All over the world, the effort to secure women’s human rights has taken us through a history replete with societies’ continuing opposition to the equality of the sexes. The passionate resistance to the notion of gender equality exhibited even among well-educated men reveals a startling conscious effort to diminish women’s profile. Gender-based discrimination against women is therefore a global trend. Since the traditions and culture of every society determine the values and behavioural patterns of the people of that society, a culture that attributes superiority to one sex over the other exposes the sex that is considered to be inferior to various forms of discrimination. Nigeria is no exception to this global tendency. In Nigeria, women are discriminated against in almost every sphere of life, including when they attempt to seek employment, obtain education, develop their career, and receive loans from a lending institution. As a result, women’s economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights are routinely violated. Arguably, women’s ESC rights are among the most frequently violated human rights in Nigeria. These rights include rights to adequate housing, education, employment, an adequate standard of living, the right to food, and, generally, to a means of subsistence. Pervasive sex discrimination means that women are constantly denied the enjoyment and protection of these rights.
By Joy Ngwakwe- Culled from the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law
(Vol. 14 No. 1 2002)
. See Herma H. Kay, Text, Cases and Materials on Sex-Based Discrimination, 2nd
ed. (St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company, 1983) at 1-2.
. See UNIFEM, Progress of the World’s Women 2000: UNIFEM Biennial Report (United Nations Development Fund for Women), text can be accessed online at <http://www.unifem.undp.org/progressww/index.html> (date accessed: 4 July 2002); Women Watch, The World’s Women 2000: Trends and Statistics (UN Statistics Division), text can be accessed online at <http://un.org/womenwatch/resources/stats.htm> (last modified: 2 January 2002).
. Alyssa Qualls, Women in Nigeria Today (Africa Post-Colonial Literature in English), text can be accessed online at <http://www.scholars.nus.edu.sg/landow/post/nigeria/contwomen.html> (date accessed: 4 July 2002).