International Women’s Day: Plights of the Nigerian woman

Women have often been the victims wherever there are conflicts. This is because of the 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 promote their well being in society.

Most women are of inferior status, most especially in Nigeria. They marry early, bear many children, have low literacy levels, poor nutrition and huge domestic burden. Thus, they have been exposed to trafficking and forced prostitution
The root causes of women’s displacement is their exposure to sexual abuse, domestic violence, unemployment and denied access to education, this in turn separates them from their families.

Governments and international agencies have moved to address these problems. The UN in 1946 established a commission on the status of women; it is to formulate guidelines on how to improve the status of women. It also established a 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.

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), which was ratified 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 of protecting women is still weak. Although a lot of individuals have advocated the protection of women, the government needs to improve its system to ensure that all policies and programmes are implemented effectively.
Women should be given equal opportunities as men. Women who receive good education are more likely to live healthy, earn higher incomes, participate in the decisions that affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families. This strengthens economies and reduces inequalities in society.

Ibrahim Hassan Mshelia,

Department of Mass Communication,

University of Maiduguri