AFRICA/NIGER - "Marriage is not a game for children": 60% of girls are married in the Country

Monday, 3 July 2017


Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - Every 7 seconds, somewhere in the world, a girl under 15 years of age gets married. Niger is one of the countries where the highest rate of girls between 15 to 19 years of age get married. According to "Stolen Childhood" report, by Save the Children, this figure amounts to 60%. Every year, about 15 million girls get married before 18 years of age, currently about 40 million teenagers between 15 and 19 are married or live together. Four million get married before they are 15 years old.
In the case of Niger, the difference between being born in the capital or in the most disadvantaged areas of the country marks the future of girls. Therefore, in Niamey, one girl out of 3 is already married at 18 years of age. With the program "Marriage is not a game for children" the ong wants to offer the girls of 10 locations in the Maradi region, an environment in which to decide when and with whom they want to marry, as well as having health sanitation. Over the past 30 years, progress has been made to protect children's rights and the lives of children in Niger and throughout Western Africa. Since 1990, the infant mortality rate has dropped by half even though much remains to be done in the area of infant marriage. The causes of this phenomenon have to do with religious and cultural beliefs, as well as living conditions in this country among the poorest in the world. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 3/7/2017)