Almost one year ago, more than 200 girls were abducted in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria by the group Boko Haram. The internet was in uproar, people published graphic after graphic, world leaders swore to be involved—but in spite of all those promises and stances, 219 girls are still missing.
A series of turbulent events both in the United States and internationally has turned media attention away from these young women and to other issues. International efforts—including negotiating jailed Boko Haram fighters for the girls—has failed. Since the abduction, the terrorist group has not stopped its attacks or curbed its intentions to kidnap young women receiving a Western education.
But even though many of the girls remain with their kidnappers, the attention to the cause have been overall positive: As Okello Kelo Sam states in his article on the LA Times, “until a social-media savvy Nigerian lawyer, Ibrahim Abdullahi, came up with #BringBackOurGirls, there had been little coverage of the abductions. When Abdullahi heard former World Bank Vice President Obiageli Ezekwesili say ‘Bring back our girls’ in a speech, he echoed the phrase on Twitter, and the demonstrators amplified it at Unity Fountain and online. Finally their cry was heard.”
Social media has played a key role in keeping issues like Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter in the public conscious. If we’re ever going to bring back these young women, it’s important that they are not forgotten—and that once they are found they can get all the help they need to deal with the trauma they’ve endured. #RememberOurGirls.
Image c/o Twitter