E ISSN: 2583-049X

International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research and Studies

Volume 3, Issue 4, 2023

Examining the Impediments to Enforcement of Women’s Reproductive Rights in Nigeria

Author(s): Izevbuwa O George, Lilian Akhirome-Omonfuegbe


Prior to this time, issues of reproductive rights and health were seen to be the exclusive preserve of feminist groups and pro-abortion activists. Typically, these discussions were viewed as taboos in the traditional African setting. Talks about a woman’s sexual health, reproductive rights and even about her body, were talks that could only be held in private and for a woman to insist on any form of sexual rights or freedom, meant that she was “loose”. Women were to be prude and not seen voicing out their displeasure at the violations of their reproductive or sexual rights which they suffered in the hands of the men who society viewed as “owners” of the women. This paper has adopted the doctrinal method- which is qualitative in nature and mostly library based. The methodology of this paper involves collated information necessary to verify or support legal hypothesis, decision-making and actions.

This paper finds that over the decades however there have been significant changes in the stance taken towards recognition of these rights known as reproductive rights. The attitude towards these topics has significantly moved from silence to an appreciation of some sorts of the existence of these rights and a need for the protection of same.

In Nigeria though the Constitution makes no express provision for Reproductive rights, the standard interpretation of fundamental human rights have been adopted and made applicable to reproductive health matters. There also exists several other body of laws which indirectly protect these rights as well as International instruments which guarantee reproductive rights and health, such as Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). So far in Nigeria, recognition and protection of gender specific rights is fraught with several impediments. This paper examines the impediments to the enforcement and protection of these reproductive rights. It also highlights the existing gaps in the legal framework in Nigeria on Reproductive Health rights and posits that the enactment of a Reproductive Health Law in Nigeria as well as amending the provisions of the Federal and State laws as well as creating policies will engender the enforcement and protection of these rights in Nigeria.

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Impediments, Gender Inequality, Gender Specific Laws

Pages: 605-612

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