The Save the Children’s Global Girlhood Report Monday revealed that an estimated 44 percent of girls in Nigeria get married before their 18th birthday.
The report was given to newsmen by an NGO, Save the Children Nigeria, as part of the activities to commemorate the 2021 International Day of the Girl Child in Abuja.
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It said the percentage of girls that married early in Nigeria was one of the highest globally.
It said the rate of early child marriage was not likely to reduce as Nigerian girls were living in one of the most difficult times.
The report also revealed that child marriage killed more than 60 girls a day.
It said as a result of armed conflicts, humanitarian crises, kidnappings, natural disasters, displacements, COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession, the lives of millions of girls were threatened and as they were being pushed into the basket of deprivation.
“These include reduced access to education, nutrition, lack of protection and lack of access to basic social services, the State of Nigerian Girls Report showed.
“More than an estimated 22,000 girls a year are dying from pregnancy and childbirth resulting from child marriage, new analysis from Save the Children released on International Day of the Girl revealed.
“With the highest rate of child marriage in the world, West and Central Africa account for nearly half (9,600) of all estimated child marriage-related deaths globally or 26 deaths a day.
“The regional teenage maternal mortality rate is four times higher than anywhere else in the world,’’ the report said.
The report said although nearly 80 million child marriages globally had been prevented in the last 25 years, progress had stalled even before the COVID-19 pandemic which worsened inequalities that drive child marriage.
According to Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children International, child marriage is one of the worst and deadliest forms of sexual and gender-based violence against girls. (NAN)
Children ‘take over’ ministers’ offices
Nigerian children Monday took over the offices of the Ministers of Women Affairs and Education to demand digital opportunities for girls and an end to Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
They made their demands known while occupying the seats of the ministers for 30 minutes as part of activities to mark the 2021 International Day of the Girl-Child (IDGC).
Miss Nana-Firdausi Bashir, a 12-year-old from Kebbi, who acted as the Minister of Women Affairs, said inclusion of girls in the digital space would promote their zeal to reach their potential, fight Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other harmful practices affecting girls.
Bashir said: “All hands must be on deck to address the issue of girl-child education, end child marriage, Female genital mutilation, sexual abuse, child trafficking for a prosperous Nigeria, leaving no girl behind.”
She urged government to ensure that girls accessed digital skills to enable them to be conversant with technology and access information that would help them.
She also urged government to “support safe spaces for girls in school, support mentoring and life skills to girls and the use of technology as solution to address GBV.”
She said the theme of the 2021 IDGC ‘Digital Generation-Our Generation; Digital Revolution: Not Without Girls’ was apt within the context of gender divide and low transition to secondary education against Nigerian adolescents girls.
She noted that “gender and social norms constitute major reasons why girls are not transiting and not accessing digital skills.
Also, Miss Dorcas Joshua from Adamawa, who acted a Minister of State for Education, stressed the need to support safe spaces for women and girls, support mentoring and life skills for girls.
Joshua also called for the provision of mechanisms for school safety to check insecurity in learning environment, using technology to address GBV. (NAN
NAWOJ urges equal rights, opportunities for girls
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) says equal rights and opportunities for girls would accelerate their empowerment in the society.
The women journalists made this assertion in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.
The statement, signed by the association’s national president, Ladi Bala, was to commemorate the 2021 International Day of the Girl-Child.
The statement said women and young girls should be empowered and given proper healthcare and a world free of gender-based violence and discrimination. (NAN)