Sermons by HONOURABLE JUSTICE STELLA O. N. OGENE PRESIDENT OF THE CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL DELTA SATE OF NIGERIA
In Africa, particularly in Nigeria, gender based discrimination and violence (GBDV) takes roots in diverse challenges emanating from social-cultural, economic, religious and legal perspectives. These are further compounded by the cultural diversity of the nation that precipitate a cross-current of customary practices in defiance of legislation that militate against implementation and sustainable development- particularly for women in Nigeria. The focus is on discrimination and violence against women, impact on application of the law, emerging issues as a result of implementation of the law or otherwise, and how GBDV can be eliminated to achieve sustainable developmental goals towards gender equality. On this premise, this discourse will deliberate on imports of customary law and the effects on women and children.View Publication
Once violence against women and children is mentioned, one cannot help but think about all the children of the world and women who suffer some form of violence, either physically, morally, spiritually, psychologically, or mentally, due to armed conflicts, wars, domestic violence, political violence, social violence or economic violence.
Mr. Stephen Lewis ,, in his opening speech titled, ‘The Betrayal of Childhood’, delivered at the 4th Biennial International Conference of the International Association of Women Judges held in Ottawa, Canada, concluded on a note of optimism and hope that, “the 21st century will belong to the child”.
Inspite of the optimism and hope expressed by Mr. Stephen Lewis, I am forced to wonder about how to confront the subject of this discourse, ‘defining and confronting violence against women and children’, in view of prevailing facts and realities on the subject, particularly in Africa, and more particularly in Nigeria. But even as 1 hitch my wagon onto Mr. Lewis’ optimism, I would want us all, to, essentially from the African and Nigerian perspectives, consider the context of violence, based on some of our customary laws, which laws to my mind, constitute violence against women and children. Such violence could be physical, psychological, economic or social.