On April 14, the Nigerianterrorist organisation, Boko Haram, kidnapped 234 female students and burnedtheir school on the northern Nigerian town of Chibok. As of today the girlshave not been recovered and the perpetrators are at large.

The military and thegovernment have been inefficient and have not yet negotiated the release of thegirls. Additionally there are reports that the victims are being sold as childbrides for as low as $12 per girl and being trafficked across the border in toCameroon and Chad.

There has been agreat deal of anger and protesting in the Nigerian capital Abuja, as thegovernment has been slow in its efforts to help the girls. This is not a surprisingincident and Boko Haram has been conducting such violent activities in Nigeriafor the past five years. However, the number of girls lost is staggering andthis is this biggest kidnapping yet.

The northernprovinces of Nigeria have been in a state of emergency for many months now andlarges parts of north-eastern Nigeria are beyond the control of the military.Reports suggest that over 1,500 people have been killed in the insurgency sofar this year, compared to an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.

Boko Haramtranslates to "western education is sinful" and the terrorist organisation has launcheda campaign against modernisation and "western" education and seeks to establish"pure" sharia law in Nigeria. It has been attacking female education, schools,colleges and Christian groups since 2009. It has a diffuse structure and hasbeen difficult for the government to target.

Such abductions inthe past, as well as violence against women, have discouraged parents fromsending their daughters to school.

Nigeria has the third highest HIVinfected population in the world due to the culture of rape and trafficking. Inthe Nigerian context, rape is often punishment for wanting to be independentand threating the status quo.

At present onlyabout 3% of the 360 members in the House of Representatives are women and only1% of the Senators are women. The Nigerian girl deals with physical and sexualabuse, female circumcision, early marriage, disinheritance of widows,trafficking and job discrimination.

The Boko Haram isalready selling girls while also negotiating with the government for therelease of 180 girls. Mass protests are increasing in recent days and there arecries for international intervention, which is unlikely to happen.

The UN has takensome notice and Gordon Brown, the United Nations' special adviser on girls'education, will visit Nigeria to launch a campaign to raise funds andawareness.

Additionally appeals for aid have been made to the UN HighCommissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) and to the Monitoring and ReportingMechanism (MRM) of the UN Security Council to provide international assistance. 

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