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The neglected voices in the criminalisation debate Of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) among the Igbos of South-Eastern Nigeria: study of Ohafia

Ukpai, O. O. (2018) The neglected voices in the criminalisation debate Of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) among the Igbos of South-Eastern Nigeria: study of Ohafia. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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While recent efforts at the official international level, particularly by the United Nations agencies, have successfully criminalised Female Genital Cutting (Henceforth, FGC) and many regional and national leaders have been directed to do the same, only a few African nations have complied with the UN directive. Nigeria is one of the nations that is yet to either criminalise or come up with programmes to abolish the practice in order to protect the rights of girls from undergoing it. Currently, however, there is a Bill to criminalise FGC on the floor of the Senate that would impose sanctions on perpetrators ofFGC if convicted. The proposed criminalisation Bill has generated debate across the country. At the moment, the Nigerian nation is at a crossroads -whether or not to criminalise FGC and the current high level of concern runs the risk of being reduced to indifference unless there is effective action. How can the law be used to protect the rights of, and empower rural women economically, politically and socially, thereby providing them with the capacity to voice their opinions about FGC and make independent decisions about their sexual lives? The thesis argues that FGC persists because the rural women lack the capability to function. To be able to function in full capabilities, one must have the possibility ofpublicly shaping law and policy and expressing thoughts and desires. The thesis concludes that laws are necessary but laws alone are not enough. The overriding consideration for any prospective strategy in abolishing FGC is that it should not only be guided by the choices and thoughts of individuals from the community, especially the uneducated rural women and men, but should employ the law to provide the capabilities for the local people to function according to their choices through equitable legislation in land distribution and empowerment

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Auchmuty, R.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Humanities
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:78891
Date on Title Page:2017

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