As of last month, the African nation of Niger has just been named as the worst place in the world for young girls.
The listed reasons include the rate of child marriage, limited access to education, fertility rates and high levels of food insecurity, as some of the main reasons behind the country coming up as an appalling global head.
Save The Children: "The worst place to be a girl is in Niger. And that's followed by Chad, Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia"
— Sahra Abdi Ahmed (@SahraCabdi) October 11, 2016
The ones ranked at the lowest levels on the list can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa due to marriage rates of girls. The report specifically stated that, 76 percent of women marry before their 18th birthday. An action typically done because of the high poverty levels experienced by families. One example provided in the report is 13-year-old Ramatou, who spoke to the organization about life in Niger.
The teen lives with her parents and seven siblings. Recently her family has started to pressure her to get married because her father can no longer provide for the family, as he sustained life altering injuries from a traffic accident.
A newly created hardship that has added another layer to Ramatou’s list of struggles, which also includes, the family living off of rice and pasta because they are unable to pay for meat or fish and her lack of education. The young girl was forced to drop out because she fell ill.
Now, she is learning the sewing trade and still has dreams of going back to school one day, something that might not be possible.
Saying to Save the Children, “I wish I could go to school and get an education.” an opportunity like that would make a huge difference. Adding,”it would allow me to develop myself, to have a job and help my family.”
As stories like this unfold, organizations like Christian Aid which is run by a group of 41 British and Irish churches are working with on the ground partners and are asking people to pray, donate and take up church collections to provide for little girls’ like Ramatou.
The organization has been issuing concerns for the young girls for the last few years. Including this tweet from 2013 that says, “one in three girls in Niger are married before the age of 15 and 75% are married before the age of 18.”
One in three girls in Niger are married before the age of 15 and 75% are married before the age of 18. #countyourblessings
— Christian Aid (@christian_aid) March 26, 2013
As of now, the main priority areas include running feeding centers to help malnourished children and helping poor farmers grow their food, the website said.
If you would like to get involved with helping the families of Niger contact Christian Aid Sahel.
(H/T Huffington Post)