While the world media is abuzz with the news of kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria, are we mindful of the girls in our homeland who are disappearing from school and subsequently from the arena of public participation and the formal job market?
According to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) progress report 2013, while girls’ enrolment in school constitutes 50.9 percent at the lower secondary level, it falls to 49.7 percent at the secondary level. Who is responsible for keeping half of our girls out of schools even when there is no Taliban and no Boko Haram here? It’s us, the family members of each household, who decide for them, and the occupants of high offices who refuse to decide for them. We have become as dangerous to our girls as extremists elsewhere due to our cavalier attitude to the misery of girls who are manacled by marriage before their bodies and minds are prepared to face the blows of life, sans proper schooling, sans proper age.