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Key findings: religion and time of marriage

'Religion and time of marriage: the role of faith leaders in advancing the cause of adolescent girls - key findings' is a study, which listened to community members, local leaders, faith leaders, and adolescent girls in three areas of Kaduna state. It aims to find answers to four critical questions that revolved around the influence faith leaders have on: their congregations and community members governmental actors adolescent girls and other faith leaders In some regions in Northern Nigeria, the incidence of girl-child marriage is as high as 87%, leaving a high proportion of adolescent girls in the region with very limited choices and opportunities to reach their full potential (AfriDevInfo, 2016). Early marriage is highly prevalent in Northern Nigeria. The significance of religion in Nigeria and the lack of law enforcement on early marriage places religious institutions and leaders in a privileged position to exercise influence on eradicating the practice. In this context, Christian Aid - as part of the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) project - commissioned a study that explored how Muslim and Christian faith leaders can advance the cause of adolescent girls in their timing of marriage. CAAGI seeks to improve significantly the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls in Kaduna state to live productive and meaningful lives.

Religion and time of marriage: the role of faith leaders

Adolescent Girls (AGs) in Northern Nigeria have very limited choices and opportunities to reach their full potential. Cultural and religious socialisations have resulted in girls feeling isolated and powerless and therefore conforming to cultural pressures to marry early. Although 43% of girls in Nigeria are married before 18, in the North West, child marriage prevalence is as high as 76%. The centrality of religion in Nigeria enables religious institutions and leaders to exercise considerable influence regarding the timing of marriage of adolescent girls. The study is a cross-sectional and mixed method study about the roles of faith leaders (FLs) in advancing the cause of adolescent girls regarding timing of marriage. This question was explored from four complementary perspectives: influence in congregations/community members influence in governmental actors influence in adolescent girls and influence in other faith leaders

CAAGI information sheet

Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) is a Christian Aid funded programme that aims to improve significantly the choices and opportunities available for adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria to live productive and meaningful lives. It seeks to change individual and societal behaviours, attitudes and perceptions that hamper the opportunities of girls, using the strong influence of religion through religious leaders as enablers to facilitate this change. It is focused on addressing practices around early marriage, lack of access to education and economic empowerment for adolescent girls.

Improving the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls

This toolkit was designed as a guide for religious leaders of both Christian and Islamic faiths in Nigeria as they address the challenges faced by adolescent girls on the issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health services and economic empowerment. It is an initiative of Christian Aid Nigeria, working in partnership with Gender Awareness Trust (GAT) and Development and Peace Initiative (DPI) as part of the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI). CAAGI seeks to improve the choices and opportunities available to adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria to enable them reach their full potential. The toolkit will guide faith leaders as they provide training and share messages/sermons on the accurate Christian and Islamic perspectives on issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health and economic empowerment of adolescent girls.

Religion and the Adolescent Girl: a formative study in Kaduna state

A study from the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) two-year pilot project funded by Christian Aid in Nigeria.

Improving the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls: A toolkit for faith leaders

A guide for religious leaders of both Christian and Islamic faiths in Nigeria as they address the challenges faced by adolescent girls on the issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health services and economic empowerment.

Masculinity and Religion in Nigeria: findings from qualitative research

This study on religion and masculinity in Nigeria was conducted seeks to establish the impact of religious beliefs on masculinity amongst Christians and Muslims, paying particular attention to selected states (Enugu, Kaduna, Lagos and FCT).

Religion and the Adolescent Girl

The study aims to understand and document how religious and traditional leaders and institutions are influencing and reinforcing both positive and negative attitudes and behaviours towards adolescent girls' issues in Kaduna State, Nigeria.