Child marriage Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions among affected communities in Albania


Date of publication:  01 Jun 2018 Author:  Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Albania Observatory for Children and Youth Rights UNFPA Albania UNICEF Albania Publisher:  Observatory for Children and Youth Rights

Albania has a strong legislative framework to tackle child marriage, but the laws are not effectively or consistently implemented. Official data from 2017 indicated that 17 per cent of all marriages that year involved a female spouse below 19 years old, whereas 0.5 per cent involved a male spouse below the same age. However, this does not include unregistered marriages, meaning that the real prevalence is unknown. Child marriage prevalence is also known to be much higher in Roma communities, but accurate statistical data is unavailable. Child marriage in Albania seems to be linked to restrictive gender norms, poverty and social exclusion and has the consequences of dropping out of school, early motherhood and lack of autonomy and decision-making power in the household. Through focus group discussions and interviews, the study found that respondents were aware of the laws against child marriage, that the practice occurs in their community and its harmful consequences. Respondents talked of the fear of social sanctions, such as rumours about a girl’s ‘honour’ being an important factor in pushing them towards early marriage, as was poverty and that there are no viable or acceptable alternatives for girls.

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