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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rape and women's sexual health in Nigeria: the stark realities of being female in a patriarchal world
Author:Muoghalu, Caroline Okumdi
Periodical:African Anthropologist (ISSN 1024-0969)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:sexual offences
women's health
gender relations
External link:https://www.ajol.info/index.php/aa/article/download/118206/107765
Abstract:Historically, women have always been subjugated and oppressed by men in most cultures in Nigeria. This situation is due to the inequality in gender relations between men and women. In recent times, the incidence of rape has increased in the country. The hegemonic patriarchal values and practices make it difficult for women who are raped to obtain justice. Perpetrators often go unpunished even if the victims have the courage to report the incident. The court acquits most of the rape offenders on account of the lack of evidence or because the victim has a 'questionable' character. Rape victims suffer in silence due to the stigma and humiliation attached to the public acknowledgement of rape. This article examines how patriarchy interlocks with gender relations and inequality to deny justice to rape victims. It looks at the issues of gender and rape and their implications for the health of the victims. Feminist theory is used to explain rape, the societal reaction to it and the health outcomes for the victims. The paper concludes that many health problems suffered by women in Nigeria are a result of rape. Public health practitioners should devise mechanisms to elicit rape information from victims so as to effectively manage their health problems. The paper recommends the need for more practical ways of implementing laws on violence against women so that victims can obtain justice. Also, the role of women lawyers and other women's organizations should be reassessed. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]