Cuba - The Family Code - Equality Now
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Cuba - The Family Code

Article 3 of Cuba’s Family Code provides that girls may be married off as young as 14 years old, while requiring a boy to be at least 16 years old.

  • Country: Cuba
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Marriage, Divorce, Polygamy & Wife Obedience

When young girls are forced to marry, they face potentially lifelong harmful consequences. They  are essentially subject to state-sanctioned rape and are at risk of increased domestic violence, forced pregnancy and negative health consequences, while being denied education and economic opportunity.

Laws prohibiting marriage under the age of 18 for both girls and boys, without any exceptions, are needed to make explicit the States’, and societies’ understanding that young people need time to understand their independent circumstances before entering into a lifelong contract that will affect many aspects of their lives.

Article 3 of Cuba’s Family Code provides that girls may be married off as young as 14 years old, while requiring a boy to be at least 16 years old.

Article 3. Men and women have authority to make their marriage official when they are over 18 years old. Therefore, those that are younger than 18 years old do not have authority to make their marriage official. Notwithstanding what was just stated, exceptionally there are justified reasons so that those under 18 years old have authority to make their marriage official, as long as the female is at least 14 years old and the male 16 years old.

Laws prohibiting marriage under the age of 18 for both girls and boys, without any exceptions, are needed to make explicit the States’, and societies’ understanding that young people need time to understand their independent circumstances before entering into a lifelong contract that will affect many aspects of their lives.

Note:

Cuba’s new Constitution came into force in 2019. The Cuban government is reportedly in the process of amending the Family Code to ensure that it complies with the provisions of the new Constitution.

Article 42 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, 2019: All people are equal before the law, receive the same protection and treatment from the authorities, and enjoy the same rights, liberties, and opportunities, without any discrimination for reasons of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ethnic origin, skin color, religious belief, disability, national or territorial origin, or any other personal condition or circumstance that implies a distinction injurious to human dignity.

Article 43: Women and men have equal rights and responsibilities in the economic, political, cultural, occupational, social, and familial domains, as well as in any other domain.

Link to Law  

 

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