The implications of child marriages and their developmental effects on young girls/women in sub-Saharan Africa

Victor H. Mlambo, Mduduzi V. Hlongwa, Luyanda Msthalui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Child marriages in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and around the world have been associated with enormous complications, especially relating to the developmental potential of young girls/women within society. SSA is confronted with the issue of child marriages and seemingly with governments failing to clamp down on the practice. Child marriages have continued to manifest themselves, especially in deep rural areas where traditional beliefs are still rife. The study used a qualitative research method were the systematic review of the literature relating to child marriages and their implications was undertaken. Apart from an extensive literature search, the study utilized thematic content analysis to deduce its findings, with the hope of bringing in more meaning to the overall content of the paper. The literature pointed out that poverty, inequality and a slow government response, contributes to increased child marriages. Furthermore, the failure to develop, implement and enforce policies is another major contributing factor. Thematic content analysis was used to identify analyse and report patterns of themes that emerged from the data analysis. The implications of child marriage include; early school dropout, early pregnancy and the increased possibility of domestic violence. The study concludes that better access to support services and education is key in ensuring that the governments in SSA are able to better position themselves, in dealing with child marriages in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-99
Number of pages25
JournalAfrican Renaissance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Child marriages
  • Inequality
  • Policies
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


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