International Women's Day: Plight and right of Nigeria women
Some Nigerian women and their babies. PHOTO: UNICEF

By Ibrahim Hassan Mshelia

Women have often been the victims wherever there are conflicts. This is because of the generally disadvantage of women and vulnerability of children as a high-risk group.

Religion and traditional beliefs have often denied their freedom of expression and access to affairs that promotes they well being in the society

Most women are of inferior status, most especially in Nigeria. They marry early, bear many children, low literacy levels, have poor nutritional status and also domestic responsibility is solely on them, for this reason they have been exposed to trafficking and forced into prostitution

The root causes of women displacement is their exposure to sexual abuse, domestic violent, unemployment and denied access to education, this in turn separates them from their families.

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It is still a matter of concern, that despite the fact that governments and international agencies have moved to address and find solution to these problems, just as the UN in 1946 established a commission on the status of women, to formulate guidelines on how to improve the status of women and it also established committee on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in 1982, and established the United Nations Development fund for women in 1976, to undertake projects to integrate women in the development process through small-scale, income-generating schemes (Khonje, 1994).

The Nigerian government, has, in its effort, signed and ratified many international and regional treaties promoting and protecting the rights of women in Nigeria, including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Nigeria signed and ratified the CEDAW in 1985.

Just between 2019 and 2020, Nigeria had 32 rape convictions, according to data from Nigeria’s national anti-trafficking agency.

This means that women are still exposed to sexual abuse, domestic violence and trafficking.

Nigeria’s system in protecting women is still at a weak point, although a lot of individuals have made campaigns for the protection of women, the government needs to improve in its system to ensure that all policies and programmes are implemented effectively and efficiently.

Women have equal right as men. They should be given equal opportunities as men, women who receive good education are less likely to marry young and more likely to live healthy, it brings out the  productive lives in them.

They earn higher incomes, participate in the decisions that most affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families. This will strengthens economies and reduces inequalities in the society and nation at large.

Ibrahim Hassan Mshelia writes from Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri. 


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