Our primary work

Adolescent girls in northern Nigeria need essential social, health and economic assets, and the right environment to enable them to make a healthy transition into adulthood. Girl Effect Nigeria is working to do this by:

Safe spaces

Safe spaces are a proven way for girls to increase their self-confidence and build stronger social networks. These assets help girls come out of isolation and begin to break the cycle of poverty. Girl Effect Nigeria has partnered with the Population Council West Africa Office to create CSAGE (Community Spaces for Adolescent Girls Empowerment), a safe spaces program which plans to reach 10,000 girls by 2015. CSAGE supports adolescent girls by giving them access to social, economic and health assets.

Creating safe spaces

Working with faith leaders

Faith leaders are trusted authorities in northern Nigeria and they have enormous potential to transform girls’ lives for the better. Their approval is the most important factor in determining the position of girls in a variety of activities, including finishing school, delaying marriage and gaining access to health services. Girl Effect Nigeria is harnessing the trust, influence and reach of faith leaders to promote the benefits of girls’ education and health on the livelihoods of their families and communities.

Faith leaders have enormous potential to transform girls’ lives for the better.

Galvanising private sector investment

In 2009, the World Bank released a report that demonstrated a direct relationship between the livelihood of adolescent girls and a country’s GDP. For Nigeria, a country where more than 14 million adolescent girls live in poverty, investing in girls is a matter of national economic urgency. Girl Effect Nigeria connects, convenes and advises leaders, experts, innovators and cultural influencers from the private sector to solve the challenges Nigerian girls face.


Galvanising private sector investment

The situation for girls in Nigeria

Of the 250 million adolescent girls in the world living in poverty, more than 14 million live in Nigeria. Nigeria has two per cent of the world’s population, but it carries 10 per cent of the maternal mortality burden; the majority of the girls and women who die in childbirth live in the north of the country.

Adolescent girls are one of the most vulnerable and excluded groups in Nigeria, especially in the north. Only four per cent of girls in northern Nigeria complete secondary school (compared with the 11 per cent national average), and over half of those girls are married by the age of 16. Most of the three million girls aged 10-19 who live in six main states of northern Nigeria (Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Yobe, Katsina, and Zamfara) are confronted with high rates of gender-based violence, unwanted pregnancy, limited income-generating opportunities and restricted access to appropriate health information and services.

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