Nigeria Is Home To 23.6 Million Child Brides – Report

According to the UNICEF report, there are 60 million child brides in West and Central Africa, and Nigeria has the largest share.

​​​​​​Nigeria remains the country with the highest number of child brides in West and Central Africa, with numbers of girls and women who were first married before the legal age reaching 23.6 million, a report published by UNICEF has revealed.

About 10.3 million of them were married before the age of 15, while 23.6 million women and girls were married before 18.

Child marriages are more prevalent in Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, and Sokoto states in northwest Nigeria, including Bauchi State in the northeast.

Marie-Pierre Poirier, the UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, noted that child marriages impact both girls and boys.

She added that “girls are disproportionately affected [as] gender inequality is one of the main drivers of the practice.”

In Nigeria, only three in 25 young men are first married in childhood, whereas 10 in 25 women are married before they turn 18, and most of those who were married before 18 were married off to partners ten years older and above. 

According to the report, the required reduction rate to eliminate child marriages stands at 31.4 per cent, and Nigeria’s reduction rate has stagnated at -0.5 per cent for up to ten years.

“Ending child marriage is a key priority for the African Union,” Poirier stated. “The UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office have also prioritised it as one of our eight key results for children.”

She explained that UNICEF’s strategic approach to ending the practice is multisectoral, multipronged and contextualised. 

“Experience has shown that key interventions include investments in girls’ access to quality education at scale and social and behaviour change in favour of girls and women’s full and active participation in social and economic life.”

The report also revealed that ​s​even out of ten countries with the highest levels of child marriage worldwide are in West and Central Africa and are also facing worsening humanitarian situations, whether provoked by climate change, food insecurity or growing conditions of conflict.

Support Our Journalism

There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.

To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.

Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.

Donate Here

Of course, we want our exclusive stories to reach as many people as possible and would appreciate it if you republish them. We only ask that you properly attribute to HumAngle, generally including the author's name, a link to the publication and a line of acknowledgement. Contact us for enquiries or requests.

Contact Us

Zubaida Baba Ibrahim

Zubaida Baba Ibrahim is a journalist and a creative writer. Her works have been featured on Daily Trust, Premium Times and Guardian. She also has experience in broadcast journalism and is a graduate of Mass Communication from Baze University, Abuja. She tweets through @zvbaida

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Translate »