There is extreme educational exclusion in Nigeria with over 5.5 million girls recorded as being out-of-school, according to UNESCO statistics cited by the British Council: Girls’ Education in Nigeria, report 2014.
Moreover, 40% of women in the country have never attended school according to statistics from NPC cited in the same British Council report.
The reasons why young girls don’t attend school are multiple and include poverty, early marriage and teenage pregnancy and inadequate school infrastructure, according to an information sheet on ‘Girls Education’ from Unicef.
Instead of continuing their education, girls are often sent out into the workplace or pushed into getting married. Girls as young as 12 are sometimes forced into marriage to elderly men in parts of northern Nigeria.
As well as curtailing their education prematurely, uneducated women have other disadvantages including being more likely to die in childbirth.