n African Human Rights Law Journal - Cultural authoritarianism, women and human rights issues among the Esan people of Nigeria

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



This paper seeks to address discrimination against women on cultural grounds. The issues of human and women's rights in African countries have always been complex. This is so, not because of a lack of recognition of these rights, but rather because of cultural barriers and practices that have made the realisation of these rights a rather more difficult task in Africa than is the case in the western world. These cultural barriers are termed 'cultural authoritarianism' within the context of this paper. This paper deals in particular with two such cultural barriers, namely burial and inheritance culture amongst the Esan people of Nigeria. The paper advances the argument that, in spite of its feeble attempts to do so, the state has not succeeded in putting in place sufficient measures to eliminate cultural practices that discriminate against women and has rather displayed an attitude of reluctance or lack of commitment or at other times, prevarication on women's rights.

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