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Published On: Sun, Jan 18th, 2015

Child marriage abuse in Nigeria, large and profound-Canadian envoy

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By Evelyn Okakwu

The Canadian government has reenacted its media campaign against early or forced marriage of young girls in most parts of the world, including Nigeria.

Speaking during the recently organised media briefing to mark the showcasing of its visuals for; “Two young to wed”, a global network against child marriage, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Perry Calderwood said. “It is estimated that there are about 14 million girls around the world that are married, each year before they turn 18. This number amounts to about 1 in 3 girls in the developing world”.

Calderwood added that 1, in 10 of these are married before the age of 15, stressing that the implications of child marriage in Nigeria are large and profound.

“Complications relating to pregnancy are leading cause of death for girls in the developing world, within the ages of 15 and 19”.

Also at the event; the founder, Isa-Wali empowerment initiative, Maryam Uwais, a member of the girls not bride network, while addressing questions on leaders taking teenage girls as brides; said:

“Leaders all over the world think about their communities, before they think about themselves, and Nigerian leaders should remember what they represent before taking any decision, as set standards.”

“We have young girl with narrow pelvises having VVF. There are at least about 20, 000 such cases, yearly and the repair centers can only cope with 4, 000 repairs a year. The only way to combat this is to prevent young girls giving birth”, she added.

Speaking further, Uwais said; “As a Muslim myself, I do not see how we can justify child marriage when you look at the scriptures and you know that God is a just God”.

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