RIGHTS OF WOMEN IN THE CONSTITUTIONS OF NIGERIA, 1960- 2007: CASE STUDY OF AFIKPO

AUTHOR: CHUKWU, CHIKA OGBONNAYA

DEPARTMENT: HISTORY AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

This study is written in view of the growth of the waves of feminism, which pay special attention to women’s rights within the society that is more or less gender insensitive. It is following the regard of women as human legal entities who or which are endowed by nature or by law with the capacity to enter into legal relations such as contracts of employment, commercial contracts and marriage contracts without detraction from social constraints. Thus this study is concerned with the sum total of rights and duties concerned with the women as provided in the constitution by reason of their legal affiliation to the state-Nigeria. Rights, as used in this regard, are privileges or prerogatives that are conferred on a person or a group by law. In other words, they are lawful claims, which the state defined and is ready to protect. 1 Rights (both political and civil rights) according to Olakanmi Olajide, are fundamental freedom which all men and women, are entitled, without discrimination. These, he further noted, are based on the laid down philosophy of the international law which reads: “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. 2 Rights are entitlements that are essential for human existence. Umozurike, Oji U. observes that these rights are third generation rights. The first generation rights, which were first to be recognized are: the right to life, liberty, dignity, etc; the second generation rights are: the right to education, health, work, etc; and other third generation rights include the right of self-determination, to develop, to natural wealth and resources, etc. 3 However it must be pointed that in spite of the declarations for these rights, there are still agitations for freedom and rights which are evident in the different waves for the rights of women, thus showing that these rights are not being enjoyed by the people they are meant for.

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