No Minimum Age for Marriage?
In July, Nigerian legislators voted on a marriage amendment in the country’s Constitution concerning a clause stating that “any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.” In a second vote, a majority wasn’t reached after some held that it was discriminatory of Islamic law. A Change.org petition for a minimum-age marriage law currently has more than 64,000 signatures, and it needs 10,000 more. “Simply put, the law as it stands today, provides no protection for a minor being subjected to sexual intercourse regardless of age, as long as the same is done within the boundaries of marriage, even though she may not have the capacity to understand or appreciate the nature of the marriage contract,” according to the petition. More than 12,000 cases of vesicovaginal fistula linked to child marriage have been reported in Nigeria, according to the petition.