Children in Nigeria are vulnerable to a wide range of abuses and harmful traditional practices. In 2014, a national survey found that 6 out of 10 children reported having suffered one or more forms of violence before reaching 18 years of age, and 70% of these experienced multiple incidents of violence.
Nigeria also has the highest number of out-of-school children globally and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that if a child misses school for even a short time there is a low chance, only about 25%, that the child will ever return.
Despite this dire situation, girls are still harder hit by these issues than boys. In Northeast Nigeria, only 41% of eligible girls receive a primary education, and the country also has the largest number of child brides in Africa: 23 million girls and women were married as children.
To promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities, in Nigeria and all over the world, the United Nations holds the annual International Day of the Girl Child on Oct. 11.
In honour of this global event, Global Citizen spoke to Beedof Abireh, founder and executive director of Girlspace Charity, a nonprofit organisation in Nigeria…