Child marriage is a major public health problem globally, and the prevalence remains high in sub-Saharan African countries, including Mali. There is a dearth of evidence about factors associated with child marriage in Mali. Hence, this studyaimed at investigating the individual/household and community-level factors associated with child marriage among women in Mali.
Using data from the 2018 Mali Demographic and Health Survey, analysis was done on 8,350 women aged 18-49 years. A Chi-square test was used to select candidate variables for the multilevel multivariable logistic regression models. Fixed effects results weree xpressed as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at 95% confidence intervals (CI). Stata version 14 software was used for the analysis.
The results showed that 58.2% (95% CI; 56.3%-60.0%) and 20.3% (95%; 19.0%-21.6%) of women aged 18-49 years were married before their 18th and 15th birthday, respectively. Educational status of women (higher education: aOR=0.25, 95% CI; 0.14-0.44), their partner's/husband's educational status (higher education: aOR=0.64, 95% CI; 0.47-0.87), women's occupation (professional, technical, or managerial: aOR=0.50, 95% CI; 0.33-0.77), family size (five and above: aOR=1.16, 95% CI; 1.03-1.30), and ethnicity (Senoufo/Minianka: aOR=0.73, 95% CI; 0.58-0.92) were the identified individual/household level factors associated with child marriage, whereas region (Mopti: aOR=0.27, 95% CI; 0.19-0.39) was the community level factor associated with child marriage.
This study has revealed a high prevalence of child marriage in Mali. To reduce the magnitude of child marriage in Mali, enhancing policies and programs that promote education for both girls and boys, creating employment opportunities, improving the utilization of family planning services, and sensitizing girls and parents who live in regions such as Kayes on the negative effects of child marriage is essential. Moreover, working with community leaders so as to reduce child marriage in the Bambara ethnic communities would also be beneficial.
The authors thank the MEASURE DHS project for their support and for free access to the original data.
Copyright © 2021 Betregiorgis Zegeye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.