The is low as 10% in the Southern

The practice of child marriage has always been a big issue in the Nigerian society. Due to the child marriages, the number of women/girls with education has gone down. In Nigeria, 43% of the girls are getting married before they turn 18 and %17 of them are getting married before they turn 15. Poverty, poor educational access and strong social and religious traditions are drivers of child marriage in Nigeria. The Child Rights Act was passed in 2003 which sets the minimum age for getting married as 18 but only 23 states implemented the minimum age. Child marriage cases vary widely from one region to another. While it is really high in the North West with 76%, it is low as 10% in the Southern region.The idea of child marriage in Nigeria is prevalent. The biggest reason for that is because Nigeria is divided on religious grounds. The Southern states are mainly Christian while the Northern states are practicing the religion of Islam and subscribe the Sharia law, at least their own version of it. But all of these groups state that the law does not prohibit child marriage.Child marriage is simply a traditional convention that has been allowed to subsist within Nigeria. But in the few last years, the practice of child marriage started to be considered as a cultural issue in the society and a lot of politicians or starts around the country started to talk about the issue and how should the government fix it. “If people don’t know the consequences of child marriage for the girl, they will be less likely to change it”, says Lakshmi Sundaram, the global coordinator of Girls Not Brides. She states that child marriages seriously puts the child brides life in danger while it is not proper. “So even if you have some health issues, you cannot go out to a hospital and you are waiting for your husband to return to allow you to go,” she says. Nigeria has made some significant improvements in child marriage issue by applying programs to increase the education enrolment of girls and by giving the scholarships. “The government needs to do a better job of creating awareness about the importance of education for girls.”, says Amina Hanga, Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative. Nigeria, as a country and as a society must realize that child marriage should come to an end for the good of the girls that are getting married in early age. “Child marriage is a cultural issue, but it is also a social justice issue and a national health issue in Nigeria,” says, Udoka Okafor, Writer, and Social Critic. Laws forbidding early marriage exist in most of the countries. What should we do to fix this problem is to provide young girls free health care services. Their parents should also be informed about the risks and how dangerous could child marriage be. Various educative programmes should be organized by the government, by teaching them on how to start a trade teaching them the importance of education, teaching them a skill through various and series of training. Child marriage caused more harm than good by stealing young girls of their childhood and their dreams, however, if we can follow these steps that are recommended by the important people and communities around the world, then we will be able to extinguish child marriage in Nigeria. We should say no to child marriage because it is illegal, unfair and against the law. 

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