Nigeria: New report finds shocking level of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the home

Stephane Mikala, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme, said:

“On a daily basis Nigerian Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are beaten, raped and even murdered by members of their family for supposed transgressions, which can range from not having meals ready on time to visiting family members without their husband’s permission.

“Tragically, husbands, partners and fathers are responsible for most of the violence against these Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. The government has a duty to protect them.”

Amnesty International’s new report, Nigeria: Unheard voices - violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the family finds that in some cases vicious acid attacks have left Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights with horrific disfigurements, in a brutal form of punishment known as an "acid bath". Such violence is deliberately intended to mutilate or kill.

Itoro Eze-Anaba of the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), which contributed to the Amnesty report, said:

“This and other violence persist because discriminatory laws condone certain forms of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

Dismissive attitudes within the police and a justice system that is difficult to access compound the failures of the state to protect Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights.”

Violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the home is generally regarded as belonging to the private sphere in Nigeria, and therefore to be shielded from outside scrutiny.

A culture of silence reinforces the stigma attached to the victim rather than condemning the perpetrator of such crimes.

However, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and men in Nigeria are increasingly drawing attention to injustice and discrimination against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, and asserting the rights of the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls who suffer violence in the home.

One of their main challenges is that crimes of rape and other forms of violence in the home are seriously under-reported, with the result that perpetrators are rarely brought to justice.

Itoro Eze-Anaba continued:

“The criminal justice system in our country provides almost no protection for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights from violence in the home or community.

The police and courts often dismiss domestic violence as a family matter and refuse to investigate or press charges.

Furthermore, the few rape victims who summon up the courage to take their cases to court face humiliating rules of evidence, patronizing and discriminatory attitudes from police and court officials, and little chance of justice.”

Discriminatory legislation further compounds the problem of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Nigeria.

For example, under the Nigerian Criminal Code, the penalty for indecent assault against a man is higher than that for a woman:

Amongst Amnesty International’s recommendations to the Nigerian government to tackle the problem of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the home is for authorities to:

  • monitor violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the home;
  • ban it in law and repeal laws that allow it to flourish;
  • end discrimination against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the criminal justice system;
  • take positive measures to challenge social prejudices against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

Stephane Mikala concluded:

“The Nigerian government must take immediate action to meet its obligations under international human rights law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

“The courage of individual Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who have spoken out about their experiences of violence has given hope to others and must be met with full support from all Nigerian authorities.”

View the full report online

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