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Surprising trends in child marriage in Ethiopia

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Nicola Jones

Hero image description: Girl's hand, Ethiopia, 2015 Image credit:ODI/David Walker

Child marriage (marriage below 18 years) is a widespread practice affecting both the physical and psychological wellbeing and development of millions of girls in Ethiopia. There is growing momentum – globally and in Ethiopia – to increase efforts to bring an end to child marriage, acknowledging that the practice is a violation of human rights.

This briefing synthesises findings from a national study to identify the patterning and drivers of child marriage – and to locate promising examples of good-practice programming which could be brought to scale as the government moves towards its ambitious goal of eliminating child marriage within a decade.

This research was commissioned by UNICEF Ethiopia and the National Alliance to End Child Marriage in Ethiopia by 2025, spearheaded by the Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs.

Nicola Jones, Guday Emirie, Bekele Tefera and Elizabeth Presler-Marshall