One Hundred Days of Servitude

Education campaigners and activists for girls’ rights held vigils around the world this week to mark the 100th day since more than 200 Nigerian girls were abducted from their school in Chibok. The “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign has spurred a global movement for recognition of girls’ rights – a movement led by girls themselves.

LONDON – Demonstrations around the world were held this week to mark the 100th day of captivity for more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. Since their abduction in April, global outrage has not waned; on the contrary, it has spurred a worldwide movement to uphold all girls’ basic rights.

Campaigners from groups fighting child marriage, child trafficking, and child labor, and from groups demanding children’s right to attend school, free of intimidation, have united in the past few days to show the strength of global opinion in favor of universal education and a world free of child slavery.

But what is of greater long-term significance is that girls themselves are demanding that their rights be taken seriously. Girls have mobilized in Bangladesh, where the movement to establish child-marriage-free zones is growing; in India, where the Global March Against Child Labor started; and in Africa, where child protection clubs are being formed in almost every country.

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