Advancing the Right of Women to Education in Nigeria: Human Rights Instruments in Perspective

Authors Nimah Modupe Abdulraheem

ISSN: 2521-2613
Affiliations: Reader in the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ilorin (Nigeria)
Source: Africa Nazarene University Law Journal, 2017, Issue 1, p. 146 – 166


The right to education is a vital aspect of the socio-economic rights of all citizens, both men and women. Despite this important international human rights provision, women in Nigeria continue to experience difficulty in gaining equal access to education, irrespective of the various international, regional and national conventions which guarantee this right. The problem of unequal access to education reduces the capacity of women to participate freely in the socio-cultural, economic and political activities of their country. It impedes the effective reconstruction of society by limiting opportunities for the empowerment of women and their economic survival. Nigeria has signed and ratified many international conventions, including the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, the latter being the primary international undertaking for dealing with the right of women to education. More importantly, the right of women to education has been enshrined in several regional and national conventions, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which was domesticated into law in Nigeria. Despite these documentary undertakings, significant corresponding improvement in access to education for women in Nigeria has not occurred. This article examines the legal provisions that guarantee the right of women to education and seeks to determine the extent to which the nation has complied with these agreements. In addition, it addresses various challenges that inhibit the access of women to education and positive suggestions to bridge, or to totally eradicate, the vast educational gap that exists between men and women in Nigeria, are proffered.