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It was because of her desperate plan to fight back, should her newly-wed husband try to rape her."I thought if I bit him really hard, he would let me go." Zeinabou was 15 and a student in Yekoua, a small village in southern Niger, when her parents decided to marry her off against her will.The organization provides shelter to women in need in Niger's capital Niamey and runs outreach programs in the provinces.Abani and her colleagues have been working hard to change local attitudes and persuade parents that their daughters have a right to a childhood and education.It will take her another four years to finish her education - and then maybe, just maybe, her parents will let Zeinabou choose her own partner."I want to marry someone who respects me and looks after me properly," she said.The world's least developed country has one of the highest rates of child marriages in the world.According to figures published by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, 76 percent of all girls under 18 are married in Niger.
"I was no longer afraid." Her parents have now grudgingly agreed to let her finish her schooling before they look for another husband.
She had run away no fewer than four times, spent a night hidden away in a derelict house, even escaped to the local capital - only to be beaten by her parents and returned to her husband.
And so, when Mustafa Sanoussi, the husband she didn't want, tried to force himself upon her following her last futile escape, she bit his penis, hard. Child Marriages 'are forced marriages' Zeinabou is one of countless Nigerien children, some as young as ten or eleven, who are taken out of school and married off every year in Niger.
Niger has the one of the highest rates of child marriages in the world.
In some rural areas, girls are still considered to be heir parents’ property.
Yet again, her parents beat her for disobeying them.