Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Keywords: Reproductive health rights in Nigeria
Women’s convention
Women’s rights
Human rights
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Abstract: Polygyny, where a man has more than one wife, resulting in the suppression of the reproductive health rights of women, is a relatively common marital practice in parts of the world. These rights have been recognised in many countries of the world, backed up with a legal framework, but their status in Nigeria is yet to be determined. Existing studies on polygynous reproductive health rights in Nigeria have addressed the connection between human rights and health, but have not evaluated the availability and implementation or otherwise of a legal framework for women’s reproductive health rights. This study, therefore, examined the legal framework for the protection of the reproductive health of women in polygyny in Nigeria and assessed the content and operation of the laws and policies. The study adopted the theory of universality of human rights. The primary sources werethe Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, eight purposively selected Statutes on reproductive rights, 19 International laws and instruments which include 17 Conventions and treaties as well as judicial precedents. Secondary sources were 46 relevant legal texts on reproductive health and marital practices. Data were subjected to interpretive analysis. There was no definitive law or policy on reproductive health rights in Nigeria.The various laws in force in Nigeria addressed different areas of reproductive healthbut did not protect the reproductive health right of women in polygyny. For example, the National Health Policy restricts its provisionto family planning, maternal and child healthcare, and neglectscomprehensive reproductive health issues. Similarly, the National Adolescent Health Policy failed to meet the desired standard because it does not integrate contraception provision into adolescent health programmes. Thus, many of the regulations did not reflect the reproductive health concept and so were inadequate to meet the needs of actualising reproductive rights as contemporarily understood. Though, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)otherwise, known as the Women’s Convention, was signed and ratified by the Nigerian Government, it hasnot yet been domesticated as part of Nigerian laws, thus impairing the reproductive health rights of women.The provisions of CEDAW are adjudged to be adequate, and they stipulated that all State parties should take appropriate measures to eradicate polygyny and to prohibit same by legislation. Nigeria has however, not implemented any of these measureslargely because of the patriarchal structure of Nigerian societies. Legal writers agreed that culture is dynamic as it provides lenses of perfection and standards of evaluation. Thus, any law that contravenes the cultural order will lack acceptability. Lack of a precise legislation regulating polygyny and the non-domestication of the Women’s Convention have created a lacuna in the implementation of de jure and de facto equality and thus hinders the protection of the reproductive health rights of women in Nigeria. Therefore, a reproductive health legislation which takes into cognisance the cultural diversities of Nigeria and protects women from polygyny-related human rights violations should be enacted. In the alternative, the Women’s Convention should be domesticated in Nigeria.
Description: A Thesis in the Department of Private and Business Law, Submitted to the Faculty of Law in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree Of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY of the UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
Appears in Collections:scholarly works

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
the Thesis.pdffull text3.37 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail

Items in UISpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.