Nigeria has been said to rank the 11th position amongst 20 countries in the world with highest prevalence of child marriage which has been confirmed by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
Mr Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, said this at the ongoing UN Women Conference 2018 in Lagos. Report has it that, the four-day conference had the theme – Ending Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation in Africa: Dialogue with Traditional and Cultural Leaders.
Kallon highlighted the top 20 countries with highest prevalence of child marriage according to UNICEF report titled `The State of the World’s Children 2017.’ According to the report, Niger ranks highest with 76 per cent followed by Central African Republic with 68 percent, Chad 67 per cent, Bangladesh 59 per cent, Burkina Faso 52 percent, and Mali 52 percent.
South Sudan has 52 percent, Guinea 51 percent, Mozambique 48 percent, Somalia 45 percent and Nigeria 43 percent, are Malawi 42 percent, Madagascar 41 percent, Eritrea 41 percent. Other countries are: Ethiopia 40 percent, Uganda 40 percent, Nepal 40 percent, Sierra Leone 39 percent, Democratic Republic of Congo 37 percent and Mauritania 37 percent.
“Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 17 percent of them or 125 million live in Africa.
“If we do nothing to accelerate progress the number of child brides in Africa will double by 2050.
“Africa will take over South Asia to become the region with the largest number of children brides in the world,” he said.
He said child marriage had negative implications for the household, national and regional economic prosperity and development.
“It is important to note that the fight to end child marriage and female genital mutilation remain a key priority of the United Nations.
The issue of Child marriage has been on going in Nigeria for a long time and knowing that Nigeria is one of the top 15 on this issue is not surprising at all, but if you feel it’s surprising to you, drop a comment below!