Two weeks ago, more than 200 girls were abducted from a school in Chibok, Nigeria. The group suspected of being responsible for their abduction is Boko Haram, an al-Qaida-linked jihadi group. The girls were taken at gunpoint and thrown into trucks and vans, and have since disappeared without a trace. Last week, school principal Asabe Kwambura told the Associated Press that 43 students had been accounted for, but 230 were still missing.
In response to the abductions, women in Nigeria are planning to hold a million woman march in Abuja in hopes of securing the release of their girls. According to Vanguard, Professor Hauwa Abdu Biu, the march organizer, has named the march “Free Our Girls,” and women throughout the country are expected to participate and wear red to show solidarity.
“The last time, we were in black, but this time around the color for the Abuja rally is red, so we should all be prepared and mobilize ourselves for the rally” Biu added.
The march is being held amid new allegations that the girls have been taken to neighboring Cameroon and Chad and married off to Boko Haram militants. Pogu Chibok, a leader of the Chibok Elders Forum, told the Daily Trust that the girls were ferried off to the countries by the kidnappers.
Chibok said 2,000 in Nigerian naira (or about $1240 U.S.) was paid for each of the girls to the Boko Haram members who took them from their school and who had assumed “ownership” of the students.
Nigerian authorities have yet to substantiate the claim. The families of the kidnapped girls continue to call on the Nigerian government to do more to find the girls.
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.