Gabú is located in easternmost Guinea-Bissau and the capital of the region with the same name. It has a population of roughly 14,000 people. The city is an important centre for commerce as well as for trade with neighbouring Senegal and Guinea.Gabú is one of the poorest regions in the country. For this reason many young people leave their villages behind each year to migrate south to the bigger cities in search of a better life and more opportunities.
Since 2001, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Gabú.
Legally, marriage in Guinea-Bissau is only allowed after the age of 18. However, with parental consent, this can be lowered to 16.
Marriage before the age of 18 is a major violation of human rights. It often affects a girl's development by leading to early pregnancy and social isolation, and by limiting her educational and vocational opportunities. Early child marriage is a direct manifestation of gender inequality.
Gabú has the highest rate of women marrying before the age of 18 in Guinea-Bissau: 49% marry under the age of 18.
Life expectancy is a way to measure the health of a population.
The global average life expectancy is 72,7 years.
With an average life expectancy of 57.8 years Guinea-Bissau ranks lower than the average compared to other low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are many reasons for this, such as high infant and maternal mortality rates as well as insufficient funding for health and social sectors.