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High rate of child marriage in Nigeria worries UN women, others




The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has decried the high incidence of child and forced marriage in Nigeria, describing it as violence against women.

Speaking at the Pan African Campaign to end forced, underage and child marriages, yesterday, in Abuja, Entity’s deputy country representative in Nigeria, Adjaratou Fatou Ndiaye, noted that gender based violence has become a preoccupying human right violation.

She added that recent studies have also shown the negative impact of the phenomenon on the economy of the country.

Ndiaye, who was represented by the UN Women Programme Manager, Desmond Osemhenjie, observed that not only that victims of gender-based violence do not effectively contribute to the growth of the economy due to the trauma and pains they go through, there is also the cost of medical and psycho-social support for those who can access it, and may never fully recover.

She noted that reports from the National Demographic and Health Survey in Nigeria shows that 28 percent of all women have experienced physical violence since age 15.

Ndiaye said the major challenge to efforts at preventing and ending violence against women and girls is the substantial funding shortfall, even as she stressed the need for sustainable financing to end gender-based violence and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, between government and states.

In her contribution, Human Rights Watch Senior Nigeria Researcher, Ms Mausi Segun, noted that with 630 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, Nigeria has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates, adding that most of these deaths occur in northern Nigeria.

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