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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Nigeria. Mass wedding of underage girls. Commentary by Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye

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“I appeal to all stakeholders to stop implementing policies and programs that exploit economically disadvantaged, vulnerable people, increase their poverty and deepen their ignorance,” said Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, Nigeria's minister of women's affairs. The BBC website reported that one hundred girls, some of whom are minors, are to be married soon. “These women deserve better,” Kennedy-Ohanenye commented.

As reported by the BBC, on May 24 in a north-western state Niger One hundred orphans, some of whom are underage girls, are to be married off. All of them lost their parents as a result of bandit attacks on the local civilian population.

“These women deserve better.”

The BBC noted that the Nigerian Minister for Women, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, had filed a court request to stop the ceremony. The wedding, however, is supported by the Speaker of the Niger State Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji. He said local religious leaders asked him to help finance the wedding. According to the Niger Imams Forum, the wedding ceremony should take place and the girls must not be less than 18 years old.

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Critics of the idea have expressed concern that some of them are under that age or may be forced to comply, if only for financial gain.

According to the Kennedy-Ohanenye ministry, “these women deserve better.” Her department checks their age and whether they have consented to the marriage. She offered them an education opportunity and stressed that if Niger State officials try to block these efforts, “there will be a serious legal fight between them and the Ministry of Women's Affairs.”

“I appeal to all stakeholders to stop implementing policies and programs that exploit economically disadvantaged, vulnerable people, increase their poverty and deepen their ignorance,” said Kennedy-Ohanenye.

Activists for human rights In Nigeria launched a petition to stop the mass wedding. By Friday evening, 10.5 thousand had been submitted. signatures.

Marriage under 18 years of age – data

The BBC reported that, according to Girls Not Brides, 30 percent girls and 1.6 percent boys in Nigeria get married before they turn 18. About 12 percent girls get married before they turn 15.

It was explained that child marriage is most common in the northern part of the country, among poor, rural households. Northern Nigeria is majority Muslim, and religious and cultural norms such as polygamy favor the practice.

Read also: They deprived the victims of their hands, heads and hearts. Arrests in connection with murders and organ trafficking

Main photo source: Oluwafemi Dawodu/Shutterstock



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