Female Genital Mutilation: Violation of Women’s Human Rights in Nigeria

Rufai Jimoh
Sunday, October 1, 2017


All the state constitutions in the world system contain a broad chapter of fundamental human rights displaying arrays of rights spanning the right to life, pecuniary rights, property rights and rights regarding beliefs. All these rights stem from American declaration of human freedom following the end of American Civil War of 1789. The Netherlands in 1796, Luxembourg 1815, Germany 1948, Norway 1814 and Sweden 1966 embodied fundamental human rights in their constitution. Following the end of the world wars and declaration of Wiston Church on freedom of state many new states joined the trends of globalization and immediately enacted the “norms of Juscoejean” which is christened as rules of civil state. This made fundamental rights something that is binding on all states to observe.

In Africa , Ghana was the first state in 1957 followed by Nigeria in 1960 while in the far East, India 1949, Pakistan followed in 1951, South Korea in 1958.

The end of the Second World War brought about unprecedented changes in global system such includes internationalization of political ideologies such as right and freedom of citizens, united nation declaration of human rights 1949 and Africa Charters of human rights 1961 and 1970.

All these while, human rights were not seen as health issue, conscious efforts was only made in 1995 at the National Council of International Health (NCIH) conference where professional in health, law and social science met at Columbia University, the land mark of this historical event was the recognition of fundamental human rights as health issue. Earlier, before this conference, in 1948, following the establishment of WHO a re-definition of health was propounded, in that definition it becomes clear that health is holistic which touches all aspect of human nature the implication of this is that in subtle way health is an aspect of human right, health is no longer only biological concern.

“Rights” are more or less a political and legal term, but globalization has made rights go beyond political and legal jurisdiction. We can look at it from economic angle and from health issue.

The core right is the right to life which has to do with survival. Since health has to do with harmony between mind and body to ward off death, then the extension of right to life as a health issue becomes imperative.