary products.
  • Level of education: Early marriage and teenage pregnancy are linked to low levels of secondary school retention for girls. Some parents in Uganda feel that educating a girl is a waste of time and resources when she will ultimately marry and gain lifelong security.
  • Traditional harmful practices: Arranged marriages for girls are common, often as a way to consolidate powerful relations among families. Some families marry off their daughters to protect them from early sexual encounters and safeguard the family’s dignity. Studies have also found that communities perceived girls to be ready for marriage when they develop breasts or when they have started menstruating. Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) is also considered a sign of readiness for marriage.
  • Adolescent pregnancy: Adolescent pregnancy precipitates child marriage and is also a consequence of it. Uganda has one the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy in the world, which is the result of both consensual and forced sex. Girls who become pregnant while still in school are often forced to drop out. Without education, and because pregnancy outside of marriage is stigmatised and associated with embarrassment or disgrace, they and their parents may see marriage as the only option – for both the girl and the boy or man who impregnates her.
  • Intergenerational and transactional relationships: These are relatively common in Uganda. For some girls, having a man, typically older, who is able to provide food, clothing, school fees and other material goods is seen as desirable and an escape route out of poverty. In many cases, these relationships are seen as consensual but, in reality girls may find themselves vulnerable with regard to such relationships, which can lead to long term arrangements including child marriage and early motherhood.
  • Orphanhood: In Uganda, orphaned girls have greater odds of early marriage. 32% of households in Uganda have foster or orphaned children. Caregivers of orphaned or foster children who find it difficult to meet the needs of the family may resort to early marriage to relieve financial pressures. Additionally, girls in households headed by children (below age 18) are more vulnerable to being married early than those in households headed by adults.

Humanitarian settings can encompass a wide range of situations before, during, and after natural disasters, conflicts, and epidemics. They exacerbate poverty, insecurity, and lack of access to services such as education. These factors can drive child marriage and, often in times of crisis, families see child marriage as a way to cope with greater economic hardship and to protect girls from increased violence.

In 2019, Uganda hosted more than 1.3 million refugees, making it the country with the largest refugee population in Africa. As well as internally displaced Ugandans, most refugees come from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Burundi.

Displacement: child marriage is reportedly more prevalent among those internally displaced and refugees. A 2016 study among internally displaced Ugandans found that child marriage provides families with legal protection from defilement (sex with a girl under 18) which is a crime in Uganda. Within the camps, child marriages are organised in a hasty manner.

What has this country committed to?

Uganda has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. In its 2016 Voluntary National Review, Uganda provided baseline data on the situation for child marriage

Uganda co-sponsored the 2013, 2014 and 2018 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage, and also co-sponsored the 2013 Human Rights Council resolution on child, early and forced marriage. In 2014, Uganda signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Uganda ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1985, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2016 Universal Periodic Review, Uganda supported recommendations to implement the action plan to more effectively combat child marriage.


In 1994, Uganda ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage. In 2010, Uganda 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 2015 Uganda launched the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.

Uganda 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.

At the London Girl Summit in July 2014, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020.

In 2019, at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, Uganda committed to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of girls’ empowerment, including teenage pregnancy and child marriage, through education reform and reproductive health and family planning services.

Uganda is one of the countries where the Spotlight Initiative (a global, multi-year partnership between European Union and United Nations) is supporting efforts to end all forms of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. Uganda is also one of the countries where the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)/DREAMS Initiative is working to reduce rates of HIV among adolescent girls and young women.

Uganda is a pathfinder country for the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and a partner country of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

Uganda is also one of 11 countries working to create child marriage-free communities by 2020 as part of the Her Choice Alliance.

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

In 2015, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development launched the National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy (2014/15 – 2019/20), which was developed in partnership with Girls Not Brides members and UN agencies. In 2018, the strategy was spread to 113 sub-counties in 15 districts, all of which made commitments in their 2019–2020 district budgets to ending child marriage. 

With the National Strategy coming to an end in 2020, it is currently being reviewed and evaluated to inform a new Strategy development in 2021.

Uganda is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage. As part of the Global Programme, in 2018 more than 114000 adolescent girls were reached with life skills education intended to keep girls in school, and more than 37500 people participated in community dialogues on adolescent issues such as child marriage.

Numerous other policies have addressed child marriage at national level, including:

The Presidential Initiative for AIDS Strategy for Communication to Youth has been integrated into the National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage and Teen Pregnancy and rolled out in 11 districts.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Children’s Act 2016 the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years as it defines child marriage as “any union whether formal or informal involving any person below the age of 18 years for the purpose of living as husband and wife”.

In addition, Article 31 of the (amended) Ugandan Constitution sets the minimum legal age of marriage for both women and men at 18.

However, the legal framework for marriage in Uganda is complex and it is unclear how provisions in civil, religious and customary law interact with each other:

The Marriage and Divorce of Mohammedans Act 1906 does not set a minimum age of marriage.


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).

African Union, Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa: Call to Action, 2013, https://au.int/sites/default/files/pages/32905-file-campaign_to_end_child_marriage_in_africa_call_for_action-_english.pdf (accessed December 2019).

Bantebya, G., et. al, Cross-generational and transactional sexual relations in Uganda : Income poverty as a risk factor for adolescents, Overseas Development Institute, 2014, https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9308.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Chae S., Timing of orphanhood, early sexual debut, and early marriage in four sub-Saharan African countries, Stud Fam Plann, 44(2):123–146, 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4000696 (accessed December 2019).

Chapter 59, The Children Act, 2016, https://ulii.org/system/files/legislation/act/2019/59/The-Children-Act-Cap-59-as-amended-2016.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Constitution of Uganda, https://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/44038/90491/F206329993/UGA44038.pdf (accessed February 2020). 

Customary Marriage (Registration) Act 1973, https://ulii.org/ug/legislation/consolidated-act/248 (accessed February 2020).

European Commission, Uganda, [website], 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/echo/where/africa/uganda_en (accessed February 2020).

Girl Summit 2014, The Girl Summit Charter on Ending FGM and Child, Early and Forced Marriage,[website], 2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/459236/Public_Girl_Summit_Charter_with_Signatories.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Global Partnership for Education, Uganda,  [website], https://www.globalpartnership.org/where-we-work/uganda (accessed February 2020).

Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, Uganda, [website], https://www.end-violence.org/impact/countries/uganda (accessed February 2020).

Government of Uganda & United Nations, The Multi-sectoral Communication for Development Strategy for Adolescent Girls, 2018, https://www.unicef.org/uganda/reports/multi-sectoral-communication-development-strategy-adolescent-girls (accessed February 2020).

Government of Uganda, Ethnographic Study on Teenage Pregnancy And Early Marriages In Uganda, 2019, [unpublished].

Her Choice, Programme, [website], 2018, http://www.her-choice.org/en/her-choice/programme/ (accessed December 2019).

Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act 1961, https://ulii.org/ug/legislation/consolidated-act/250 (accessed February 2020).

Marriage Act 1904, https://data.unicef.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Marriage-Act-1904_Uganda.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Marriage and Divorce of Mohammedans Act 1906,https://ulii.org/ug/legislation/consolidated-act/252 (accessed February 2020).

Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African, [website], 2014, https://www.youngpeopletoday.org/esa-commitment/ (accessed February 2020).

Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), National Strategy for Girls’ Education (NSGE) in Uganda (2015 – 2019), 2013, http://www.ungei.org/resources/files/Resource_Uganda_NSGE.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Ministry of Education and Sports, National Sexuality Education Framework, 2018, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3.sourceafrica.net/documents/119376/UNFPA-68-090518.pdf (accessed February 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 February 2020).

Nairobi Summit, STATEMENT FROM THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA AT THE 2019 NAIROBI ICPD25 SUMMIT, [website], 2019, http://www.nairobisummiticpd.org/commitment/statement-republic-uganda-2019-nairobi-icpd25-summit (accessed December 2019).

Overseas Development Institute, Adolescent girls and gender justice: Understanding key capability domains in Uganda, 2013, https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/8822.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Overseas Development Institute, Adolescent girls in the balance: Changes and continuity in social norms and practices around marriage and education in Uganda, 2014, https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9180.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Republic of Uganda and UNICEF, The National Strategy to end Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy 2014/2015 – 2019/2020, 2015, https://eprcug.org/children/publications/health/protection-and-participation/violence-against-children/the-national-strategy-to-end-child-marriage-and-teenage-pregnancy (accessed February 2020).

Republic of Uganda, SECOND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (2015/16 – 2019/20), 2015, http://npa.go.ug/wp-content/uploads/NDPII-Final.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Republic of Uganda, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (2010/11 – 2014/15), 2010, http://npa.ug/wp-content/themes/npatheme/documents/NDP2.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Republic of Uganda, National Population Policy (draft), 2018, http://npcsec.go.ug/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/DRAFT-NPP-JUNE-2018.pdf (accessed December 2019).

Republic of Uganda, REVIEW REPORT ON UGANDA’S READINESS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2030 AGENDA, 2016, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/10689Uganda%20Review%20Report_CDs1.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Spotlight Initiative, Uganda, [website], https://spotlightinitiative.org/uganda (accessed February 2020).

The Commonwealth Education Hub, The Presidential Initiative on AIDS Strategy to Youth (PIASCY), [website], https://www.thecommonwealth-educationhub.net/goodpractice/the-presidential-initiative-on-aids-strategy-to-youth-piascy/ (accessed February 2020).

The Conversation, Uganda’s new sex education framework will do more harm than good, [website], 2018, https://theconversation.com/ugandas-new-sex-education-framework-will-do-more-harm-than-good-98634 (accessed February 2020).

The Independent, Underage girls in Uganda being forced into child marriages because they cannot afford sanitary products, [website], 2017, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/uganda-underage-marriages-sanitary-pads-hygiene-products-menstruation-a8016651.html (accessed February 2020).

U.S. Department of State, United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, [website], 2019, https://www.state.gov/where-we-work-pepfar/ (accessed January 2020).

Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and ICF, Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, 2016, https://www.dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR333/FR333.pdf (accessed December 2019).

Uganda, Ministry of Education and Sports, Education for All: the Uganda National End of Decade Assessment of Education for All 2001-2010, 2015, https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000231727 (accessed February 2020).

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Uganda, 2016, p.15, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UGindex.aspx (accessed February 2020).

UNFPA and UNICEF, Child Marriage A Mapping of Programmes and Partners in Twelve Countries in East and Southern Africa, 2018, https://esaro.unfpa.org/en/publications/child-marriage-mapping-programmes-and-partners-twelve-countries-east-and-southern (accessed February 2020).

UNICEF DATA, Uganda, [website], https://data.unicef.org/crvs/uganda/ (accessed February 2020).

UNICEF global databases 2020, based on Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), and other national surveys. Population data from United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition. Rev. 1. (accessed April 2020).

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), The Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage – 2017 Annual Report Country Profiles, 2018, https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Global_Programme_Child_Marriage_Country_Profiles.pdf (accessed February 2020).

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), The Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage – 2018 Annual Report Country Profiles, 2019, https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/UNFPA-2.PDF (accessed December 2019).

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed February 2020).

United States Agency for International Development, Addressing early marriage in Uganda, 2009, http://www.culturalpractice.com/wp-content/downloads/3-2009-14.pdf (accessed February 2020).

Women’s Refugee Commission, A Girl No More: The Changing Norms of Child Marriage in Conflict, 2016, https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Changing-Norms-of-Child-Marriage-in-Conflict.pdf (accessed February 2020).

World Bank and International Center for Research on Women, Economic Impacts of Child Marriage: Global Synthesis Report, 2017, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/530891498511398503/pdf/116829-WP-P151842-PUBLIC-EICM-Global-Conference-Edition-June-27.pdf (accessed December 2019).

World Bank, Accelerating Uganda’s Development: Ending Child Marriage, Educating Girls, 2017, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/553381512398131516/pdf/121848-REVISED-UEU-10-Full-report.pdf (accessed February 2020).

World Bank, Adolescent fertility rate (births per 1,000 women ages 15-19), [website], 2017, https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.ADO.TFRT?most_recent_year_desc=false (accessed February 2020).

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

Partenariat national  Ouganda

Girls Not Brides Uganda is the official Girls Not Brides National Partnership in Uganda.

Voir le profile

Membres Uganda