Child Marriage In Nigeria And How To Stop It

Written by Ojingiri Hannah |
Published on:

Child marriage in Nigeria has been an intense order of the day which is indisputable in one particular region of Nigeria. This act is mirrored vividly and immensely in the Northern part of Nigeria and probably the subsampled communities in Nigeria which age rate is known to be below 18 or hiterto where children of discrepant generic find themselves hooked with Adults.
The Nigerian constitution does not establish a minimum age of marriage, the child Rights Act, which was passed in 2003, set the age of marriage at 18 years old. However, only 23 states of the 36 Nigeria states have begun to taken steps to implement the minimum age of marriage. This is due to the fact that the Nigerian marriage system and practices vary by region and tribe. Rates of child marriage are higher in the Northern part of Nigeria with 68% of girls married below 18 years.
Child marriages can end in Nigeria by changing cultural norms in states with high child marriages, some cultural norms are toxic to the life of the people in the North. Sharia law allows terrible punishment for some violation of laws and as such has become the tradition of North to amputate the part of the body that is use in committing theft and majorly allowing a girl at the age of 13 years to get married, encouraging child abuse. States like this should be checked by the federal government, enabling the girls from Northern states of Nigeria to understand better, the importance of getting married at the right age.
No child should be allowed to get married below the age of 18 even with written consent from parents - All marriages should be legal binding. In Nigeria not all marriages are legal binding and as such lead to increase in unwanted marriages, re-occuring pregnancy among young married girls. Marriage should become the affair of the federal government. All marriages must be legal binding, receiving the consent of the government.
The Criminal Code Act should establish Child Marriage laws punishable by 5 years imprisonment and #500,000 worth of fine if violated - Rigid laws should be established against child marriages in all region. if child marriage should become a criminal act punishable by law, it will reduce the rate of young girls getting married below age 18.
Establishment of harmony between the Child Rights Act, the North internal legislation, islamic law and state local laws. Child Act Rights 2003 set the minimum age of marriage at 18, sexual offences Bill 2005 set minimum age of sexual consent at 11 years, Islamic law set the minimum age of marriage at 13. All these laws have diverse rules, which make it easier for states to pick the ones that suit them. There should be consensus in establishing a perfect age for marriage. The other laws should be in consensus with the Child Rights Act which set the years of minimum age of marriage at 18.

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Author: Ojingiri Hannah
Ojingiri Hannah studied English/Education in University of Ilorin. Hannah holds a Diploma in Law degree from Kogi State university, Ayingba and NCE degree in English/Economics from Kwara State college of education, ilorin. In her spare time she enjoys writing and reading inspirational books. She lives in Nigeria.


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