Niger was alleged to have the highest percentage of girls married before age 18 in the world (82%; Demographic Health Surveys, 1996-2001)[1]. In another source[2], the percentage of girls aged 15-19 in selected countries who are already married was 70% (Niger second after Congo). “In Niger, early marriage can be defined as ‘marriage contracted before, but not after the age of 13’ (Dejean, I, cited in IAC, 1984)[3]”. According to a 1994 source[4] female median age at first marriage was 15.






Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Oct. 2004


[1] As cited in International Center for Research on Women (nd) ICRW Policy Advisory on child marriage, p2 []; Plan Nederland (2004) Niger: uitbannen kinderhuwelijk begint met bewustwording, Nieuwsbrief Plan Nederland[Dutch] No. 9 July 2004 []

[2] UNICEF: Child marriages must stop. UN Children's Fund, 7 Mar 2001 []

[3] As cited in Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls (May 2000) Early Marriage: Whose Right to Choose? Mission Statement, p6 [ / /]

[4] DHS Survey, 1994 cited in Progress of Nations, 1998, as cited in Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls, op.cit.