Chapter 23: Bring Back Our Girls: Girls education and womens security in northern Nigeria
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The #Bring Back Our Girls (#BBOG) movement was formed in 2014 by a coalition of secular, Christian and Muslim women. It reflected many Nigerians’ anger because of the central government’s failure to protect the population, notably girls and women, against Boko Haram’s violent atrocities. #BBOG emerged when insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State in 2014, who the security forces failed to rescue. #BBOG used social media to bring the kidnapping and security failures to people’s attention globally. The chapter locates both the #BBOG movement and the Boko Haram insurgency within the context of Nigerian federalism showing how its ‘overcentralization’ resulting from colonial and military governments affects the state’s capacity to provide security for women and girls. It also outlines causes of conflict including the effects of the Structural Adjustment Program imposed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the 1980s when oil prices collapsed. The resulting cuts to welfare programs made many young men unemployed, angry and available for insurgencies targeting girls and women.

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