Niger hosted the third African Girls’ Summit, as there is an upsurge of the violation of the right of the girl child and it couldnt have come at a better timing for the fight against Child mariage.
The girls, who came from the four corners of the continent, made a strong appeal to African leaders and the international community to guarantee their rights by educating them and banning early marriages.
They called on parents who do not refrain from giving their daughters away at an early age to avoid promiscuity. “Give us books, not husbands,” they said in front of the audience and Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, special envoys from the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS and organisations working for the welfare of girls.
Ranked last in the Human Development Index, Niger is also the poorest country in the world, with 63% of the population living on less than one dollar a day.
It is also the country with the highest population growth rate, with an average of 7.5 children per woman. This is the consequence of the dropping out of school of young girls and early marriages. In some places, girls are married off at the age of 9 or 12. This summit is therefore an opportunity to send a clear message to put an end to these harmful practices.