Nigeria ratified a number of International human rights instruments aimed at recognizing the rights of women. These include the Convention on the elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the AU Women’s Protocol), among others. In spite of the various ratifications, Nigerian women still have to contend with a number of harmful cultural and traditional practices; including Male child preference, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), widowhood rites, discriminatory access to land and inheritance practices, patriarchy, political structures and cultural festivals that exclude women. This paper considers factors that inhibit the domestication of CEDAW and other instruments recognizing the human rights of women in Nigeria. Efforts at domesticating these instruments have always been stalled by stiff opposition from different bodies including traditional and religious groups. The implication of this is that Nigerian women are unable to make claims to these rights and they cannot enforce them by going to national courts. This paper identifies the domestication of Nigeria’s human rights obligations and making coherent set of laws and policies which govern practices as a framework and means of promoting women’s right and conclude with recommendations on how to remove the cultural impediments and domesticate the several treaties ratified by Nigeria in order to enhance a just and gender equitable society.
Mosunmola Imasogie, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria
Stream: International Relations and Human Rights
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