This brief provides an overview of child marriage as well as the particulars of child marriage in Mozambique. Mozambique, in southeastern Africa, is home to 17.5 million people, with 45 percent of its population under age 15. More than three-quarters of Mozambicans live on less than US$2 a day. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a devastating effect on the country; approximately 1.3 million adults and children are living with HIV, and 470,000 children have been orphaned because of AIDS. Life expectancy has fallen to 34 years, among the lowest levels in the world. Mozambique has one of the most severe crises of child marriage in the world today. Several local women’s rights groups have begun speaking out about this issue and were instrumental in ensuring the passage of the recent Family Law, which raises the minimum age of marriage for girls from 14 to 18, allows women to inherit property in the case of divorce, and legally recognizes traditional marriages. However, little capacity exists to implement the law. Included in this brief are recommendations to promote later, chosen, and legal marriage.
"Child marriage briefing: Mozambique." New York: Population Council, 2005.