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Child marriage in West and Central Africa is one of the biggest challenges in the region and has enormous adverse effects on education, health, including sexual and reproductive health, and on the overall development of adolescents and youth. This brochure provides recent data and analysis of child marriage in the region.
The global trend towards smaller families is a reflection of people making reproductive choices to have as few or as many children as they want, when they want. When people lack choice, it can have a long-term impact on fertility rates, often making them higher or lower than what most people desire.
Girls are subject to child marriage, female genital mutilation and limited education and as such, are denied equality of opportunities. At the beginning of 2016, the African Union Heads of State and Government underlined a commitment to put young people and women first by agreeing to focus on “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth” throughout 2017 and beyond. UNFPA in West and Central Africa recognizes the critical importance of investing in adolescents and youth, particularly adolescent girls. …