‘Million Woman March’ in Abuja for abducted girls

Women hold a demonstration in Abuja over the mass abduction of schoolgirls by Nigerian militants Boko Haram. Photograph: Gbemiga Olamikan/AP

A ‘Million Woman March’ is to happen today by the Women for Peace and Justice organisation to demand more resources for securing the Borno State school girls’ release.

Demonstrators who include parents of the abducted girls are to march through the Nigerian capital Abuja to the National Assembly to get the Nigerian Federal Governement to respond.

The government have been criticised for their lack of action in attempting to rescue the abducted girls that are believed to still be held by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. Boko Haram has not yet made any response to the accusation.

The girls were taken from their school in Chibok, Borno state two weeks ago.

Support for the movement has been growing on social media, twitter especially, under the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Hadiza Bala Usman, the March organiser told the BBC about the protesters’ concerns, she said:It is not clear why the rescue operation is not making headway considering the fact that there’s a clear idea of the perimeter area where these kids were taken in the first week: to the Sambisa forest. And the camps of the insurgents are within the Sambisa forests.

“Information is coming out that our own soldiers are not well equipped, that they do not have the ammunition required to do this – how come our soldiers are having some of these challenges in the field?

“What matters is you’re having 200 young girls abducted so people need to rise above politicising an issue like this. We need to understand that these are lives we are talking about.

“When you look at the north-east and when you look at girls’ education there, it’s very low. Parents are going to be very apprehensive about allowing their girls to go to school. Indeed there will be a whole generation of girls who will not be educated within that region.”

Women from Borno state staged a demonstration on Tuesday outside Nigeria’s parliament.The government has said the security forces are searching for the girls, but its critics believe more could have been done, the BBC reports.

The young girls were about to sit their final year exam and are said to be between 15 to 17 years or age.

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