"The health of adolescent girls is everyone's business. We all need to step up to the plate to embrace this ambitious agenda."—Melinda Gates.
Child marriage is a marriage or similar union, formal or informal, between a child under a certain age – typically age 18 – and an adult or another child.
The vast majority of child marriages are between a girl and a man, and are rooted in gender inequality.
Although in most countries, the age of majority otherwise known as legal adulthood and marriageable age are usually designated at age 18, both vary across countries, and therefore the marriageable age may be older or younger in a given country. It is worthy to note however that where the age is set at 18 years, there are countries in which cultural traditions override legislation and many jurisdictions permit earlier marriage with parental consent or in exceptional circumstances, such as teenage pregnancy.