UNICEF: 10million Nigerian Girls Faces Child Marriage Threat

By Temi Ohakwe, Abuja

10million Nigerian girls are at risk of child marriage due to COVID-19

UNICEF Executive Director , Henrietta Fore , made this known in a statement released to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day.

Fore also tasked the Nigerian government to extinguish child marriage in the country.

According to her, ” before the COVID-19 outbreak, 100 million girls were at risk of child marriage in the next decade, despite significant reductions in several countries in recent years”

“the last ten years, the proportion of young women globally who were married as children had decreased by 15 per cent, from nearly 1 in 4 to 1 in 5, the equivalent of some 25 million marriages averted, a gain that is now under threat”

“COVID-19 has made an already difficult situation for millions of girls even worse. Shuttered schools, isolation from friends and support networks, and rising poverty have added fuel to a fire, the world was already struggling to put out”

Fore warned that school closures, economic stress, service disruptions, pregnancy, and parental deaths due to the pandemic are putting the most vulnerable girls at increased risk of child marriage.

She added that Worldwide, an estimated 650 million girls and women were married in childhood, with about half of those occurring in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Nigeria.

“To off-set the impacts of COVID-19 and end the practice by 2030 – the target set out in the Sustainable Development Goals progress must be significantly accelerated” Fore stated.

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