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Enforcement of laws protecting women’s rights ineffectual, says Atsenuwa


Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa. Photo/The Mooting Society

Despite recent gains in legislations protecting the rights of women in the country, enforcement and domestication of such reforms remains a huge setback.

This was the submission of Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa at the public lecture and inauguration of Jadesola Akande scholarship support award organised by Women, Law and Development Centre Nigeria (WLDCN) held at the institution recently.

The lecture was held to celebrate the 10th year memorial and posthumous birthday of Prof. Jadesola Olayinka Akande, the first female Law professor in Nigeria and former Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Women Law and Development: Ten years after Jadesola Akande – Reflections and Projections,’ the professor said early in the birth of the nation, a constitutional legal equality existed for women but did not translate into substantive equality for them.

According to her, while the law does not say anybody is inferior, the reality is that the practice did not match and still do not match till now.

Atsenuwa stated that constitutional equality was undermined by numerous conflicting legal norms noting that for instance, there existed some constitutional affirmations of equality while in some other legislations, the country has laws and provisions that were indicative that the law did not regard women as equal.

Speaking at the event, Executive Director, WLDCN, Dr. Keziah Awosika said the body had marked the day in the past ten years with interactive forum on issues of great interest in Akande’s lifetime such as constitutionalism, women and political participation and decision making, legal reforms, access to justice for the grassroots particularly women, among others.

She said: “ We are in another election year, many of the issues, our late professor would have raised her views and proffered solutions are still very much with us today.”

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