The coalition of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) under the umbrella of Nigeria NGOs (NNGOs) have called on the federal government to totally ban early marriage for under aged girls in all parts of the country.
Representative of the NGOs, the President/CEO of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), Professor Oladapo Ladipo, made the position of the group known at the celebration of the 2016 World Population Day, in Abuja.
The occasion was put together by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with the theme “Investing in Teenage Girls”.
Ladipo, however, assured that his group will support the governments at all levels to develop responsive policies that will enhance girl-child education, their protection and ban of teenage and early marriage for underage girls.
According to him, enhancing girl child education is in line with the vision of the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on education which stipulates that all girls and boys must have access to and complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education by 2030.
“We will continue to advocate that our government put in favourable policies that will encourage young girls to enroll in schools and remain in schools. As we all know, education can have a powerful impact in reducing child and early marriage,” Ladipo reiterated.
He, however, appealed to all stakeholders to support girl–child education planning, access to qualitative health care, access to sexual and reproductive health information and services that will help teenage girls.
The 2016 World Population Day was well attended by many teenage girls and young women. Some carried placards with different inscription demanding for education, gender equality, implementation of the child rights act and other rights of the girl child.