In what has become one of the most shocking and disturbing developments in World News, last week, around 230 schoolgirls were kidnapped on their way home from class. A brash and massive kidnapping, parents and family members are left wondering where their daughters have gone and whether they will ever see them in one piece again.
It is thought that a group called Boko Harem, which means “Western education is forbidden,” are the ones behind the attack. This radical Islamic group stands against the educating of females, under its narrow reading of Sharia Law. They believe that women should not be in school, but at home, taking care of children and their husbands. While this was definitely one of the most traumatic acts, it wasn’t the first time they kidnapped women before.
According to CNN, last November, Boko Harem kidnapped dozens of Christian women, some as young as 12 years old. When they were finally saved in the forests of Maiduguri, some were found pregnant, others were married to their captures. This recent abduction was in retaliation to the military and government removing their previously wives and “servants.”
To extract and help the large number of women, who age between 16-18 years old, will be a difficult task. Boko Harem’s base of operation is in North Eastern Nigeria, near the loose borders of Cameroon, where they can slip through and head to another relatively close country. Also the school they abducted the women from is not located near the capital or most governmental buildings.
In face of this tragic event, Nigerian Women have not taking things sitting down; in fact they have done the opposite. Earlier this week, students and elders took part in a demonstration called “Million Women’s March”, which was meant to show their disappointment in the way the situation was handled by those in the government and military. They urged that they want their children back whole and not in body bags. It was a powerful image of strength and solidarity.
We pray for the Women’s safety and their return. As the story develops, we will continue to keep you updated on all of the happenings. It is a mournful moment indeed.