Women’s Rights in Nigeria

By: Ashley Williams

According to a new report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way, usually by an intimate partner or family member. In Nigeria, domestic violence, rape and other sexual abuse and female genital mutilation are of special concern and women’s rights are limited (1).

Nigeria’s constitution guarantees every Nigerian these fundamental rights: the right to life, dignity of human person, personal liberty and the right to freedom from discrimination (2). These rights are being taken away from women (2).

The Protocol to the Africa Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa was a protocol, that was created to protect women’s human rights, but in Nigeria these same rights have been ignored. Failure to enact these protocols is evident, as women are still denied the same things as men and their rights continue to be limited. In Nigeria women rank lower than all men in all indices of development in the country with their roles in society being obsolete. Government funding for women’s issues, and other programs are ignored as well (3). They follow a more traditional approach in how women should be treated, they are not allowed to work in certain businesses, and even physical abuse from husbands towards the wife or multiple wives, is permitted.

Although there is some legislation geared towards women’s rights there is more strengthening of traditional values, where it is encouraged to stay home, have children, and be a “good wife”. It is a continuous struggle for women’s rights in Africa.

Omoyemen , E. (2010, November 1). ASSESSING WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN NIGERIA. Retrieved February 5, 2011, from http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/69028 website:
Isramen, D. (2002, July 2). INTERNATIONAL HUMANIST NEWS. Retrieved February 2, 2011, from http://www.iheu.org/node/1134
No Author. (N.D). Nigeria Profile . Retrieved February 5, 2011, from http://www.afrol.com/Categories/Women/profiles/nigeria_women.htm


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