The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, says the solution to reducing early marriage of Nigerian girls is to ensure they go to school.
Dame Tallen was speaking in an interview with Journalists, in Jos, Plateau State.
She said, “The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is sponsoring a bill at the National Assembly to ban early marriage among Nigerian girls, the bill shall also seek for the stoppage of violence against women and the girl child.”
“Even before my coming on board as the Minister of Women Affairs, primary and secondary education has been made free and compulsory; no child is expected to stay out of school.
The former Deputy Governor who explained that early marriage was common among illiterate parents and girls, said that, “No girl child is expected to get married before completing her secondary education, that means no girl child should marry before the age of 18 years.
Tallen complained that early marriage of the girl child was one of the major challenges confronting the social well-being of womanhood in Nigeria.
Speaking on the plight of widows, the Minister who is also a widow lamented that harmful traditional practices in some parts of the country have compounded the plight of widows.
According to her, “Here in Nigeria, some traditional practices do not allow a widow to inherit property of her late husband, thereby making her vulnerable to every challenge.
On the persistent cases of rape, Tallen who described rape as the worse violence against women called on communities and families keep a close watch on their female folk.
Speaking about women’s involvement in the political processes in the country, the Minister said, “We have already started mentoring women towards the next general elections because we believe in early preparation.
She advised women to start politics at the grassroots level,
“Do a positive thing that you think will endear you to your people”.
Tallen enjoined women across the country to join politics to enable them occupy positions of authority to help tackle the course of women in all spheres of life.