Relationship between child marriage and contraceptive use in Uganda
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Child marriage is well-defined as marriage or co-habitation before age of 18. Child marriage weakens a girl’s rights to live a life free from violence and oppression, and to achieve an education. Though child marriage is frequent in West Africa and West Asia, the dominance of child marriage is considered moderate in Western Europe, East Asia, and North America, with 6% of women getting married before the age of 18 years in the United States. In Africa, child marriage is highest in West Africa and relatively high in Central Africa and with 49% and 40% of girls below 19 years in unions correspondingly. This relates to 27% in East Africa and 20% for Northern and Southern Africa. In Uganda, about 46% of girls below 18 years have already married, and 20–24% married or became pregnant before the age of 15 in Africa. Democratic Republic of Congo stands out with 74% of all girls in unions by 19 years. Methods: This study used data collected by the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. The study focused on 6709 women aged 15-49 years who were married before the age of 18. Analysis of data was done at the univariate, bivariate and multivariate levels. The factors investigated included age at first sex, religious affiliation, wealth index, place of residence, education level of a woman, knowledge of contraception by women and region. Results: Majority of early married women were not using contraception (66.8%) and only 33.2% were using contraception. Results indicated that education, wealth index, region, residence and religion of a woman were significantly associated with contraceptive usage at bivariate level. And at multivariate level, education, religion and wealth index were significant.