Gender Equality and Sustainable Development: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Nigerian Laws and Practices to Guarantee the Woman’s Human Right
In light of the prevalence of discriminatory practices and violence against women, gender equality has been internationally recognized as one of the sustainable development goals to be achieved by state parties before the year 2030. However, achieving equality between men and women has been the greatest human right issue in Nigeria. The main aim of this article is to show that women are important in promoting sustainable development. However there are provisions of the Nigerian law which discriminate against a woman. This article argues that sections 221, 353, 357 and 360 of the Criminal Code and sections 55, 282(2) of the Penal Codediscriminate against a girl or woman. In addition, although Nigeria is a party to a number of international treaties such as CEDAW, gender discrimination remains a major threat to sustainable development. The limited number of women appointed in the senate shows the extent of marginalization of women in Nigeria. For example, the United Nations rating of Nigeria in human development is low due to the fact that the percentage of seats held by women in parliament is so minimal compared to the men. Therefore the findings of this article are to assist policymakers in enforcing sustainable practices that promote gender equality by among other things, amending the relevant provisions of the criminal code and the penal code which discriminates against a female in Nigeria. Finally, to reconsider bringing back the gender equality bill that was rejected for second reading in 2015 at the floor of the senate.