Human rights are rights that have come to be guaranteed over time, to all men and
women, irrespective of race or creed. These rights extend to even the unborn, in
certain circumstances. However, in many societies, women are subject to
discriminatory tendencies in the form of laws, policies and practices that derogate
from their human rights, simply became of their gender.
Many international instruments have been put in place to stem these negative
tendencies, especially through the works of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Labour
In Nigeria, for instance, women tend to suffer inequalities in the social, political ,
economic and cultural fields. This is notwithstanding the fact that there are formal
provisions on the statute books that guarantees equality to all before the law.
As the ‘grundnorm,’ all the Constitution made for Nigeria with their fundamental
rights provisions envisage equality of all citizens, whether male or female. The
Thesis finds that the envisaged equality is at best formal and not actual, even
though the country is a party to international conventions and instruments that
provide for equal enjoyment of human rights by both genders.
Some laws, cultural practices and traditions have been fingered in restricting and
derogating from the enjoyment of basic rights by women. This thesis sets out to
identify derogations from women’s rights, its effects and proffer suggestions on
how to curtail these gustative tendencies, with particular reference to Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO STUDY
Women are connected to other human beings through the biologically based activities of
pregnancy, breast-feeding and heterosexual intercourse¹. However, throughout history, women
participation in social, political, economic and cultural activities of different societies.
Discrimination against women starts at birth, in the discriminatory
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