Nigeria: Women's Groups Seek End to Child Marriage in Anambra

3 August 2021

A coalition of women's groups in Anambra State under the aegis of Gender and Constitution Reform Network (GECORN), has called for an end to female genital mutilation, child marriage and others.

The group called for constitutional review to accommodate the rights of women in Nigeria and end all discriminatory practices.

The GECORN made the call during a peaceful awareness walk, along the Enugu/Onitsha expressway in Awka, and other strategic locations. Members of the group wielded placards with different inscriptions, calling for full implementations of various Acts and laws that ruled out discrimination against women in Anambra State and other parts of the country.

The Chairperson of the Coalition, Professor Ogugua Ikpeze, who addressed members of the public said: "This advocacy campaign which is supported by Ford Foundation is apt, given that the language of the 1999 Constitution is masculine, discriminatory against women, as well as disregard existence of women.

"Sections 22, 42, 146 and others in the constitution should be amended for gender balance, women friendly and explicitly define the rights of women for easy interpretation and implementations.

"This road walk is an advocacy campaign to sensitise the public especially the constitutional reviewers on the need for rights of women to be properly accommodated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The constitution is supreme. Therefore, it should be amended in a way that any culture, custom and practices repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience should be removed."

Also speaking a member of the coalition, Ms. Ogechi Ehiahurike, noted that the 1999 Constitution mentioned masculine gender 235 times and females only two times. She further identified harmful widowhood practices, child marriage, rape and inheritance problems as among discriminations against women in Anambra State and other Southeastern states.

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