Nigeria: Boko Haram crisis could fuel rise in child marriages

| June 1, 2015

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The Boko Haram crisis in northern Nigeria may be fuelling a rise in child marriages, as parents pull their daughters out of school following mass abductions.

Many schools have closed because of the insurgency. Campaigners report that parents who once saw boarding schools as a safe place for their daughters are now fearful of sending them away.

Umma Iliyasu-Mohammed works with the Nigerian organization, Girl Child Concerns. She says: “We have communities where girls have not been to school for a year. We have parents [that] do not see education as a safe alternative to marriage, which they did before.”

Ms. Iliyasu-Mohammed adds, “Unfortunately, when families pull their girls out of school, they take them back home, and when girls are at home the next thing will be marriage.”

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Photo: A teacher watches as students recite Quranic verses at an Islamic school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 24, 2014. Credit: REUTERS/Joe Penney