In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of girls marry before the age of 18 (UNICEF 2014). In Nigeria, 43% of girls are married off before their 18th birthday, 17% are married off before they turn 15. The prevalence of child marriage varies widely from one region to another, with figures as high as 76% in the North West region and as low as 10% in the South East.
Poverty, poor educational attainment and strong social and religious traditions have been described as drivers of child marriage. In northern Nigeria, parents have talked about the lack of value placed on education that it is not considered as a viable alternative to marrying off the girl child. The Nigerian Constitution does not establish a minimum age of marriage. The Child Rights Act, which was passed in 2003, sets the age of marriage at 18 years old. However, only 23 of the 36 states in Nigeria have taken steps to implement the minimum age of marriage.
TDii is leading the consultancy to develop the National Strategy to end child marriage in Nigeria. The three year strategy is expected to provide a framework for implementation of programmes that will contribute to the elimination of child marriage to ensure prosperity and social economic transformation of the Nigerian child. The project methodology includes field research in twenty four Local Government Areas across the six geographical regions in Nigeria.Funded by: LIFE STEP PROJECT, SAVE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL