Under age marriage
Marriage during impuberty
Child-marriage is the term used both for marriage of minor to minor, and for marriage of a minor to an older person by agreement between the parents and the future spouse, or between both sets of parents.
Puberty is the state of physical development requisite for generation. The age of puberty varies with the individual and the climate; the legal presumption of the Roman law fixed it at twelve years for girls and fourteen for boys. The Catholic Church has followed this rule or presumption, but it has not made want of a fixed age an impediment properly so-called which would render the marriage void under every hypothesis. It is presumed that young people reach the age of puberty at twelve and fourteen; it is presumed that they do not reach it before this time; but if as a matter of fact they have reached it, and a marriage be necessitated by the circumstances of the case, the marriage is valid without dispensation.
Child marriage continues as a means of forming unity between two families in Africa and India. Child marriage as a form of slavery, where girls are sold in marriage to older men, exists in Africa. Child marriage may be forbidden by law but accepted in social custom. Child marriage without consent of the girl was still legal in Gabon in 1964, but a Presidential decree was issued that year abolishing it.