For El Hadji Souley Moussa, a 60-year-old retired bank employee in Niger, “marrying off a daughter when she is young is a source of great pride. This way, she is protected from pregnancy outside of marriage.”
A newborn baby lets out a feeble cry as midwife Anna Mungara tends to a small wound on its head, at the provincial hospital in Masvingo, a town in southeast Zimbabwe.
A decade ago, less than a third of school-aged girls in Niger were in class. Today, though significant cultural and religious opposition remains, nearly two-thirds of girls are enrolled in school.
For the Samburu community in northern Kenya it was bad enough that Julius Lekupe had not sired a son - it was even worse that his eldest daughter refused to be “cut”.