WOMEN
07/22/2014 10:00 am ET

The Forgotten Girls: Sharing Stories Of Powerlessness And Unshakable Dignity

MARK TUSCHMAN

In the middle of the night on April 14, 2014, the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram broke into the hostels where 276 schoolgirls slept in the town of Chibok in north-east Northeast Nigeria.

Corralled into trucks, the girls were held by gunpoint and abducted into the night. Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, later claimed that under Sharia law the girls should not have been at the school learning to read and write, but rather that they should already be married since, according to him, girls as young as nine are suitable for marriage. Held in captivity, the young girls have been forced into marriage with Boko Haram members with a reputed “bride price” of about twelve U.S. dollars. It was later confirmed that Nigerian military had four hours advanced warning of the kidnapping, but failed to send reinforcements to protect the girls.

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