Referred to as “early marriage” to disguise the terrible reality, child marriage is an ancient, deep-rooted traditional practice in the east Africa, especially Ethiopia.

Although the legal age of marriage is 18, most girls marrymuch younger.

According to the report, ‘Causes and consequences of early marriage in Ethiopia’ produced in 2006, “fifteen percent of ever-married women in Amhara were married before the age of 12years. The mean age at first marriage was 14.5 years, and about 44 percent of urban and53 percent of rural ever-married women were first married between 12 and 15 years.”

Another report, ‘Early Marriage in Ethiopia: causes and consequences’ produced in 2004; stated that child marriage is “rampant in Ethiopia, although prevalence varies from one region to another.  At a national level, 62% of the women are married before the age of 18.”

With a population of almost 75 million, 52% of whom are women; it means that all most 25 million Ethiopian were married before they reach their 18th birthday.