The Chairman, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme has took a hard look at the constitution and concluded that women under the law in Nigeria are not well treated.
“Women in most communities in Nigeria are treated as objects or properties and therefore not a subject of inheritance. The practice of denial of inheritance right has caused untold hardship to women” she lamented.
In a statement issued in Asaba to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by the Deputy Director General, You and I Foundation, Barrister Raymos Guanah, Olejeme expressed delight at the progress so far made by Nigerian women.
She frowned at the language of the constitution as it affects women and the treatment of women in some agencies.
Olejeme, a member of the National Conference, criticized Section 26 (2) (a) of the 1999 Constitution which denies right of citizenship to foreign men married to Nigerian women.
“Section 26 of the 1999 makes discriminatory provisions against women in terms of the inability of their foreign husbands to acquire Nigerian citizenship automatically by marriage. Indeed, the Constitution makes no provision for the process by which non-Nigerian men married to Nigerian women and who are so desirous, may become Nigerian citizens”
Olejeme while criticizing the provisions of the constitution as it relates to attack on women in different forms, identified harmful traditional practices which include widowhood practices, female genital mutilation, force marriage and others as threat to the lives of women in Nigeria.
Specifically, Olejeme decried the use of state of origin in the discrimination of married women.
Thinking of the various problems affecting women in the country, Olejeme emphasized gender equality and women empowerment.
She also called for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March.