10years old, the first time I watched a documentary on CNN about underage girls being married off to grandfathers in India and some other countries, I told my dad, “daddy that man is too old for her” and my dad said, “when you grow up my daughter, you will discover that some people in the society are not fit to make decisions”.. I didn’t understand.
13years old and living in UK, I came across an article about a brutalized 12year old who was forced into marriage to a 50year old man who also had 2 wives. She was beaten black and blue, sore and bruised from sleeping with her husband. She couldn’t stand the pain anymore and ran away. She was found and brought back to her husband who continued torturing her in the name of sex. She died while trying to give birth. Her body was too small.
I’m in my twenties, I have a younger brother, male cousins and male friends that are so protective of me that it is irritating.
I always thought that this will never happen in Nigeria, but here we are..
This week has been quite eventful, some of the senators people stood under rain or sun to vote for, people supposed to speak for us, decided that the girl child can be married off, no age restrictions, even if she is 3years and yet to fully recognize all the members of her family. In fairness, there are the senators who actually tried to illegalize this, but were outvoted by 19 votes earlier this week. The law allowing child marriages has been in place for some time now, was brought up in an attempt to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to be married.
The list of senators that voted against making it illegal has been passed around on blogs, and as much as some may consider it important to find out who voted or not, it does raise some concerns, do these people have daughters? are they all married now? How old are they? Would you marry your daughter off at the age of 5?
While this is still being discussed, let us not sit still and look on.
Your signature can change a little girl’s life. Let these children enjoy their childhood, playing in the sand, going to school like their male counterparts, grow up to become who they choose to be and settle with whom they choose. Let our voices be heard, if not soon, a rapist will decide to marry the little girl he raped. Our hospitals will be filled little girls suffering from premature pregnant and other health risks. Let’s stop the exploitation before it starts.
Speak up for your little sister, for your daughter, for your niece, your neighbors daughter and for all the little girls in Nigeria.
Is ASUU not on strike?
Are you now safe in your area?
Do you have good roads and adequate electricity
These are important issues to be addressed by these leaders. Why are we discussing this issue when we all know it should be illegal and that’s the end of it.
Let your voice be heard today.
Support #childnotbride initiative.