US Assisting in the Search for Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls

On April 14th, tragedy struck northeast Nigeria when over 200 girls were abducted from their school. This crime was committed by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau has officially claimed responsibility for kidnapping the girls. The Nigerian government has been trying to find these girls for about three weeks now, but has failed to locate any of them. There are an estimated 276 girls missing.

Boko Haram’s motives behind the abduction are extremely concerning to us here at Her Campus, and anyone concerned with women’s rights. Shekau said in an interview “Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married.” He threatened to “give their hands in marriage because they are our slaves.” It is believed that Boko Haram plans on selling these girls into marriage or sex trafficking, as they have been accused of doing in the past.  

Not only is this unspeakably terrifying for these teenage girls and the country of Nigeria, but also concerning for international women’s rights. Women in the US are fortunate to be offered the opportunity to pursue educations and careers. We often forget that there are places around the world where going to school may be the most dangerous thing a young girl can do.

Thankfully, President Obama has offered American assistance in the search. According to the LA Times, “The Obama administration will send military, intelligence and law enforcement advisors to Nigeria.” Their job in Nigeria is to provide intelligence and investigation help, not military force. President Obama has referred to the abductions as “heartbreaking” and “outrageous.”

There has been global outrage since the news of these kidnapped girls was released. In fact, #BringBackOurGirls was tweeted over one million times in support of the action being taken to find the girls. With international attention on the issue, it is no surprise that America decided to step in. The United Kingdom is also preparing to send Special Forces to Nigeria to assist.

Anyone interested in making a contributing can donate to the Malala Fund. Created by Malala Yousafzai, the fund aims to bring these girls back home and educate and protect the young women of Africa.   

We here at Her Campus Bryant pray for the safe return of these girls.