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Published On: Tue, Jun 16th, 2015

UNICEF Frowns at Early Girl Child Marriage in Nigeria

school-girlsLAGOS JUNE 16TH (URHOBOTODAY)- The United Nation Children Funds (UNICEF) has frowned at early girl child marriage in Nigeria.
In a statement, UNICEF lamented that 25 years after the adoption of the African Children’s Charter based on accelerated collective efforts to end child marriage in Africa, child marriage is increasing in Nigeria, adding that multiple indicators revealed that there is increase in the number of girls married before age 15.
“It was 13 per cent in 2007 and MICS 2011 indicates it is now 18 per cent,” the statement disclosed.

UNICEF maintained that child marriage denies children the attainment of their human rights as children, erodes the child’s rights to life, good health, education and dignity, stressing that studies linked child marriage to maternal mortality, school drop-out, virginal fistula (VVF) condition and malnutrition among others.
The organization believed that investments in girls’ education and getting more girls’ into school delays marriage and impacts the incidence of child marriage.
“Girls’ Education is vital because educated girls become better mothers, have fewer and healthier children and more empowered. An educated girl will have a better life, as will her family. Every additional year of schooling delays age at marriage.
“The Girls’ Education Project, funded by the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) and implemented by UNICEF, aims to get 1 million more girls into school by 2020, while at the same improving the quality of education. The project is helping to train female teachers through the female teachers’ service scheme and deploy them to rural areas, where the predominance of male teachers deters many parents from sending their girls to school.
“Another intervention under this project is the conditional cash transfer scheme provides cash to girls to help defray some school-related costs like textbooks, uniforms and others. The project, aims to encourage parents to send their daughters to school. It is expected to reach more than 50, 000 girls this year in Sokoto and Niger States.
“Getting girls into schooling, and remain in school is particularly important in a country where 10.5 million children are out of school, and more than 60 per cent of them are girls. It is a win for everybody and has an impact on child marriage,” the statement disclosed.

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