Millions of children live in poverty in Nigeria;lacking access to clean water, food, health care services, and education. Two and a half million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, “defined by a very low weight for height (below -3z scores of the median WHO growth standards), by visible severe wasting, or by the presence of nutritional oedema.” In Nigeria, 430,000 children live with HIV/AIDS.1 In April, I attended a wedding reception where I saw masses of children scramble for leftover food from the guests’ plates. It was an awful sight, to witness and a reminder of the plight of Nigeria’s children. Where are their parents? Why do they look so unkempt? When was their last meal? These were all questions that ran across through my mind as I reflected on their pitiful condition.
In developing countries, one in every three girls is married before reaching age 18. One in nine is married under age 15. – 
In Africa, Nigeria is expected to have the largest absolute number of child brides. The country has seen a decline in child marriage of about 1 percent per year over the past three decades. At this pace, the total number of child brides is expected to double by 2050. – UNICEF
“I was a slave in my husband’s house,” said 17-year-old Rahma. “My pregnancy had complications and my husband sent me back to my parents when I was diagnosed with fistula,” added 19-year-old Fatima. As I listened to these girls share their experiences as child brides, I struggled to keep the at bay as I wondered why on earth anyone would want to deprive these girls of their childhood and livelihoods. Yet, many men (often much older) in countries like Nigeria choose to marry teenage girls, some pre-teens. Forty-three (43) percent of Nigerian girls are given in marriage before the age of 18,;17% are married before their 15th birthday. As Africa’s largest growing population with over 180 million residents, it is anticipated that Nigeria will have the largest absolute number of child brides by 2050.1 In response to this alarming news, the Nigerian government in November 2016 launched a campaign with a pledge to end child marriage by the year 2030. In line with the African Union’s resolution to eliminate the practice in the African continent; Nigeria joins 15 other African countries that have made this a national commitment. Despite this, achieving an end to child marriage is a long way ahead.
Messages and Reactions From Nigeria On March 8, the world celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), a day set aside to acknowledge the contributions women make in society and highlight the challenges women continue to face. This year, the United Nation’s theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” urged action to promote
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
“When you give a woman a responsibility, she either abuses it or lets you down. I hope neither will happen in this case,” said the Head of Department (HOD) at the weekly team meeting of a Nigerian government institution in Lagos State as he introduced the new female Supervisor. It was about 8:15am as staff members stood outside in the usual
Last week, I attended what was possibly the most important high-level meeting for me as an ICWA Fellow in Nigeria. The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Tuesday, November 29, committed to end a deeply-rooted cultural and social menace in the country — child marriage. “Our stand is clear. No child marriage,” declared the Vice-President, Prof.
Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Nigeria. Though, many churches across the country celebrate Thanksgiving Sundays – special days when people dress up in their best and most colorful outfits and bring exceptional thanksgiving offerings (money) to church. So, what did I do on November 24? Thanks to my globally-minded friends, I was able to commemorate
Lagos Chronicles My 12-day trip to Lagos was overwhelming; mostly because Lagos is an overwhelming city. With over 20 million inhabitants, it is hard not to feel choked whenever you are in Lagos. I stayed on the Mainland of Lagos; this is where you experience the real city in contrast to the Island area of Lagos (an area designed to accommodate wealthy
International Day of the Girl Child October 11, 2016 Every year since 2012, October 11 has been set aside to “recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.” The day calls global attention to the need to address these challenges while promoting girls’ empowerment and the advancement of their human rights.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela ABUJA, Nigeria – “Are you sure you know where you are coming to?” asked my cousin in-law as we approached the northwestern state of Kaduna after a two hour road trip from Abuja. He was dropping me off at a bus stop on his way to Kano for a