Equality in law and in social situations is the central focus of Women’s Right advocates.  Despite plethora of domestic and international instruments affirming their human rights, women are more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. They have less access to property ownership, credit, training, employment and suffer various forms of mental and physical abuse.
  The limitation appears to make them second class citizens. Sadly, government efforts to address the situation are often frustrated by lack of trained manpower and resources to enforce the laws on violation of Women’s Rights. Hence the agitation for effective enforcement of law that protects Women’s Rights by women’s Rights advocate.
  Legal framework for women’s rights in Nigeria is based on the Constitution primarily, other local laws and international treaties relating to women ratified by the country. Some of the instruments that address the anomaly through domestic law are as follows:
  Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria: Chapter IV provision on fundamental Human Rights provides for equality in law and social situations of men and women.
  The Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 signed into law on the 25th of May 2015
  The Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
The Nigerian Criminal Code Act of 1990
  Gender and Equal Opportunities Law 2007 by the states of Anambra and Imo, providing for affirmative action measures to redress under-representation of women in appointive and elective positions and prohibiting discrimination in areas such as education and employment.
  The adoption of laws protecting the rights of widows in several states: Enugu (2001), Oyo (2002), Ekiti (2002), Anambra (2004), and Edo (2004).
Relevant case laws: Mojekwu v. Mojekwu (1997) 7 NWLR (Pt. 512), Ukeje v Ukeje SC.224/2004.
Nigeria’s core international human right treaties and instruments that protects Women’s Rights:
  Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’
  Article 7 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) provides for the elimination of discrimination against women in political and public life. Article 5 encourages states to take measures to eliminate prejudices and stereotypes against women.
Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa reaffirms the principle of gender equality as enshrined in Article 4(1) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. In chapter 7, member states declare “to actively promote the implementation of legislation to guarantee women’s land, property and inheritance rights including the right to housing”.
  Article 18 of the The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) states that “the State shall ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women and also ensure the protection of the rights of women….”
   Article 21 of The Protocol to the Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (ratified by Nigeria in 2004) states that: “a widow/widower shall have the right to inherit each other’s property in the event of death, whatever the matrimonial regime, to continue living in the matrimonial home”. Sub paragraph (2) of the above states that “women and girls shall have same rights as men and boys to inherit in equal shares their parents properties”
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