Whatever Happened to ‘Bring Back Our Girls’?
It's been one year since more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. Details of the attack quickly filtered out to Western media outlets, and soon the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls began trending on Twitter.
The hashtag campaign took Twitter by storm and caught the attention of some of America's most famous names. Rihanna tweeted her support along with Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian, and Amy Poehler. Michelle Obama provided one of the more memorable moments from the campaign, posing in the White House with a sign that read #BringBackOurGirls.
Hauwa Biu, a women's rights activist and professor in Nigeria, recently told NBC News that the fight to find the girls is still as strong as ever, even though it's drawing significantly less attention. "The Chibok girls were just one of many, many others who have been kidnapped since last year," Biu said. "I cannot say that the BringBackOurGirls campaign has made women and young girls in the northeast feel any safer."
But most of the girls still have not been brought home, and the case has become one of the more illustrative examples of short-lived social media activism. These graphs illustrate just how quickly interest in the case petered out.
While the campaign has died down on Twitter, plenty of people are still working on the ground to bring the girls home. An interfaith prayer vigil will take place at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City today. Marches are also being planned in Nigeria, New Zealand, and London.