EDUCATION: The Agony of Nigerian Girls

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October 11 is International Day of the Girl. Education is a matter of human rights, social justice and liberty —a fact made even more profound this year under the theme; “Our Time is Now – Our Rights, Our Future” how “Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education…”

In Nigeria, Boko Haram have targeted EDUCATION in recent years through acts of kidnapping, rape, and murder of school children. One demographic that has been repeatedly targeted is young women. Nigerian girls are in a distressed condition right now. Young women and girls from the Northern region have not had it easy over the years. Their education has been attacked. They are being kidnapped, raped and killed in large numbers right in their homes, schools and communities.


In April 2014, 276 Chibok girls were kidnapped and over 100 of them are still in Boko Haram’s captivity. In February 2018, another set of 110 girls from Dapchi community were abducted. Many of these girls kept in different camps held by Boko Haram are force to marry on account of their being in school to acquire education to better their lives and that of their families and communities.


Today, International Day of the Girl, Girls Education Mission International (GEM) call for more and better support in funding and protection for the right to education of girls. It’s essential that the world know of the agony of girls in Nigeria and to commit to supporting girls because the structural and systemic violence targeted at girls on a daily basis makes it additionally difficult for parents to prioritize the education of girls, and gross violation of their human right to education and development.

The happiest #DayofTheGirl gift Nigerian girls could wish for is to have their Government, Donors agencies and Philanthropic individuals act deliberately and decisively to secure their rights and future by ensuring successful enrollment, retention and completion of their education in a safe and conducive environment. It is more dangerous to have girls experiencing denial of their rights including the access and continuation of their education.

For the past 11 years, as an organization committed to defending, protecting, and promoting rights to education of girls, GEM amidst scanty resources through the ‘Girls Education Now or Never’ project have been providing girls with integrated package of education and mentoring support that ensure their access to quality education and economic empowerment.

In context of the International Day of the Girl, we urge the Nigerian government, international community and all relevant stakeholders to do more for the plight of girls whose age and gender subordinates them at home, school and community and are committed to being resilient and hard working towards being productive against the overwhelming odds. We call on Philanthropic organizations, individuals and donor agencies to take action by supporting the work of Girls Education Mission International towards securing the future of our teeming girls.

Keturah Shammah
Executive Director
Girls Education Mission International
Tuesday October 11, 2022