Nigeria has been ranked as the 11th country with the highest number of child marriages in the world. The report was announced by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon made this disclosure at the UN Women Conference 2018 taking place in Lagos. The event was organized to engage with traditional and cultural leaders in a bid to bring child marriage and female genital mutilation in Africa to an end.
“It is important to note that the fight to end child marriage and female genital mutilation remain a key priority of the United Nations,” he said.
The discourse revealed that among countries with the highest prevalence of child bride, Nigeria sits on its rank with a widespread acceptance of the practice. It is believed that children as young as 12 are seen as being old enough to marry in some sections of the country.
Consequently, about 43 percent of brides in Nigeria are said to be children less than 18 years old. In a country of 186 million people, this statistics is tantamount to a staggering figure that runs into millions of girls who take up the responsibility of marriage at a very young age.
“If we do nothing to accelerate progress the number of child brides in Africa will double by 2050,” Mr. Kallon said.