Young people from public secondary schools across Lagos State will showcase the realities of child marriage in Nigeria using song, poetry and drama to advocate for the elimination of Child marriage in the country on November 12th, 2016 at the 23rd Annual Teenage Festival of Life (TFL).
Child marriage is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and despite laws against it, the practice still remains widespread. In Nigeria, 43% of girls are married before their 18th birthday and 17% are married 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 10% in the South East.These child brides are burdened with responsibilities as wives and mothers with little support, resources, or life experience to meet these challenges. Furthermore, girls’ rights, health and development are undermined by the impact of early marriage, including pregnancy and early childbearing which impacts on their mortality and morbidity. There are also outcomes of early termination of their schooling which limits human capital and their future productivity which of course affects the lives of their children and families.
This year theme “Ending Child Marriage”; is one of the priority areas under “Ending Gender Inequality” Goal 5 of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Ending Child Marriage not only achieves gender equality but translates to the fulfillment of other priority areas such as Ending Poverty, Achieving Education for All, and other goals. This therefore calls for urgent steps to eradicate the practice in Nigeria through policies and innovative ideas that must be implemented.
This event will have in attendance as the special guest government officials from Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, UNFPA, the Tutor General/Permanent secretaries of all the Education districts in Lagos state, teachers and students of secondary schools in Lagos as well as the Executive Director of Action Health Incorporated Mrs. Adenike Esiet. Also in attendance as the celebrity artist of the day is Aramide, winner of best female artist Afrima 2016.