Boko haram insurgency and its implications on the rights of the female gender in nigeria

Author:Oke-Samuel Olugbenga - S. Ayooluwa St. Emmanuel
Position::Faculty of Law Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria - Faculty of Law Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria
Pages:33-54
SUMMARY

The Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria and counter-insurgency measures adopted by the Nigerian Government has caused humanitarian crises and wanton destruction, thereby having adverse impact on the Nigerian nation and its citizenry especially the female gender. The situation has aggravated and degenerated into internal displacement, loss of livelihood and criminal acts such as abduction,... (see full summary)

 
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AGORA International Journal of Juridical Sciences, http://univagora.ro/jour/index.php/aijjs
ISSN 1843-570X, E-ISSN 2067-7677
No. 1 (2017), pp. 33-54
33
BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON THE
RIGHTS OF THE FEMALE GENDER IN NIGERIA
O.S. OLUGBENGA, A.E. AYOOLUWA
Olugbenga Oke-Samuel
Faculty of Law
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria
LL.B (Lagos, Nigeria), LL.M (Lagos, Nigeria),
LL.D (Zululand, South Africa), B.L (Lagos, Nigeria)
Email: lawville@yahoo.com
Telephone: +2348034712290
S. Ayooluwa St. Emmanuel
Faculty of Law
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria
LL.B (Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria) LL.M (Ibadan, Nigeria) B.L (Kano, Nigeria)
Email: : kristalplus@yahoo.com / simon.stemmanuel@aaua.edu.ng
Telephone: +2347030166377 / +2348186530667
ABSTRACT:
The Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria and counter-insurgency measures
adopted by the Nigerian Government has caused humanitarian crises and wanton destruction,
thereby having adverse impact on the Nigerian nation and its citizenry especially the female
gender. The situation has aggravated and degenerated into internal displacement, loss of
livelihood and criminal acts such as abduction, murder and rape. This paper examines the
various human rights violations perpetrated on the female gender as a result of the
insurgency and counter-insurgency operations, it highlights the various women and girls’
rights instruments and in conclusion, posits that gender equality, economic empowerment for
female folks, partnership with foreign superpowers and adopting an effective intelligence
network are possible means of putting a stop to the insurgency and reducing its effect on the
female gender in the Country.
KEYWORDS: BOKO HARAM, INSURGENCY, COUNTER-INSURGENCY, NIGERIA,
FEMALE GENDER, RIGHTS
1. INTRODUCTION
The Terrorism can be said to be the antithesis of human rights and the greatest threat to
universal peace and stability in contemporary times. The international community’s response
to terrorism has been the gradual development, since 1963, of a legal infrastructure of 16
terrorism-related conventions and protocols, multilateral treaties, supplemental agreements
and series of Security Council resolutions relating to terrorism, many of them adopted under
the authority of chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which empowers the Security
Council to adopt resolutions legally binding on all Member States of the United Nations.
1
Nigeria, the most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated population of
182,425,202, out of which 90,049,168 are females (49.4 percent of the total population),
2
is
1
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Legislative Guide to the Universal Legal Regi me against
terrorism (2008). Available at www.unodc.org/terrorism/legislative accessed o n 3rd March, 2015.
2
Available at http://countrymeters.info/en/Nigeria. Accessed on 14th January, 2016 .
BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE FEMALE GENDER
IN NIGERIA
34
presently facing terrorism as a result of an ongoing sectarian insurgency, which is spear
headed by the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihadl sect also known as Boko
Haram, whose intention is to create an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria, that will address
the ills of the society and whose nucleus belief are the strict adherence to the Holy Quran and
Hadith and their interpretation by Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (1268-1328 CE).
3
The insurgency
and Nigerian Government’s response to it through the use of the military in internal security
operations due to the ineffectiveness of the Nigerian police has, left hundreds dead, destroyed
human habitations and means of livelihood. It has also caused internal displacement,
abduction, rape, physical abuse, human trafficking and forced marriages on the female
gender. The insurgency and counter-insurgency operations pose major challenges to the
protection of the rights of the female gender in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria as a result of
the collapse of social and moral order. These challenges affect the substance of human rights
norm and their scope of application. This work in the subsequent sections, will examine the
rights of the female gender violated by insurgency and counter-insurgency operations. It also
highlights the legal framework for the protection of the female gender and concludes with
necessary recommendations.
2. DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
Gender: is a social construct which is not necessarily synonymous with women but for
the purpose of this paper, gender connotes the female gender and it will be used
interchangeably with the word “women”.
Gender based violence: “is violence directed against women based on their subordinate
status in society. It includes any act by males or male-dominated social institutions that inflict
physical or psychological harm on women or girls because of their gender. It is violence
intended to establish or reinforce gender hierarchies and perpetuate gender inequalities
including harmful traditional practices targeting women such as honour killings, acid
throwing, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage”
4
Insurgency: is an attempt to take control of a country by force.”
5
Reproductive Rights: ‘Reproductive Rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of
all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of
their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the
highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make
decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence’
6
3
Cook, D; Boko Haram: ‘A New Islamic State in Nigeria’ Available at www.bakerinstitute.org/.../BI-pub-
BokoHaram-121114.pdf accessed on 7th November, 2015. See also Africa Report N*216, Curbing Violence in
Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency (International Cri ses Group, Brussels, April 2014) 7 cited in Taiwo, E.
A; “Boko Haram Terroris m and its Impact o n the Right of the Girl-Child to Education in Nigeria” (2013), 2 (1),
Akungba Law Journal, 16 47 at 24. See further Moham med, K, ‘The Message and Methods of Boko Haram’ in
Perouse de Montclos, M. (ed), Boko Haram: Islamism, Politics, Security and the State in Nigeria, West African
Politics and Society Series Vol. 2 (African Studies Centre, Leiden and French Institute for Research in Africa,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan & Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 2014) at 14. Available at
https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/.../ASC-075287668-3441-01.pdf accessed on 8 th September, 2015.
4
Barkindo, A; Gudaku, B. T & Wesley, C. K; “Our Bodies, Their Battleground; Boko Haram and Gender-Based
Violence against Christian Women and Children in North-Eastern Ni geria since 1999” Available at
https://www.worldwidewatchmonitor.org/.../…3117403.pdf accessed on 7 th November, 2015
5
Honby, A. S; “Oxford Advanced Learner ’s Dictionary of Current English” Oxford University Press, Oxford, 7th
Edn.
6
UN Programme o f Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD),
Cairo, 5 1 3 September 1994, UN Doc. A/CONF.171/13 1994, Para 7.3. Available at
http://www.choiceforyouth.org/information/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights/official-definitions-of-
sexual-and-reproductiv. accessed on 7th April, 2016

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