UNICEF defines gender equality as “a state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision making, and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations, and needs regardless of gender.”
In Nigeria, gender equality is something we need to work towards and there are institutionalized systems which aim to keep women subservient to men. One of such is the issue of child marriage.
The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria presents contradicting stances on the issue. Section 23 of the 2003 Nigerian Child Right’s Act says, “a person under the age of 18 is incapable of contracting a valid marriage. If such a marriage does take place, it should be declared null and void and of no effect.” Contradicting that, isSection 29(4b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which says, “any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.”
Due to the fact that this law is not clearly stated, many Nigerians have gotten away with marrying young girls at any age. This petition is calling on lawmakers in the Nigeria Senate and House of Representatives to amend this section and make the constitution clearer on child marriage in Nigeria.
It’s Never Your Fault is a not-for-profit run by a group of teenage friends: Susan Ubogu, Kudirat Abiola, and Temitayo Asuni. It’s Never Your Fault’s #BanChildMarriageNigeria wants the Federal Government to ban child marriage in all the 36 states across the country.
According to UNICEF, (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) Nigeria has the 11th highest percentage of child marriage in the world. A child as young as eleven can be married off. This leads to innumerable complications not only for the child but also for the economy as a whole.
UNICEF adds that a total of 44% of the female Nigerian population gets married off before their 18th birthday. That is 40 million people. Imagine if we had 40 million more people working towards solving the issues of our country. It also leads to a number of illnesses for the girl child: VVF, PPD, STDs, HBP, etc.
Take 5 minutes of your time and sign this petition, in an effort ban child marriage in Nigeria and make the constitution clearer and ensure that the law is enforced all over the country. I guarantee you it will change a life!
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/neveryourfault_ and tweet using the #BanChildMarriageNigeria to bring awareness to this horrendous crime.
Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itsneveryourfault/ and post pictures using the #BanChildMarriageNigeria to bring attention to this horrible crime.