Relative Political and Economic Power • Only 56% of women are literate • Only 32% of people in the government are women • Only 7.5% of the Nigerian National Assembly (aka Congress) seats are held by women • Only 22% of women have access to bank loans • Women earn less for the same jobs • The Sharia Law being implemented in the northern parts of the country is hurting gender equality • America has more gender equality in all areas
Women’s Rights Women’s rights in Nigeria compare equally (if not unfavorably) to that of women in the United States, this is mostly due to the religious and cultural limits that Nigerian society has. Marriage for instance has been Polygamous for decades (which originates from tribal cultures and variants of Islamic culture), although it is beginning to wane. If the couple is unsuccessful in life or economic standing, it is the woman who is generally blamed. In many cases men devalue the work a woman does at home (one of the few places they are allowed to work) and can readily abandon the woman and their family at any time.
Womens (cont) Abortion is universally illegal in Nigeria, and has even been shown that the most anti-abortion groups consist of women. That said, through the very cultural tenants that have limited women and modernization, women’s rights are rapidly expanding in Nigeria. Shari'ah law does allow many rights to women (such as owning land and having a job), and men are beginning to see value in women as they begin to take Higher ranking jobs. Women also are guaranteed suffrage in the Nigerian Constitution, there is even a Ministry of Women to make sure Nigerian women’s rights are secured
Links Links: http://www.postcolonialweb.org/nigeria/contwomen.html http://www.iheu.org/node/1134 Wikipedia
Attitudes about Homosexuality • 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project: 97% of Nigeria residents said that homosexuality should be rejected by society • -Religion: Christianity and Islam • -HIV/AIDS: negative stigma
Nigerian Law Chapter 21, Articles 214 & 217 of Nigerian penal code: Imprisonment up to 14 yrs for same-sex sexual activity Cross-dressing’s association with homosexuality -> punishment even where the Shari’a law doesn’t apply
Sharia Law 100 lashes and one year imprisonment for unmarried Muslim men Death by stoning for married or divorced Muslim men Prohibits men from dressing as women or addressing each other as women and Muslim men have been punished
Politics and Homosexuality Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act 2006: controversial draft bill proposed in Nigeria -Intent of bill was to ban anything associated or actually gay in the country -Criticism from United States and other human rights organizations - Obasanjo Administration’s attempt to appeal to public sentiment in his efforts for election year The People's Democratic Party and the All Nigeria Peoples Party: two most successful political parties in Nigeria -> maintain an overtly hostile stance on LGBT-rights.
Politics and Homosexuality (cont) Various protections guaranteeing all citizens equal rights and other rights like health care and equal opportunity in workplace -> still no legislation (like 14th amendment) to protect against discrimination or harassment ^http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/258.pdf http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/af/119018.htm http://www.365gay.com/Newscon06/01/011906nigeria.htm
Turning Points 1901 – Colonization and Western influences restricted women’s participation in politics 1954-1975 – given right to vote 1954: Eastern region 1955: Western region 1959: Southern region 1975: Northern region 1996 – BAOBAB formed to raise awareness about women’s rights 1999 - Nigerian Constitution outlaws discrimination based on gender 2000 – implementation of Sharia law placed restrictions on rights of women Ex: Sex out of wedlock punished by death 2006 – Nigeria Feminist Forum – various Nigerian women’s groups gathered to discuss social changes
Sources http://www.postcolonialweb.org/nigeria/contwomen.html http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=551:baobab-extending-nigerian-womens-rights-through-sharia-law&catid=90:optimistic-africa&Itemid=295 http://www.iheu.org/node/1134
Women’s Movement In 1982 a national conference was held at Ahmadu Bello University where a national feminist movement was inaugurated Nigeria's university-educated women presented that they believed the place of women in society required a concerted effort and deserved a place on the national agenda; however, the public perception, remained far behind
Main Women’s rights Activists • Margaret Ekpo • a pioneering female politician in the country's First Republic • A leading member of a class of traditional Nigerian women activists and played a major roles as a grassroot and nationalist politician in the Eastern Nigerian city of Aba • Won a seat into the Eastern Regional House of Assembly in 1961. A position that allowed her to fight for issues affecting women at the time. In particular, were issues on the progress of women in economic and political matters, especially in the areas of transportation around major roads leading to markets and rural transportation in general • Elizabeth Adekogbe • She was the leader of the Ibadan-based Women's Movement. • Main objectives: universal suffrage, admission of women to Native Authority councils, the nomination of members to the Western House of Assembly, enrollment of more girls in secondary schools, and a reduction in the bride price.
Modern Attitudes Towards Women • Still fairly primitive, seen as lower than men • Still can’t have abortions • Not active in politics • Rarely can/do hold leadership roles • Still less likely to receive secondary level education
Current Women Leaders • Diana Wiwa • Key leader in the struggle for human rights and environmental issues • Major General Aderonke Kale • The highest ranking female officer in the Nigerian Army • Christina Anyanwu • Famous author awarded the International Press Freedom Award.