Women in Nigeria Term Paper

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Women in Nigeria

The rank and status of women in Nigeria is equally ludicrous in comparison with other parts of the world. Irrespective of the numerical strength of the women population in Nigeria, they are persistently vulnerable to the sheer disregard and neglect as a result of low educational opportunities, socio-cultural principles; deficiency in the economic strength; the gender biased laws and administrative policies; and domestic liabilities. (Re: Women's political participation in Nigeria) Further woman do not have involvement in the process of decision-making in Nigeria. The Nigerian society is observed to be dominated by the male population (a Philosophy of Education for Nigerian women: Problems and Prospects) Nigeria is featured as a country depicting traditional beliefs and practices that place women at denouncing roles. The low position of women is upheld with the background of conventions, tradition, culture and religion and has even deprived women of their right as a human being. (Female Genital Mutilation - FGM - Workshop on FGM and Violence against women: Senate Committee on women affairs and youth)

In most of the cases, the women are marginalized and mostly debarred from sharing any conventional leadership roles. Their dimensions of self-expression and self-realizations are extremely confined with the conventions and cultural practices. In everyday life, there existed a plethora of social discriminations between men and women in Nigeria even in the avenues of the wife-husband relationships. Such a differentiation is well symbolic and strengthened by the sexual discrimination in the sphere of employment. Normally there existed a popular convention in the sphere of the status of women in respect of the conventional rank of the women in the traditional Nigerian society. Over the years men have exerted their fullest possible potentialities to instill a sense of lower position in women. Earlier, the birth of a male child infused a cheerful atmosphere among parents as well as in the family; however, the birth of a girl child instills a gloomy atmosphere everywhere. The fathers have also gone to such an extent of marrying more and more wives or maintaining concubines when all the children are girls. The prime reason of attaining a male child is accorded more to cultural reasons rather than any other causes. (a Philosophy of Education for Nigerian women: Problems and Prospects)

Irrespective of the fact that the female population of Nigeria outnumbers men, the available data indicates that the educational standard of women lags much behind that of men. The prime factors that inhibit the education of women include adverse home basis, religion and social community conventions. The parents particularly the father has in his mind that the conception of fostering and perpetuating name and fame of the family lies with the male child. The expenditure on education of the male therefore can never be regarded as misuse. However, in case of girls this is taken to be sheer wastage of money, time and effort and the resources earmarked for the education of girls ultimately end up in the house or kitchen of another man. (a Philosophy of Education for Nigerian women: Problems and Prospects) Gender Mutilation - FGM is widely spread in all parts of the country, but is more prevalent in the southern and eastern zones and it is practiced among all racial and religious groups. News of spousal abuse is common; particularly those of wife beating in polygynous families. (AFROL Gender Profiles: Nigeria) Further in Nigeria, since the last 10 years trafficking in women and children is increasing at a startling rate. (Actual Women Situation in Nigeria) Actually, the violations in the rights of women in Nigeria are occurring in many cases and are classified as violence at home, sexual harassment in schools and at places of work, rape and adulteration, cruel widowhood rites, Female Genital Mutilation, compulsory child marriage, sexual assault at the times of conflict and armed robbery, implementation of gender discriminatory laws, biased against the girl child, no right of inheritance by wives and daughters, adverse conventional practices. (Female Genital Mutilation - FGM - Workshop on FGM and Violence against women: Senate Committee on women affairs and youth)

Government policy responses to the problem

The link between the Nigerian women and the State necessitates severe thought in respect of all its avenues. Irrespective of the avenues one is engaged, a concentration on the involvement of women's issue is warranted along with the issues like gender relations, ethnicity and religion, since each has an influence on the life of women and is organized in particular social situations and historical periods. (Women, the state and Reproductive Health issues in Nigeria) Women remain neglected though they have made significant personal advancement both in the academic and business world. Women undergo substantial inequity as well as physical abuse. Women regularly undergo favoritism as the Government accepts customary and religious practices that badly affect them. Police generally do not interfere in personal clashes, which are rarely argued in public. The Penal Code allows husbands to use physical ways to punish their wives as long as it does not end in serious injuries, like loss of sight, hearing, power of speech, facial mutilation, or other life intimidating injuries. The Government openly disagrees with Female Gender Mutilation - FGM, which is generally criticized by international health authorities as harmful to both physical and psychological health, but the Government takes no official action against the practice. (AFROL Gender Profiles: Nigeria)

Nigeria has become the starting place, passage and destination country for both internal and external trafficking. The provisions of the Criminal and Penal Codes did not grant sufficiently for the offense of trafficking in women and children until recently in 2003, when a new complete law was passed by the Nigerian National assembly and agreed to by the President. As per the constitution of Nigeria, Section 34 bans slavery and torment while Sections 223-225 of the Criminal Code deals with sanctions against those who deal in prostitution, help in the transportation of human being within or outside Nigeria with the intention of commercial sexual misuse and to make earnings out of it. The Penal Code also endorsed this act in Section 278-280, and it confers detention for anyone who buys and sells minors for dishonest reasons. Thus the central government has conceded a national legislation banning trafficking in Nigeria, for which law is more detailed than the earlier provisions of the Criminal and Penal Codes. But the new legislation does not give enough importance for the security of the sufferers and eyewitnesses to trafficking. Nigeria has also endorsed the Protocol to stop, curb and penalize trafficking in persons particularly women and girls but are yet to sanction it. (Actual Women Situation in Nigeria)

Investigating the position of Nigerian women in the political environment cannot be separated from the consideration of the whole political situation in Nigeria. Since its independence in 1960, the larger part of Nigeria has been ruled by military dictatorship. Men dictated the military government in Nigeria with only nominal activities given to women. Consecutive military governments from 1966 to 1999 with a short period of civil rule in 1979-83 only further succeeded in the omission of women in governance and decision making process particularly in the public sector. Thus Nigerian women were not in the military order and could not become a part of the highest legislative and executive body which is combined in the several military ruling councils. The place of women has only vaguely enhanced with the initiation of the democratic rule in 1999. Though women vigorously take part in the membership of political parties, they only work in the lower cadres of social welfare and work as supporters and canon fodders for men to get the political positions. Due to different socio-economic factors only a small percentage of women competed for the elective posts in the 1998. Only a small percentage was successful in the general elections with only a few women winning primaries to contest elective posts. (Actual Women Situation in Nigeria)

The performance of Nigeria in the context of Institutional Mechanism is not so worse. The Government has entailed institutional mechanism to assimilate the force of women into the developmental process of the nation. The ratification of women's policy by the Government in 2000 is a step in this direction. The government has also enunciated a specific program for women during 2002 for implementation of the policies formulated for them. (Nigerian women fairing well) the then first Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Maryam Bbangida initiated a project named 'Better Life for Rural Women' during 1988. The Commission for Women was instituted with such attempts. The new First Lady Mrs. Miriam Abacha diverted the concentration to the concept of family during 1994 and attempted to enunciate the program, Family Support Program substituting the Better Life Program. The Commission for Women was accorded the rank of a full-fledged Ministry to be headed by a Minister at both Federal level and a Commissioner at the State level. (Women's Political Participation in Nigeria)

In the process of Institutional Mechanisms, the Commission on… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Women in Nigeria.  (2005, March 22).  Retrieved December 13, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/women-nigeria/80912

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"Women in Nigeria."  Essaytown.com.  March 22, 2005.  Accessed December 13, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/women-nigeria/80912.