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Lagos – Frustrated by living in poverty, gender discrimination and deep-rooted patriarchy, women in northeast Nigeria could easily be forced into joining the ranks of extremist groups, analysts have said.
According to Indian Express the analysts said that the urge to join the jihadist group Boko Haram by women and girls in the northeast could be due to the "failure to improve their lives".
Amnesty International said recently that many girls who had been abducted by Boko Haram were used as cooks, sex slaves, and even suicide bombers.
However, some girls and women mainly living in the northeast part of the west African nation had chosen to voluntarily join Boko Haram in hope of a better life, said an International Crisis Group (ICG) report.
"For some women trapped in domestic life, Boko Haram offers an escape," Rinaldo Depagne, west Africa project director for the ICG was quoted as saying.
Depagne said that the situation reflected "a huge abyss of desperation among women", particularly in the northern part of Nigeria where rates of child marriage, school enrollment and literacy among girls and women were far worse than any other part of Nigeria.
Depagne added women recruited into Boko Haram often took senior positions such as recruiters, intelligence operatives and even fighters.
Depagne's remarks came just a few months after a 16-year-old girl rescued from Boko Haram captivity by the Nigerian army reportedly said that she was still in love with with one of the fighters who abducted her.
According to Al Jazeera, she was delighted to discover that she was pregnant with his child following a urine and blood test carried out by a doctor in the refugee camp to which she was taken after her rescue.