Battle against Gender Inequality in Nigeria: Ending the money Marriage Culture

Child marriage is a complex issue in Nigeria with deep-seated cultural, economic, and social roots. At age 5, Dorathy Etagwa, a native of Becheve in Obanliku local government area of Cross River state, became a money wife. The community is known for its custom and tradition called the money marriage. The practice allows young girls to be sold for cash as low as ₦5,000, a yam tuber, or both.

It is disturbing to see young girls forced into marriages almost two decades since Nigeria enacted the Child Rights Act. Child marriage is a form of gender-based violence and a violation of human rights, as it deprives girls of their childhood, education, and opportunities. Child marriages expose girls to higher risks of sexual and reproductive health problems, domestic violence, and poverty. Ending child marriage in Nigeria requires a comprehensive approach that involves legal reform, policy development, community engagement, and social and economic empowerment for girls….

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