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The Church and Harmful Traditional Practices Against the Rights of Women Among the Nsukka People of Nigeria

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The Church and Harmful Traditional Practices Against the Rights of Women Among the Nsukka People of Nigeria.

ABSTRACT  

This work has its thrust as the harmful traditional practices against the rights of women among Nsukka Northern Igbo people and the role of the church in solving these problems. There are lots of problems which women encounter in a patriarchal world. These problems have caused a great havoc among them. They are generally detrimental to the health, psychological and social well-being of our women whose fundamental human rights are also violated.

These practices are widespread among most Nigerian ethnic groups and usually considered as normal part of life events. However, attempts to improve the status of women have brought them to the limelight as part of the problems of development designed to sustain patriarchy, gender inequality in our contemporary society and the control of women’s production and reproduction.

These harmful traditional practices include specifically: female gentile mutilation (FAM) harmful delivery practices (HDP), widowhood practices (WP), child marriage and teenage pregnancy (CMTP), intergenerational transfer of resources (ITR) and wife battering (WB). There is no gain saying the fact that all these problems threaten the self-actualization of our women.

These problems are not well dealt with instead people regard them as conventions. The researcher made use of primary and secondary sources of data collection as the researcher’s methodology as well as participant observation and the work were organized in a descriptive analytical style in the interpreting the data. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page – – – – – – – – – I
Fulfilment page – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – iii
Approval page – – – – – – – – iv
Declaration – – – – – – – – – v
Dedication – – – – – – – – – vi
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – vii
Acronyms and abbreviations – – – – – – viii
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – ix
Abstract – – – – – – – – – x

Chapter One: INTRODUCTION – – – – 1
1.1 Background of the study – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – 3
1.3 Purpose of the Study – – – – – – 4
1.4 Significance of the study – – – – – 4
1.5 Scope of the study – – – – – – 5
1.6 Methodology of the study – – – – – 5
1.7 Definition of terms – – – – – – 6

Chapter Two: LITERATURE REVIEW – – 11
2.1 The meaning and brief origin of Harmful
Traditional Practices – – – – – – 11
2.2 Forms of Harmful Traditional Practices – – – 11
2.3 The Nigerian Case – – – – – – 15
2.4 Harmful Delivery Practices – – – – – 18
2.5 Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy – – – 20
2.6 Inter-Generational Transfer of Resources – – – 25
2.7 Widowhood in Nigeria – – – – – – 27
2.8 Widowhood Practices and Religion in Nigerian Society – 31
2.9 Widowhood Practices and Education in Nigerian Society 32
2.10 Wife battering – – – – – – – 34
2.11 The National Pattern – – – – – – 35
2.12 Women’s Subordination: A Global Problem. – – 38
2.13 Summary of Literature Review – – – – 40

Chapter Three: FEMALE GENTILE MUTILATION AND HARMFUL DELIVERY AND NUTRITIONAL
PRACTICES AMONG THE NSUKKA NORTHERN IGBO PEOPLE – – – – – – – -41
3.1 Female Genital Mutilation among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People – – – – – – – – 41
3.2 Harmful Delivery and Mutilation Practices among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People – – – – – – 43
3.3 Food Taboos and Malnutrition among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People – – – – – – – 50

Chapter Four: CHILD MARRIAGE, TEENAGE PREGNANCY AND INTER-GENERATIONAL TRANSFER OF
RESOURCES AMONG THE NSUKKA NORTHERN IGBO PEOPLE – – 55
4.1 Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People – – – – – – 55
4.2 Vesico-Vagina Fistula – – – – – – 58
4.3 Inter-Generational Transfer of Resources – – – 60
4.4 Control of Resources – – – – – – 66
4.5 Persistence of Traditional Patterns of the Gender Division of Labour among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People-67
4.6 Allocation of Responsibilities among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People – – – – – – – – 69
4.7 The Foundation of Patriarchy – – – – 71

Chapter Five: WIDOWHOOD PRACTICES AND WIFE BATTERING AMONG THE NSUKKA NORTHERN IGBO PEOPLE – – 81
5.1 Widowhood Practices among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People – – – – – – – 81
5.2 Wife battering among the Nsukka Northern Igbo People 85

Chapter Six: THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN THE PROBLEM OF HARMFUL TRADITIONAL PRACTICES. – –  87
6.1 Motivation from the Catholic Social Teaching – – 87
6.2 Advocacy from the Church – – – – – 91
6.3 A call on C.W.O in Nigeria by the Church – – 91
6.4 Gender Equality in the Society and in the Church – 93
6.5 The Church Speaks – – – – – – 97
6.6 Through practical demonstration – – – – 101
6.7 Through prayer and counselling – – – – 103
6.8 Through the establishment of social development,
Justice and peace commission – – – – 103
6.9 Through preaching – – – – – – 109

Chapter Seven: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION – 119
7.1 Principal Findings – – – – – – 119
7.2 Contributions to knowledge – – – – – 119
7.3 The way forward/recommendation – – – – 120
7.4 Suggestions for further research – – – – 121
Bibliography – – – – – – – – 123

INTRODUCTION  

Harmful traditional practices against the rights of women have persisted among the Nsukka Northern Igbo people for a very long time. These obnoxious practices have their roots in ancient traditional, cultural and religious practices. They were handed down through succeeding generations. The current drive for sustainable human development carries with it a great deal of expectation for a better world.

The “universalism of life claims” is to many a reminder that all individuals must be enabled to “enlarge their human capabilities to the fullest and to put these capabilities to the best use in all fields” – [Human Development Report, (1994:6)]. However, a good majority, the “universalism of life claims” is a new message, unheard before and which is threatened by legal and harmful traditional practices entrenched in most societies which Nsukka Northern Igbo people belong.

As the whole world shares the hopes of the new development paradigm, it must face its challenges, the most important of which is how to achieve the inter- and intra-generational equity. To emphasis the critical importance of these concepts to sustainability, the Human Development Report (1995:10) indicated that: Each individual is entitled to a just opportunity to make the best use of his or her potential capabilities. So is each generation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Adekanye, A.T. (1985), Women and Rural Poverty: Some Considerations for Nigeria. Paper presented during the
Conference on Nigerian Women and National Development, Institute of African Studies, Ibadan.
Adekanya, T. (1988), Women in Agriculture, Special number 3, Institute of African Studies, Ibadan.
Adin, T (1998) the concept of ” Sitting on a Man’’; Igbo Women and politial strategies Nigeria. Dissertation Abstract International, U.S.A
Afonja, S. (1985), Intrahousehold Distribution and Utilisation of Resources in an Agricultural Setting in Nigeria. Unpublished Project Report, University of Lagos, Lagos.
Afonja, S and Aina O. (1995). Nigerian Women in Social Change. Ile-Ife, Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Afonja, S. (1988). Critical Issues in Women’s Studies in Nigeria, Proceedings of the Workshop on Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Women’s Studies in Nigeria and Canada, Mount Saint Vincent, Halifax Nova Scotia.
Agi, O.E (1998). Into a New World: Young Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Lives. The Alan Guttmacher Institute New York.

CSN Team.

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