Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. Sudan is among the African countries with a high prevalence of child marriage. In Sudan, 10.7% of women aged 15 to 49 are married before the age of 15, and 38% are wed before the age of 18. 

While approximately two-thirds of African countries have legislated a minimum age of marriage at or above 18 for both sexes, government actors in Sudan have recently put the issue on their legislative agenda. The Sudanese government’s attempt to set the minimum age of marriage at 18 years has prompted counter-mobilization by religious conservatives saying the practice is sanctioned by Sharia. It has also received criticism from the women’s movement claiming that this proposed reform is insufficient to legally protect girls

Liv Tønnessen

Director of Center on Law and Social Transformation and Senior Researcher