Background: Girl Child Education
It was not until after the Nigeria obtained its independence from the United Kingdom that Western education was widely introduced in northern Nigeria The indigenous leaders in the north-through whom the British ruled-associated Western education with missionary schools and saw it as a threat to Islamic instruction and way of life. There is still a fear among many parents that Western education will weaken a girl’s sense of propriety, modesty, and other Hausa and Islamic values.
Virtually all Hausa-Fulani families in the collaborating communities practice, to some degree, a system of seclusion, in which women are expected to conduct all activities within the home and private spaces and have minimal contact with the public arena. Overall, women have few life choices outside of marriage and childbirth, which contributes to the desire for large families. Women in these communities marry and become mothers at a young age. Our baseline research found that most parents view the onset of menarche as a sign of readiness for marriage and childbirth. The median age of marriage is 15. However, school attendance is seen by many in these communities as an acceptable reason to delay marriage.