Domestic, Regional, and International Protection of Nigerian Women Against Discrimination: Constraints And Possibilities


  • Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome


This paper approaches questions concerning human rights and discrimination against women from a perspective that differs the dominant view within the human rights literature.  This scholarship has an intrinsic pro-Western bias and operates on the implicit assumption that international human rights have their origins in Western liberal thought. Contrary to this dominant perspective, I argue that all human societies have a conception of human rights, even though there are cultural differences. The existence and defense of national, regional and international rights of Nigerian women against discrimination then must necessarily be located within Nigeria’s particular historical experience from the pre-colonial era to contemporary times. The promotion and defense of such rights would be meaningless otherwise.  Moreover, I argue for the combination of efforts that tend to be separated in scholarly activities to date.  The identification of instances of discrimination and the struggle to defend and extend women’s rights has to be critically examined in light of the power relations that structure the regime of human rights worldwide.  This paper argues that in this regime, both western thought and western feminist groups are privileged.