Nigeria will have 29 million child brides by 2050, UNICEF says
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
A report by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) projects that Nigeria will have 29 million child brides by 2050.
The report, which also raised concerns that millions of children in Nigeria are victims of violence, was contained in the document “Analysis of the situation of children in Nigeria: ensuring the equitable and sustainable realization of human rights”. Child in Nigeria” launched by the Federal Government in collaboration with UNICEF this weekend in Abuja.
The report puts the current number of child brides in the country at 22 million, accounting for 40% of such cases in West and Central Africa, warning that an additional seven million child brides will be added by 2050 .
While referencing the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, the report states that 58.2% of Nigerian girls were married before reaching the age of 18.
He noted that although a comparison of data for the period 2013 – 2017 indicated a decline in child marriage in Nigeria is declining, the rate of decline is however slow as Nigeria ranks among the countries with the lowest rate of child marriage. slowest decline in child marriage in the West. and central Africa.
He indicated that the North-West geopolitical zone had the highest proportion of women married before the age of 15 at 32.5%, while the South-East had the lowest proportion of women married before this age at 4.1%. .
The report further states that in 2018, the percentage of women married before the age of 18 increased from 48% to 43%, while the percentage of women aged 15-19 marrying before the age of 15 increased from 12% to 8%.
“The rate of decline is also not sufficient to significantly reduce child marriage in Nigeria under current conditions. Even if efforts are redoubled, Nigeria will add an estimated seven million child brides by 2050. Indeed, the statistically observed decline will be upset by population growth and the prevalence of child marriage in certain regions and cultures, erasing the little progress in reduction. child marriage in Nigeria.
“To effectively reduce child marriage in Nigeria, certain challenges should be overcome. These include the lack of domestication of the CRA by many states in the federation (particularly in northern Nigeria) and the inability of the federal government to legislate and enforce the minimum age of 18. years for persons wishing or entering into a marriage recognized by the constitution of the federation,” the report stated.