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Question For Child Rights Activists - Politics - Nairaland

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Question For Child Rights Activists by maclatunji: 11:19am On Jul 22, 2013
What exactly is your complaint against the Senate's passage of a resolution to retain Section 29(4)(b) of the 1999 constitution? I ask this because I had not really been up-to-date on this issue as viral as it had become and my attempt to get information on Nairaland just resulted in me reading expletives majorly against the proponents of the law and Islam. I have taken actions to address issues relating to that (vulgarity) and have now received proper information from other sources on the Senate's position that has led to protests in addition to doing some research on related topics on my own.

However, I still have to ask: what your grouse is specifically? Is it that you are against the idea of adolescent girls being married or is it that you are against adolescent girls having sex and getting pregnant?

If you are against the concept of adolescent girls being married, then, I would say I can understand your position - you simply don't want girls getting married that early. However, if you are purely against the concept of adolescents having sex, then your protests are a little bit misplaced. Why do I say this? Let me give you findings of a research:

maclatunji:
Patten of risky sexual behavior and associated among undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

There are about 2 billion people between 10-24 years old in the world, close to 85% of these young men and women live in developing countries. The youths in Nigeria account for 32.0% of Nigerian’s 140 million people and nearly half (48.6%) of adolescents aged 15-19 are sexually active. About 1 in 5 of sexually active females and 1 in 12 sexually active males had already engaged in sexual intercourse by the age of 15. Findings from National AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey show that the median age of sexual debut among youths is 17years in females and 21years in males. A common feature of young people in Nigeria is their potential vulnerability to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) including HIV.


Physiologically, the changes in reproductive organs that occur in the life of adolescents often serve as a motivating force in their quest to experiment with sex. Some naturally explore and take risks in many aspects of their lives, including sexual relationships. Those who have sex may change partners frequently and have more than one partner in the same time period or engage in unprotected sex. These risky sexual activities make this group disproportionately affected by reproductive morbidities including STI/HIV, unwanted pregnancies and their complications. In Nigeria, researches have confirmed that risky sexual behavior is associated with young people. These risky behaviors include: early debut in sexual activities, sex with many partners, low and inconsistent use of condoms, use of drugs and alcohol, anal sexual intercourse and mouth to genital contact. It is of concern that many of these young people do not perceive their high- risk status in spite of indulging in these unsafe sexual practices. It is therefore no surprise that the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that the rate of newly acquired HIV infections are the highest in the 15-25 years age- group and that this group accounts for about 60.0% of the global total of HIV infected persons. Similarly, the highest sero- prevalence rate of HIV in Nigeria is in this age-group.


The majority of students in tertiary institutions are single, young adults who easily fall prey to exuberance coupled with the liberal nature of campus life that predisposes them to high risk sexual behaviour. Concerns regarding the implications of this behaviour have led to increasing interventions particularly for in-school adolescents. Though many studies have been carried out to determine the sexual behaviour of adolescents in Nigeria, most of these studies are conducted in the southwest region of the country and few documented studies have looked at the factors that encourage risky sexual behaviour among university students in the south-south region of Nigeria. This study therefore focused on the pattern of risky sexual behaviour of the undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt and its associated factors.



Respondents sexual behaviour



More than half of the respondents (52%) had either boyfriend or girlfriend and 144 (52.0%) of the respondents have ever had sex with someone. Age at first sexual intercourse revealed that 33.6% of the respondents had their first sexual intercourse within the age range of 5-19 years (3.2% 5-9years, 5.1% 10-14years, 25.3% 15-19 years)(Table 3) , 14.1% 20-24years and 52.3% 24years In answering questions on when last respondents had sex with someone, the results showed that more (30.3%) of them had sexual intercourse in 2011; 23.5% had had sex with someone in the month preceding the study and 13.4% reportedly had one sexual partner. Girl or boy friend topped the list of persons respondents had sex with and only 31.8% of them used a form of protection. Few of the respondents (13.4%) had had sex in exchange for gifts and 5.1% said that the person they exchanged sex for gifts with was a friend. A relationship was established between current user of alcohol and having sex (p<0.05) (Table 4).

http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/12/97/full/


The implication of these statistics is that a sizeable number of Nigerians are having sex at very early ages with lowest age range for sexual activity in the study being age group 5-9. Hence, no law is the source of the problem and whether or not you support, oppose or are neutral about such a law, reality is reality and we need to face it.

My conclusion: The opponents of the Senate's retention of Section 29 (4)(b) of the 1999 constitution need to identify clearly what they are fighting for because if it is to protect children from sexual activity, children are already having it without reading the constitution.

Note: The research I quoted was conducted in Port Harcourt which is in the core South of Nigeria.

Thank you.

3 Likes

Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by udatso: 9:30am On Jul 23, 2013
tnx 4 dis wonderful post...the problem is, they are not ready to listen...the funny part is that when they want to sight examples, they give examples of 9 year old been intimate wt a 90 year old...i have also asked them why cant they sight examples of 16 or 17 year oold getn married to 23...they are just trying so hard to make it loook bad...no 1 is asking elderly men to start avn sex with a 9year old...and no 1 is forcing anybody to give out his 6 year old daughter for sex or marriage but they will never undersatnd.....
A topic was created about a twenty somethn year old raping a 9 year old and these idiots blame yerima for it...evn b4 yerima brought up this issue, has there not bn such incidence..what of the bishop that raped an underage girl, is yerima respponsible for his action tooo and many others....tunji, no matter how hard you try they havve made up their minds not to understand
Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by eagleeye2: 9:45am On Jul 23, 2013
Tunji,
The issue is not about whether under-aged girls engage in Sexu,al immorality or not... The issue is about trying to use the amendment of the constitution to legalise Under-aged Marriage.
The way I see it, it's like saying because there are a growing number of homo-sexuals, then we should legalise homo-sexual/gay marriages in Nigeria.
Because others are doing it does not make it right.
how many of these girls (married )are actually looking for a way to renounce their citizenship?
Does it mean that a woman of say 50years and not married is not of full age?
Why will Senator Yerima bring up this issue again, if the senate has voted on it before?
What is wrong, if the Muslim men (like Senator yerima) wait for these girls to finish at least secondary school? (As pointed out by CBN President, 93% of Northern Girls lack Secondary Education)

I need answers Tunji.

1 Like

Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by Ngwakwe: 9:55am On Jul 23, 2013
The tension is about how Senator Yerima used religious sentiment to stop a bill that was initially opposed by 3 senators and supported by supreme majority at first vote through demanding for a second vote to allow him pander/woo his constituency by invoking untrue Islamic sentiment to stop the clause that will make our constitution liable to numerous legal interpretation

The bill now states that any girl can vote, drive and be levied provided a parent and would be in-law desire to make her adult by giving/receiving her in marriage.
Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by eagleeye2: 10:02am On Jul 23, 2013
Tunji,
You raised a topic for discussion and you have disappeared. I need answers or counter arguement...
Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by maclatunji: 11:54am On Jul 23, 2013
eagle,eye:
Tunji,
The issue is not about whether under-aged girls engage in Sexu,al immorality or not... The issue is about trying to use the amendment of the constitution to legalise Under-aged Marriage.
The way I see it, it's like saying because there are a growing number of homo-sexuals, then we should legalise homo-sexual/gay marriages in Nigeria.
Because others are doing it does not make it right.
how many of these girls (married )are actually looking for a way to renounce their citizenship?
Does it mean that a woman of say 50years and not married is not of full age?
Why will Senator Yerima bring up this issue again, if the senate has voted on it before?
What is wrong, if the Muslim men (like Senator yerima) wait for these girls to finish at least secondary school? (As pointed out by CBN President, 93% of Northern Girls lack Secondary Education)

I need answers Tunji.

For starters, you got it wrong. There was no ammendment. The constitution does not go against child marriage and it remains that way. Your premise is wrong. Hence, your other points become largely irrelevant to this discussion.

Thank you.
Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by maclatunji: 12:01pm On Jul 23, 2013
CITIZENSHIP

The Section 26 of the 1999 Constitution
defines who is a Nigerian citizen and how
same may be acquired by naturalization and
by registration. The Constitution makes no
provision for the process by which non-
Nigerian men married to Nigerian women
and who are so desirous, may become
Nigerian citizens. The silence here has
continued to wreck untold hardship on the
stability of many marriages.

Furthermore, section 29(4) (b) of the
constitution provides for the renunciation of
citizenship and thus allows an under aged
woman to revoke her citizenship even when
she has not attained the age of majority or
the constitutional voting age.


http://gtdn./2010/01/gender-gaps-in-nigeria-constitution.html?m=1

A lot of the protests are based on ignorance.

1 Like

Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by maclatunji: 4:28pm On Jul 23, 2013
Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by Samdul: 10:58am On Jul 24, 2013
Slm, this might interest you:Early marriage: culture of the west and Nigerians alike http:///OSzucloioe a logical info against misguided tantrums of anti Islam
Re: Question For Child Rights Activists by maclatunji: 4:05pm On Jul 24, 2013
Anybody that wants to be enlightened on the relevant issues in this matter should read this http://newsrescue.com/how-nigerias-gutter-media-misconstrued-the-yerima-underage-marriage-senate-proceeding/#axzz2ZbUrz0dG

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