Child marriage hinders girl child development – NGO

The Centre for Learning and Educational Development Advocacy Africa (CLEDA-Africa), an NGO, has said that child marriage is one of the major hindrances to girl child development in the country.

Mr Daniels Akpan, its Executive Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Tuesday that globally, one in seven adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 are currently married.

“This is even worst in developing countries where one in three girls are married off before they turn 18 and more than 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth daily.

“This increases the world population by seven million annually,’’ he said.

Akpan also said that out of the more than seven billion population of the world, 1.1 billion are girls with talents, creativity and full of abilities.

However, he pointed out that culture, religion, tradition, poverty and illiteracy, among other factors, had hindered and limited the full development of the girl child.

As the world celebrates this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, the director called on relevant stakeholders and the global community to strengthen and support girl child progress in Kaduna State and the nation.

According to him, girls are engine of national development and stress the need to promote girl child education in preparing them for a better future.

“This is the best way to stand up for girls’ progress everywhere,’’ Akpan said.

He disclosed that CLEDA Africa had in September trained 150 secondary school girls in Pampaida and Saulawa communities of Ikara Local Government Areas of Kaduna State on vocational skills.

He said that the gesture was to empower the girls financially as part of efforts to encourage them to remain in school.

Akpan called on the Federal and Kaduna State Governments to partner with CLEDA Africa to reach out to young girls and empower them with education and basic skills to live a productive life.

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