Friday, September 30, 2022

Early Marriage: UNICEF wants compulsory education of Nigerian girls

“The result of girls not going to school, especially junior secondary, is that they get married, or they’re married off.”

• September 19, 2022
Schoolgirls in a classroom setting used to illustrate the story
School girls in a classroom.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pushed for the compulsory education of the girl-child as a protection mechanism from forced early marriage.

UNICEF country representative to Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, spoke when he featured as a special guest on the News Agency of Nigeria interview programme, Forum, in Abuja.

Mr Hawkins, who said child marriage remained a big issue in the country, urged stakeholders to look for ways to prevent this to keep children in school.

“How do we ensure that girls are able to complete the full grade 12 up to the age of 18 so they can make decisions about their future? That is the most important issue that we need to take into consideration,” said the UN official. “The result of girls not going to school, especially junior secondary, is that they get married, or they’re married off, and I think that we must push for the girls to go to school.”

He added, “That, in effect, delays the marriage if they’re going to school. If they don’t go to school, it accelerates the marriage because it is a protection mechanism. So, we need to look at those too in UNICEF, as many of the traditional, religious leaders across the country say to me when we talk about child marriage. Child marriage is a big issue, and I’m sure you will come on to it in Nigeria.”

Mr Hawkins added that female children’s education was one of the main priority issues UNICEF was working on because of its profound effect on the health of adolescent girls. He noted that the Girls Education Programme (GEP) of UNICEF was an intervention designed to highlight girls’ education issues in the country.

“The programme will continue not as GEP but other interventions; what it did was to highlight the issue of girls and education, and it looked into many different elements,” stressed the UNICEF representative. “One is access, which is about distance and so on. How do girls get to school? How can they go to school? Are our families prioritising the girls to be able to go to school?”

The UNICEF official urged the government to consider the social aspect of the girls’ education, such as providing WASH facilities and travelling distance to and from schools, stating that they will encourage young girls to learn and continue learning. 

(NAN)

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Adegboyega-Oyetola

States

Court nullifies Oyetola’s nomination as APC Osun guber candidate

The court said the decision to forward the names of Mr Oyetola and his deputy governorship candidate amounted to a nullity in law.

Peter Obi

Politics

2023: Peter Obi announces campaign website, calls for donations

The Labour Party presidential flagbearer announced a website for donations collection for his presidential bid in a tweet on Friday.

Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba

Africa

Army captain announces overthrow of Burkina Faso’s military government

This is the second coup witnessed by the African country since January of this year.

Enugu

Enugu govt to execute road repairs in dry season: Commissioner

Traffic would be obstructed on major arterial and connecting roads in the affected areas, especially in Enugu metropolis.

Naira and Dollars

Economy

I&E Window: Naira constant, exchanges at 437.03 to dollar

An exchange rate of N441 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N437.03.

Lagos

LWC urges security agencies to arrest water pipe vandals

Management of the Lagos Water Corporation has appealed to security agencies to help in recovering the stolen pipes.