“He wants her to get married, she is just 9 years old, why wouldn’t he listen”, Salamatu cried to me on the phone speaking her native tongue that night, her voice was muffled by the occasional sniffing as she wailed over and over. She had sneaked her husband’s phone to call and inform me about this new arrangement.
Liyah, her first daughter had just started seeing her period and already her father had arrange an older man to marry her,
Salamatu had prayed that with the changing times, her daughter would be able to have an education and get to make her own choice of a spouse but here again, history was about to repeat itself and Salamatu was not having any of it.
As a victim of VVF, as a result of obstructed labour, Salamatu was afraid that her child would suffer through the same fate as herself, something had to be done and fast.
It took a lot of intermediaries and back and forth meetings but we were able to change Liyah’s fate and ensured she was in a stable environment where she is enrolled in a school and learning her rights as a girl child.
Child marriage still remains a menace in Nigeria, although development and education has brought a better narrative but many young girls are still subjected to this unfortunate story.
Today marks the #day3 of our #16daysofactivism against Gender Based Violence and we urge you to join #theconversation.
Every girl-child deserves to own her right to choose.