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News and Views: Nigeria

Nigeria: The Sexual Minority And Legislative Zealotry

December 23, 2012

LET us go back a little, nearly a year ago, to that earlier attempt to interfere in, and legislate on sexual conduct between consenting adults. Profiting from that experience, I would like to caution – yet again - that it is high time we learnt to ignore what we conveniently designate and react to as ‘foreign interference’.  By now, we should be able to restrict ourselves to the a priori  position that, as rational beings, we make pronouncements on choices of ethical directions from our own collective and/or majority will, independent of what is described as ‘external dictation’.

2012 International Women's Day: Connecting Girls, Inspiring futures

March 8, 2012

The 8th of March of every year is a day set aside by the United Nations as International Women’s Day (IWD). It is a day to recognise, celebrate and honour women’s struggles and achievements in the past years and to call attention to other areas of concerns that are critical to women’s life in particular and the society in general.

Nigeria: Women call for greater representation in government

February 29, 2012

The Nigerian government has been called upon to tackle issues of gender inequality in the country with a view to giving a greater voice to women and enhance their contribution to good governance.

The call was made at the just concluded 1st National Retreat on Women Development and National Transformation which took place in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.

Nigeria: Favour Irabor - Money, religion & patriarchy pose problems for female politicians

September 4, 2011

It’s over four months now since the last general elections, but Nigerian women politicians and even stakeholders are yet to recuperate from the shock of its outcome. Unlike previous elections, women vied enmass for various political offices, but  few of them got in! As a response to this fall which has also translated into an abysmal reduction in the representation of women in political offices(apart from the ministerial offices), the question of ‘what went wrong?’  has continued to take centre-stage at most women gatherings.

Nigeria: Changing attitudes to contraception

July 27, 2011

DAKAR, 27 July 2011 (IRIN) - Health workers say an apparent rise in contraceptive use in Nigeria stems largely from a willingness by traditional and religious leaders in some regions to use their influence in promoting reproductive health. 

In the predominantly Muslim north, where contraceptive use has historically been far lower than the national average, the support of traditional leaders has helped change attitudes in communities where contraception was long regarded as taboo. 

Widow "Cleansing" Tradition - Rights Violation

April 13, 2009

Widow cleansing dates back centuries and is practiced for example in countries like Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Congo and Nigeria. It gives a nod to a man from the widow’s village or her husband’s family, usually a brother or close male relative of her late husband, to force her to have sex with him – ostensibly to allow her husband’s spirit to roam free in afterlife.

Nigeria: Children accused of witchcraft

August 28, 2010

Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria (CNN) -- Just after midnight, the pastor seized a woman's forehead with his large hand and she fell screaming and writhing on the ground. "Fire! Fire! Fire!" shouted the worshippers, raising their hands in the air.

Pastor Celestine Effiong's congregants are being delivered from what they firmly believe to be witchcraft. And in the darkness of the city and the villages beyond, similar shouts and screams echo from makeshift church to makeshift church.

"I have been delivered from witches and wizards today!" exclaimed one exhausted-looking woman.

A Female Approach to Peacekeeping

March 5, 2010

MONROVIA, LIBERIA — When darkness comes to Congo Town, women in crisp uniforms take the streets, patrolling with Kalashnikov rifles and long, black hair tucked into baby-blue caps.

The brisk sergeant in command, Monia Gusain, matter of factly calls them “my men.” But the stern Indian women facing her are actually wives and mothers who wage peace for a living on the rutted dirt roads of Liberia.

Nigerian senator Sani denies marrying girl of 13

April 30, 2010


A Nigerian senator accused of marrying a 13-year-old Egyptian girl says he has done nothing wrong.

Ahmad Sani Yerima, 49, told the BBC that his fourth wife was not 13, but would not say how old she was.He denied breaking the law but said he would not respect any law that contradicted his religious beliefs. The Nigerian senate ordered an investigation after complaints from women's groups but the senator said he did not care what the groups thought.

A spokesman for the Egyptian embassy in Nigeria has said the girl is still at school in Egypt.