Child Marriage has been in existence throughout history. Research has linked it to Child Betrothal, Early Teenage Marriages and the females are disproportionately the affected ones due to Poverty, Culture and Traditions, Religion, Illiteracy and Peer Pressure.
It has lasting consequences and those affected by it suffer Poor Healthcare, Lack of Proper Education, etc…More than 60% of females get married before the legal age of 18years.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF], Nigeria ranks number two with the largest number of Child Bride in the World. With an estimate of 23 million females(girls & women) married as children and that puts an automatic stop to their education.
The Chief of Field Office at the UNICEF Nigeria Bauchi Field Office, Bhanu Pathak who was one of the speaker’s during the Youth Talk Ceremony at the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Right of the Child held on Saturday, 9th November 2019, he said that many Nigerian children are lagging behind in education.
“Nigeria has the world’s highest number of ‘Out-Of-School’ Children and more than 10.5 million Nigerians are not in school.”
Still at the convention, Pathak revealed that;
“Nigeria also has the second largest number of child brides in the world with 23 million girls and women married off as children and as such, ending their education.”
Looking at the future and what can be done to help put a stop to this, Pathak reassured the people at the convention that UNICEF is in partnership with the Nigerian Government at the Federal and State level to put an end to Child Marriage.
Globally, the rate of child marriage is gradually slowing down and we await the same change in Nigeria.
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