WHAT ARE THE LAWS PROTECTING WOMEN’S RIGHT IN NIGERIA?

Rights are essential aspects of human life that is critical to promoting accountability and consciousness, justice and a progressive society.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

6/13/2022 3 min read

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WHAT ARE THE LAWS PROTECTING WOMEN’S RIGHT IN NIGERIA?

According to Oxford Dictionary, a Right is a moral or legal entitlement to have or do something. Rights are essential aspects of human life that is critical to promoting accountability and consciousness, justice and a progressive society.

Humans are generally entitled to basic fundamental rights. The regard for these rights secures human dignity. These rights include the freedom from violence and discrimination; the right to the best possible physical and mental health; the right to an education; the right to own property; the right to vote; and the right to an equal wage regardless of gender.

Women's engagement in various aspects of life has evolved from a patriarchal dominated culture where women's subjection was believed to be the norm to a place where women are given the opportunity to participate in various spheres of life.

Despite the fact that this evolution has been progressive, it is not complete. Women's opportunities are still seen as privileges rather than absolute rights. Discrimination based on sex and gender continues to be a problem for many women and girls around the world. Gender inequality is at the root of a slew of issues that disproportionately affect women and girls, including domestic and sexual violence, low wages, a lack of educational opportunities, and inadequate healthcare.

The international society has responded admirably to these demands, creating structures, organizations, worldwide standards and rules, treaties and conventions to protect women's rights. Nigeria is not left out of this progressive movement, owing to its membership in several of these organizations and the work of female activists.

Some of the Laws and Regulations that safeguards Women’s Right in Nigeria are:

1. Section 17 of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 states that the fundamental objective of the state is founded on the ideals of freedom, equality and justice, it safeguards against discrimination on the account of gender. Section 34 (1) also prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. Female Genital Mutilation falls under this classification.

2. Child Rights Act: It makes provisions on issues such as child marriage, betrothal, child labor, sexual abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and prostitution. It was enacted in reaction to various discriminatory practicesTreaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory: 1. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2. African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 3. Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa 4. AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa 5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW) 6. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 7. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention Against Torture and other Cruel – Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN General Assembly Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action., particularly involving female minors.

3. Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015 is an improvement on the Penal and Criminal Code. Section 19 of the act prohibits spousal battery.

4. Sexual Offences Act

5. Administration of Criminal Justice Act

6. Criminal Code, Penal Code.

Treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory:

1. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

2. African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

3. Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

4. AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa

5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW)

6. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

7. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention Against Torture and other Cruel – Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN General Assembly Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Most of these treaties have been ratified but are yet to be incorporated into our domestic laws.

State Laws addressing Women Rights in Nigeria:

1. Women Reproductive Rigts Law, 2005, Anambra State.

2. Oyo State Widows’ Empowerment Law, 2002

3. Gender and Equal Opportunities Law (Kogi State) 2013

4. Rivers State Abolition of Female Circumcision Law NO 2, 2001

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

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