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The Relationship between Child Marriage and Intimate Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Researchers have analysed data of countries from all four sub-regions within sub-Saharan Africa. In Central Africa, they included Angola, Cameroon and Chad. From West Africa they included Benin, Mali and Nigeria and from the east Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Within Southern Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe were selected. Analysis of the demographic and health survey data showed that child marriage prevalence ranged from 13.5% in Rwanda to 77% in Chad. Intimate partner violence ranged from 17.5% in Mozambique to 42% in Uganda. Past year experience of intimate partner violence was higher among young women who married or began cohabiting before the age of 18 (36.9%) than those who did at age 18 or more (32.5%). Results show, child marriage is associated with a higher likelihood of intimate partner violence in most sub-Saharan African countries. This suggests that ending child marriage would result in a substantial reduction.