Age of Marriage

Federal Ministry of Women Affairs Investigates Mass Wedding of Nigerian Orphans

Main image to the post Federal Ministry of Women Affairs Investigates Mass Wedding of Nigerian Orphans

The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in Nigeria is currently looking into a controversial plan that involved a lawmaker in central Niger state proposing to marry off approximately 100 female orphans of unknown ages. This initiative, announced by Speaker Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji, faced severe backlash and was eventually called off, prompting Minister of Women Affairs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye to condemn the plans and take legal action to halt the marriages temporarily for further investigation into the orphans' ages and consent.

In Nigerian communities, forced or arranged marriages are not uncommon, with rural areas in the predominantly Muslim north particularly affected due to religious and cultural norms like polygamy. Families facing financial struggles often resort to forced marriages, despite national laws prohibiting it. The European Union Agency for Asylum highlights the risks faced by girls who resist such marriages, including neglect, ostracism, physical harm, and sexual assault. One individual, Raquel Kasham Daniel, managed to escape being married off as a teenager after her father's passing and now advocates for girls' education to empower them to make informed decisions and have better opportunities in life.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09