Nigeria: Mission on Rights of Women, 2001


The Special Rapporteur on Women's Rights conducted from 20 February to 2 March 2001 a promotional and information mission on women's rights in The Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly in the States of Lagos, Enugu, Kano and Abuja, the Federal capital.

This mission was undertaken within the context of promotional activities of the African Commission. The main objective was to gather reliable, first-hand information about the situation of Nigerian women in order to define their legal status. Within this framework, the Special Rapporteur held discussions with government authorities, the National Commission of Human Rights as well as several non-governmental organizations. The delegation was composed of the following:

  • Mrs. Julienne Ondziel-Gnelenga, Special Rapporteur of Women's Rights in Africa and Member of the African Commission;
  • Mrs. Annie Rashdi-Mulumba, Legal Officer at the Commission Secretariat;
  • Mrs. Charlotte M. Ndayisaba, Personal Assistant to the Special Rapporteur.


To the Federal Government:

  • Take the necessary and appro priate measures to protect women against all forms of violence, as well as traditional beliefs and practices such as burying wives alive with their dead husbands, FGM, despoilment of widows;
  • Inform and educate women o n their fundamental rights in general, particularly in reproductive health, in order to reduce the high rate of maternal and infant mortality;
  • Given Nigeria's status as a  secular Federal Republic, there is need to stop the predominance of any religion in the lives of all Nigerian citizens whether male or female. The Government is also called upon to ensure that the application of « SHARIA » does not constitute an impediment to the promotion and protection of women's rights;
  • The Federal Government o f Nigeria should ensure that the laws of the States respect the Constitution of the Federation as well as the sub-regional, regional and international norms that the country had willfully accepted;
  • It is also called upon to  take the appropriate measures to ensure that commitments taken by Nigeria at the Conference on the Mid-Term Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform be respected throughout the country

To the ACHPR:

  • Organize and undertake at least one mission per year to Nigeria in order to assess the numerous problems encountered by this country, especially the legal duality between the Federal State and the federated states.
  • Call upon the NGOs to provi de information on the situation of women's rights in all the States, those in the North as well as in the South;
  • Urge the Nigerian Government to submit its periodic report on a regular basis and to devote a special chapter on « SHARIA » - its conception, status of implementation and impact on the populations.