The Crisis in Nigeria: What is a Woman’s Worth? 

Can you imagine being held captive in a military camp, having to decide whether to marry a solider or prepare to fight. Young women and girls are experiencing this horrific tragedy every day in Nigeria. Hundreds of young women are abducted by militants in Nigeria and sent out on “missions,” these missions being suicide bombings. 

Little do they know that when they are taken and put into these camps what they are about to endure. Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group fighting to overthrow the government to create an Islamic State through bombings, assassinations, and abductions are the owners of these camps using the women as bombers to further their cause. 

A typical day spent in these camps seem pretty simple. The young women and children eat, pray, clean and start all over again. But, the hard part is not knowing what is to come next. They are held against their will without knowledge of whether there is freedom on the other side. They do as they are told to remain alive and fed.

Photo by REUTERS/Stringer

Photo by REUTERS/Stringer

Upon entering the camp the young women are given a choice. They can either marry a solider or become one. Children as young as seven years old are subjected to this treatment. Once a decision is made, the soldiers give no further instructions, but simply get them ready for the “mission.”

The girls are allowed to choose a hairstyle and have their feet decorated with henna, along with wearing a hijab. They are treated as if they are about to engage in a marital ceremony. The last accessory added to their attire is something they did not expect in the least. The girls wear a bomb under their clothing. They are forced to wear a bomb around their waist. Their final choice is to kill themselves while killing others or simply be killed. 

According to CNN, since 2011, suicide bombers are 72 percent women and have had about 244 female suicide bombers. 60 percent of them are children, the youngest about 7 years old. Young women are chosen because they are less likely to be searched, and are able to hide the bombs under their hijabs. These young women fight for their lives every day, supporting a group that that does not support them. Nigeria, is a popular African country, however, the struggle of these young women and children is hardly covered in the news. These stories are not told enough.

Article by Asia Lambert

Tyreck FullerComment