FEATURE25 May 2017

Girl power

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Features Impact Middle East and Africa Mobile Youth

For a long time, young girls in Nigeria lacked a voice. Now, thanks to a specially developed mobile app, they are not only participating in research, but conducting the research themselves. By Laura Scanlon of Girl Effect

Being a young girl in Nigeria is not easy. Before she even reaches adolescence, she will begin to carry the burden of generations of religious, cultural and negative societal expectations, many of which hold her back, and some of which are unimaginably damaging.

She will go from being a daughter in her father’s home, to a wife and mother in her husband’s. She will probably become one of the 6.3 million girls in Nigeria who are not in school – a number higher than anywhere else in the world – and it’s likely she comes from Northern Nigeria where, in some areas, the threat of Boko Haram makes reaching her particularly difficult.

There is a lot of good work being done to offer services and assistance to such women and girls, but tackling the root causes of poverty can only be effective if we truly understand what these root causes are. We can only do this by talking to ...