Section 12(1)[1] states that; “No treaty between the Federation and any other Country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.” By this constitutional provision, the making of a treaty between Nigeria and another nation is an executive act of the federal government while its incorporation within Nigeria requires legislative assent.  CEDAW falls under section 3(1) (a) of the treaty (making procedure etc) Act which states that, treaties shall be classified into (a).

” law making treaties being agreement constituting rules which govern interstate relationship and co operation in any area of endeavour and which have the effect of altering or modifying existing legislation or which affect the legislative powers of the National Assembly.”
Section 3(2) (a) supra, states that treaties falling under section 3(1) a  of the same Act shall be enacted into law. The Nigerian Government ratified CEDAW in 1985[2], but is yet to incorporate into our laws.
In HIGGS V MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY[3],the court stated that Domestic courts have no jurisdiction to apply a treaty nor could unincorporated treaties change the laws of the land. They had no effect upon citizen’s rights and duties in common or statute law. They might give rise to a legitimate expectation by citizens that the government, in its acts affecting them would observe the terms of the treaty. This position was also asserted by the court in ABACHA V FAWEHINMI[4]. In one of the points argued in the above case, it was held that.
“Unincorporated treaties cannot change any aspect of the Nigeria law, even though Nigeria is a party to those treaties.”
By the combed provisions of section 12 (10) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, section 3(2) (a) (1) of the Treaties (Making Procedure ,etc) Act and the case enunciated above, the CEDAW Act does not have the force of Law in Nigeria even though the country has ratified it. With the foregoing I would like to buttress the position of CEDAW in Nigeria with regards to the political sphere in the nation. The process of incorporation under the Nigerian constitution specifically section 12, requires legislative assent. The bill for the incorporation of CEDAW, into Nigerian law, is currently at the National Assembly. With this extant non-incorporation, there exists a lacuna in the protection of women’s rights,
The incorporation of CEDAW would complement the general anti-discriminatory provisions of the constitution and the repugnancy doctrine by establishing clear and uniform rules on the rights of women and girls. This giant step will aid in the abolishing of discriminatory laws and cultural practices that tend to keep women at an arm’s length with their male counterparts when gender issues come to play.

This recommendation stems from the Report of the Committee on Judiciary and Legal Reforms of the National Political Conference (hereinafter referred to as the committee on legal reforms[5] . its duties among other things include the examination of the legal status of women under the Nigerian law and concluded on the following points.
1.      That section 55(1) (d) of the penal code Act, dealing with the offence of Battery should be repealed.
2.      That section 282 of the penal code and section 357 of the criminal code Act dealing with the offence of rape should be repealed.
3.      Those sections 353 and 360 of the criminal code Act that discriminates against women in prescribing punishment for indecent assault on males and females respectively should be abrogated.
4.      The review of the definition of prostitution in section 1 of the criminal code Act was recommended.
5.      Section 16(129) (c) of the Matrimonial Causes Act[6] bothering on the proof of conviction of the respondent before cruelty of a party to marriage is established was pencilled down for review.
6.      The committee on Legal Reform also called for the repeal of section 26(a) of the 1999 Constitution regarding citizenship by regulation for a foreign woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria.
7.      Section 221 of the Criminal Code Act, which requires collaboration before a conviction for defilement of a girl not less than 16 years of age, could be sustained was recommended for abrogation.
8.      The committee on Legal Reform finally called for the entrenchment of widowhood rights in our constitution.                                                        The presidential committee on the review of the 1999 constitution (PCRC)[7] headed by Clement D Ebiri, made the following recommendations bothering on the rights of women.

·        The PCRC recommended the substitution of the federal character commission with the equal opportunity commission with an expanded mandate to accommodate the interest of all Nigerians including women, youth, the aged, the disabled, ethnic minorities and other special interest group.
·        Those women be allowed to have dual nationality as a result of marriage.
That substitution of the word “sex” as it refers to feminine in the Constitution with the word gender.

After the Equal Rights Amendment failed in the United states, feminists took their cause to the United Nations and influenced the creation of CEDAW, a significant, more powerful women’s right document. It was adopted by the United Nations in 1979 and has since been ratified by 169 member states.[8]                            
CEDAW was signed by president jimmy carter in 1980 but was has never been ratified by the senate as required by the senate under the American constitution. It is interesting to note that during the last 22 years, regardless of which         party controlled either the senate or the white house or both, the U.S. Senate has declined to ratify the treaty because its provision run contrary to the Fundamental American notion of family ,motherhood, religion and sovereignty. They claim that CEDAW is being used as a tool to eliminate the traditional family and its attendant gender roles, specifically targeted is the role of motherhood. The CEDAW committee responsible for implementing the treaty uses the treaty’s vague language to modify acceptable roles and relationships with families and cultures by redefining the family to conform to feminist and homosexual ideologies.                The committee seeks to dictate a new role for women throughout the world and in effect eliminate all cultural, religious and legislative obstacles. It is predicated that it ratified, CEDAW will become a tool in the hands of active judges to bring about social changes.                                                               The committee of CEDAW determines whether or not a country is in compliance with the treaty and then issues recommendations. Compliance with recommendations can be tied to United Nations funding. Promoters of CEDAW, have been careful to present CEDAW as a benign treaty that simply attempts to end discrimination against women.       The language of the convention is considerably closer to that of a political declaration than that of an international treaty. The convention fails to address some of the more fundamental issues such as violence against women. It does not make any references to sexual orientation or lesbian women and apart from the reference of Article 12 to health, no particular recognition of reproductive rights.  In comparison to other treaty-based bodies, CEDAW has remained at a disadvantage when acquiring adequate information on violations of the rights set forth n the convention. There is a need for greater formal and informal participation of NGOs and specialized agencies such as the International Labour Organization. The overall position of CEDAW (again when compared with other treaty-based bodies) represents a relatively weak position. The committee has had to adopt a more mundane and conciliatory stance, reasons for which include a weaker threshold of implementing authority, limited resources in terms of time and finances, and often evident divisions within CEDAW members themselves.                                                                                     CEDAW has been criticized[9] for creating a leeway for states parties to make reservations to the convention based on cultural affinities and religious sentiments. The ready loophole offers countries an easy escape from the very essence of the convention. As such many countries ratify it with a barrage of reservations sometimes quite incompatible with the objectives of the convention. Much against the spirit of article 28(2) of the convention; 
“ A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present convention shall not be permitted” The extensive reservations have become a major cause for concern to the Economic and social council and a number of state parties in recent times. Reservations create difficulties in reviewing the implementation efforts of states. Though with the co operation of some governments, CEDAW has been able to review the situation of women under reserved articles in a few countries. It will suffice to say that massive reservations make the instrument ineffective. However, an alternative opinion contends that it is more honest to make reservations and assume conscientious responsibility for those to which a country commits itself than to ratify it unreservedly without an iota of commitment to the stated objectives of the treaty. In any case, states parties are pressured to withdraw their reservations. Besides such subtle pressure and persuasion, CEDAW has no alternative methods of enforcement. 
Noting that the convention had the greatest number of reservations[10], CEDAW called upon state parties in General Recommendations 20 paragraph 2, to examine the validity and the effect of reservations to the convention in the context of reservations to other human rights treaties and to reconsider such reservations with a view to strengthening the implementation of all human rights instruments.
Again the lack of optional protocol to the convention that enables the hearing of individual complaints of gender-based human rights abuses by the committee has also been criticized. The existence of such a procedure would allow CEDAW to consider individual cases and communicate them to the commission on the status of women whose duty it will be to pass them to the international court of justice at The Hague which then deals directly with the state in question. The CSW is still in the process of considering this procedure. Meanwhile, CEDAW called for an expert meeting to begin the drafting. A draft optional protocol to CEDAW was recently put together by a group made up of some CEDAW members under the auspices of the Women in the Law Project of the Law Group, Washington DC and the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights, University of Limburg. It will provide room for redress and make for better and wider interpretation of the convention as to permit effective monitoring of the implementation of the convention. The CEDAW is expected to deal with this issue in its upcoming session. The task of monitoring the convention requires the effort of not only the committee but also NGOs. While CEDAW document itself does not specifically mention abortion, in its 1999 interpretation of Article 12 of CEDAW, the committee held that
“Legislation criminalizing abortions should be amended, in order to withdraw positive measures imposed on women who undergo abortion”. Contrary to the claims of CEDAW proponents, this treaty originating from the United Nations has done little to stop the gross abuse of women by rogue regime such as Taliban, preventing the stoning of women in Nigeria, or help women in developing countries get much needed food and medicine. Instead, “social engineers” to advance their radical agenda of abortion, androgyny, sexual promiscuity and redefinition of the family.
The united family international is of the opinion that the race for the ratification of CEDAW in the United States is conducted by political opportunists who use CEDAW ratification as their election year issue, not minding that it might jeopardise Americans law and future of the family, the noble role of mothers and the life of the unborn child. Here in Nigeria, the case is quite different the bill to domesticate the treaty is still pending in the legislature, although the criticisms of CEDAW could be seen clearly from the above but the positive aspects outweigh the negative and it is the opinion of the researcher that it should be domesticated into our laws.
On the international scene, the need for integrating women in the development process was placed on the international agenda in 1975,when the United Nations observed the International women’s year. Among the many concrete steps taken in this regard, after the 1975 world conference on women, was the creation of two United Nation bodies namely,
1.      United Nations Development Fund(UNIFEM)
2.      United Nations International Research Institute For The Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
As a result of the energetic advocacy of women at the first world conference on women, the United Nations Development Fund for women was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1976 to provide direct support to development projects for women.           Originally set up as the voluntary fund for the Decade for women, the fund was kept to help improve the living standards of women in developing countries by addressing their concerns through providing direct technical and financial support and by promoting the inclusion of women in the decision making process of main stream development programmes. In 1985, the fund an autonomous body in association with the United Nation Development programme and was renamed UNIFEM. Sometimes, described as a bridge between international organizations, policy makers and disadvantaged women, UNIFEM is an aid to and advocate for women of the developing world.         Currently, UNIFEM works at the country level through its (10) regional offices. Among its priority area are trade and industry, credit and science and technology, agriculture and food security, policy making and national planning.  It also targets critical issues on the global agenda, to ensure that gender is included in international policies such as those related to refugees and displayed persons, violence against women, human rights, global governance and environment.                
UNIFEM has recently established a women human rights programme 20, aimed at strengthening the capacity of women organizations that work on human rights. The United Nations International Research institute for the Advancement of women (INSTRAW) ,established in 1975 by the General Assembly on women , is an autonomous body with the United Nation system , with a mandate to carry out research ,training and information activities worldwide to promote women as key agents for sustainable development. Operating from its headquarters in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the institute performs research projects to identify barriers that impede women’s equality in the process of social, economic and political development. INSTRAW analyses existing research materials by interacting with governmental organizations and other entities.                                                              INSTRAW experience has proved that the greatest problem affecting women is invisibility. With this purpose, INSTRAW develops new ways of understanding, new methodologies and statistics for training programmes and methods linked to issues such as ; Economic empowerment, collection of statistics and indicators on women’s work in the formal and informal sector . Availability of statistics on women in the information industry , trade and services, New and renewable sources of energy, water and sanitation and women and water management and migration of women and methodological issues involved in the measurement and analysis of internal and international migration[11].
In theory, and rhetoric, the comprehensive ratification of CEDAW guarantees equal rights to women of all races, creed and colour. The Beijing platform for Action, formulated at the 1995 fourth international conference on women, had a re-enforcement effect on the CEDAW recommendations. When speaking of the relationship between gender and human rights, this is  a daily realistic phenomenon and not an abstract academic concept. The removal of gender discrimination and the promotion of gender equity remains the central element within the scheme of any genuine societal development efforts. We need to integrate a right –based framework into our focus; we view the pursuit of sustainable human development as a fundamental human rights issue and are committed to consistently relating human rights to the development dialogue. The framework equips women with a way to define and express their experiences of discrimination, marginalization and abuse.  Women need to understand that the task of transforming social values and creating a culture of respect for human rights is a complex and lengthy process. Norms and standard of human rights are a set at international forums but once this is made, the next step is the application of these norms at the national level. Our challenges and their solutions are interwoven along various dimensions, its success lies on the basis promotion of social, economic and cultural responsibilities. Our challenges are entwined with the negative side of globalization, which has the following parameters within it, the elite, political leaders, and corporations. Political leaders and public institution are using trade and investment, religious and cultural practices mechanism, official structure, and technological innovations to promote short-term materials gains over the long-term needs of communities and its people. The positive, step towards implementation are divided into four;
                        The first step borders on the issue of awareness. This comes through education and deliberative communication. Awareness causes people to come to terms with the pragmatic relevance of the struggle for rights. The drive for awareness has to be strategic, deliberative and dynamic. In the quest to create awareness, the need arises for a dynamic form of alliance between NGOs, academics and women organizations. Those working in the NGOs should concentrate on the practical work on achieving its implementation of rights, while the theoretical aspects should be the bone of contention for the academic. At the end, the NGOs and the academia should come together with their research and activism to come out with a blue print in achieving full implementation.                 
The second level is the implementation of rights, both on the methodology to be employed in the application of gender rights. Dynamics of struggle for gender justice and equity must focus on human rights obligations of individuals before it incorporates the civil authorities.                                   
The legal aspect is the third step in the implementation of women’s right. Although in Nigeria, remarkable landmark decision have been given which are favourable to women. The real challenge is that of access to justice and lack of implementation of justice by the relevant state authorities. The argument of culture versus right arses in the legal terrain. The argument that gender justice is incompatible with certain aspects of culture is a major dilemma for all of us and a principal issue in the struggle to step- down the implementation of CEDAW at the nation level. The final step is the formulation of reliable proposals creating alliances and organizing strategic programmes needed for the relevant ground work for successful application of women’s right in our society. If the Government, NGOs and individual can tailor their goals towards the elucidated steps above, the assertion; “Women’s Right are Human Right” may one day come to fruition. Under the Nigerian Ground norm, women are entitled to all fundamental rights guarantee therein and can challenge in court any attempt by any person to interfere with the exercise of any of these rights. The federal Ministry of Women and Youth Development established at both Federal and State level, is charge with the responsibility of pursuing policies and programmes aimed at according women their full rights to participate, in social , political and economic matters of the nation. Other bodes other than the ministry that were established to see to the realization of the advancement of women include;
·         National Action Committee on Women in Politics (NACWIP), charged with the responsibility of getting women into the active political participation through advocacy, mobilization and fund raising activities.
·        Legal Aid Council, which provide free legal counsel to women.
·        National technical Team of Experts (NTTE) comprising gender desk officers from sect oral ministries and agencies which was set up to monitor the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and ensure gender main- streaming in all sectors.
·        National Consultative and Committee (NCCC) made up of gender experts and NGOs, which has been set up at the national level to monitor CEDAW implementation.
·        National Human Right Commission (NHRC) which has a special Rapporteur on women and child rights attesting to the promotion and protection of women’s rights.         There have also been coalitions of Non-governmental Organizations(NGOs) and Community Based Organizations(CBOs) in the following ;
·        Setting up of family law centers in some centers in some states to assis aggrieved women in the pursuit of their rights in law courts.
·        Educating, sensitizing and promoting women development issues.
·        Implementation of programmes for the protection of women rights.
·        Combating trafficking in women and children. All the activities of the organizations enumerated above have aided in bridging the gap on discriminatory tendencies which exist in our society today.     

 The plural legal system in the country , which enables and encourages the application of statutory law side by side with customary law potentially undermine women’s fundamental rights as well as the implementation of the convention in Nigeria. Having ratified the convention, it is expected that appropriate steps should be taken to enforce the provisions of the convention and this can only be done with the domestication the provisions of CEDAW into our laws. Without the above in place, the provisions of the convention cannot be successfully enforced. In international law however Nigeria having acceded to the treaty is bound by the provisions of the convention and although aggrieved women cannot successfully seek redress in the courts in Nigeria, they can make a substantial case at the international court of justice on the grounds that Nigeria has failed to comply to the provisions of the convention. Furthermore, according to the committee to the convention, as with the Human Rights Committee Individual Complaints Procedure, a communication must overcome two stages. Firstly, the consideration of the admissibility of the communication and secondly, of the merits. However the committee may decide on the admissibility and the merits of a communication together. The committee may also request interim measures to prevent irreparable harm to the author of the communication[12]. In order to file a communication, the applicant initially needs to contact the secretariat. The secretariat may then request that the authors complete a questionnaire concerning the case. The committee may also issue a questionnaire in order to obtain more information from the author of the complaint.[13] Communications are brought to the attention of the committee at its next regular session.[14]The committee may establish a Working group or designate a Rapporteur to assist it in its consideration of communication at any stage of the proceedings.[15] After having been received by the committee the communications are brought to the attention of the state part with a request for a response within 6months regarding a complaints admissibility and merits.[16] If the state wishes the communication to be rejected as inadmissible, any arguments should be submitted within two months.[17] The committee may also request further information from both the state party or the author , subject to fixed limits[18].         A communication is held inadmissible where;
1.      The same matter has already been examined by the committee or has been or is being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement.
2.      It is incompatible with the provisions of the convention;
3.      It is manifestly ill founded or not sufficiently substantiated;
4.      It is an abuse of the right to submit a communication;
5.      The facts that are the subject of the communication occurred prior to the entry into force of the present protocol for the state party concerned unless those facts continued after that date.[19]      In addition  to this, domestic remedies must be exhausted[20]and the  communication cannot be anonymous.[21] The case may be reopened in the case of an admissibility decision if further information is provided indicating reasons for the review of the decision.[22]                                                    When formulating its views the committee makes use of all information available to it, including information from individuals and the state party, as well as organisations such as the UN and related treaty bodies.[23] Views are determined by a simple majority and may include recommendations.[24] Individual opinions may also be appended to the view formed on a specific communication.[25] Since it came into force on 22 December 2000 the committee has only published its findings regarding 10 different communications. Of these, five have been held admissible for either failure to exhaust domestic remedies or ratione tempori.  In B.j  v GERMANY[26] the communication which alleged gender based discrimination under the statutory regulations on the legal consequences of divorce was held inadmissible both ratione temporis and for failure to exhaust domestic remedies. In DUNG THI THUY NGUYEN V THE NETHERLANDS,[27]it was held that there was no violation of the convention when states had separate rules for self –employed women and salaries for women when providing maternity cover.
 In AT V HUNGARY[28] sahide Goeke (deceased) v Austria[29] and Fatma Yildrim (deceased) v Austria[30]the committee dealt with cases of domestic violence, which in two of the cases had resulted in death. The committee held on all three occasions that the state party had a duty to protect the women from domestic violence and although provisions to do this were in place they were not effective. The inquiry procedure  provides for investigation of reliable indications of grave or systematic violations by a state party to the optional protocol of  the rights set out  in the convention. The procedure is not applicable if the state party in question at the time of ratification or accession to the optional protocol declared that it does not recognise the competence of the committee, in this respect. State parties are also required under an obligation to ensure that individuals under its jurisdiction are not subjected to ill treatment as a consequence of communicating with the committee pursuant to the present protocol.                                                                                                                                         The committee may then decide to conduct an inquiry to be conducted by one or more of its members, assisted by relevant experts regarding the convention, in accordance with any modalities determined by the committee, and invite the government to afford its own cooperation including, if appropriate, the provision of facilities for the conducting of one or more visiting missions. After examining the findings of the inquiry, the committee transmits the findings together with its comments and recommendations to the state party and may invite it to indicate, within six months, measures taken in response thereto. The committee may also request that a state party include details of such measures in its report under Article 18 of the convention. For example, CEDAW has conducted an inquiry into Mexico, as regards allegations of the abduction, rape and murder of women in the Ciudad Juarez of Chihuahua, The facts that are the subject of the communication occurred prior to the entry into force of the present protocol for the state party concerned unless those facts continued after that date. Mexico, in particular that since 1993, more than 230 young women and girls, most of them maquiladora workers, had been killed in or near Ciudad Juarez,. In finding allegations of these violations CEDAW recommended inter alia, “incorporate a gender perspective into all investigations policies to prevent and combat violence, and programmes to restore the social fabric, bearing in mind the specific characteristics of gender based violence  against women, its causes and consequences, and  the specific social responses that the situation requires, with a view to eliminating discrimination and establishing gender equality”.[31]                             
In conclusion it should be noted from the above that the methods in which the convention enforces its provisions is by way of recommendations to the state party after an admissible communication had been made to the committee of the convention. Since its 10th session the committee has decided to adopt the practice of issuing General Recommendations on specific provisions of the convention and on the relationship between the convention Articles. This has been described by CEDAW as “cross-cutting” themes. CEDAW has issued a number of comprehensive and detailed general recommendations offering State parties guidance on the application of the convention in specific situations. Thus, for example, its General Recommendation No 19 (1992) considered the issue of violence against women. General Recommendation No. 23 (1997) related to women in political and public life and General Recommendation No.24 (1999) was concerned with women and health. `      

Actually, the Nigerian NGO-CEDAW Coalition also responded to the call for memoranda from the Senate Committee on the proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution Being the voice of women in Nigeria, the coalition is recommending that the Constitution be re-drafted to be more gender-sensitive because that’s the only way it can be called ‘the peoples’ Constitution’.
Language of the Constitution;
First and foremost, it should be re-drafted to have a more gender-neutral language. We recommend that in any provisions relating to men and women, the masculine and feminine pronoun should be used. This will make room for a peoples’ constitution wherein everyone is involved. This will also remove the ambiguity in understanding and interpreting the constitution as it relates to gender. “He”, “him” and “his” should be substituted to read “He or She”, “Him or Her” and “His or Hers” where appropriate.
Chapter 1(Section 1(3)[32] shows that the provision preserves equal status for men and women only in relation to law but does not extend the protection to practice. Although the section mentions “laws” and “provisions” inconsistent with the Constitution it omits “practices”. There still exists in Nigeria practices that are unjust to women. Examples include but not limited to – obnoxious
Widowhood practices, harmful traditional practices, etc.
 We therefore recommend that the amendment should read: “If any other law, practice or provision is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other laws, practice or provision shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void”.
Gross gender imbalance;
Chapter II captures the essence of a state and basic concerns of Nigerian women. Most gender based social-economic rights are encompassed in this chapter. This will make for the full actualisation of women’s rights and make life more meaningful to the average Nigerian woman. We recommend that the provisions of this chapter be made justiciable.
Section 14(3)[33] shows that though the federal character gives room for quota systems in our institutions and agencies, there is a gross gender imbalance tilting in favour of men. We recommend that the section be amended to include gender balance.
Section 14(4)[34] should also be amended to read: “The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the political, religious and gender diversity of the people within its area of authority…”
Section 15(2)[35] should be amended to include the prohibition of discrimination on the basis on gender, disability, age, health, status and marital status.
Section 26(2) (a)[36] violates the preamble of the Constitution which provides equality for all persons and should be amended to grant equal eligibility for citizenship to the foreign spouses of Nigerian women.
We therefore request the amendment to read: “the provisions of this section shall apply to –(a) any man or woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria”.
Also, Section 42 [37]which talks about the right to freedom from discrimination should be amended to widen the categories of persons to be free from discrimination. Also, the context in which discrimination can occur should be extended to include the private as well as the public sphere.
Provision of affirmative action in the Constitution
There is also an urgent need for the provision of affirmative action in the constitution. A section to read- “Notwithstanding the provision of Section 42, Affirmative Action of not less than 40% shall be reserved for women in spheres of societal life for a period not less than 15 years. This shall be subject to review and assessment by the Equal Opportunity Commission as provided by the relevant section of this constitution”.
Women should have the right to affirmative action for the purpose of redressing the imbalances created by history, tradition or custom. This is currently practiced in countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, South-Africa, etc. Nigeria as the giant of Africa ought to set the pace while others follow.
Section 38[38] requires an additional subsection to make reference to freedom for married women to choose their own religion and the freedom from the obligation or force to convert to their husband’s religion.
Section on family life
Also, the section on family life should be added to include the right of men and women aged eighteen and above, to marry, have a family, and also are entitled to equal rights during, marriage and at its dissolution.
This section should also state that the legislature shall make appropriate laws for the protection of the rights or widows and widowers to inherit the property of their deceased spouses and to enjoy parental rights over their children. It should also state that marriage shall be entered into with the consent of the man and the woman intending to marry. Importantly, it should read that it is the right of parents to bring-up their children irrespective of marital status.
Section on women’s rights and equality of sexes
There is need for a section on women’s rights and equality of sexes which would include that special care must be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after child-birth.
It should also state that working mothers be accorded paid leave. It should include the provision of Exploring tourist Travel & Tourism Law & Human Rights. Facilities in work and public places for the care of children below school-going age to enable women, who have the traditional care of children, to realise their full potentials.
Among other things which are already stated in our memorandum sent to the senate committee, this section should state that a spouse shall not be deprived of a reasonable provision out of the estate of a spouse whether or not the spouse died having made a will.
The National Assembly shall, as soon as practicable after the coming into force of this Constitution, enact legislation regulating the property rights of spouses.
With a view to achieving full realisation of the rights referred to in Subsection (2) of this section on women’s rights and equality of sexes, it should be stated that spouses shall have equal access to property jointly acquired during marriage, and assets which are jointly acquired during marriage shall be distributed equitably between the spouses upon dissolution of the marriage.
Items to be removed from the Constitution
A number of items need to be removed from the constitution, and these include Section 29(4)(b)[39]  which grants an underage girl who has been married the ability to revoke her citizen even though she has not attained the legal age of maturity which is 18 years.
Section 28[40] of the constitution should be expunged from the constitution to allow Nigerians who wish to acquire dual citizenship to do so. Among other things which we actually included in our memorandum, the Federal Character Commission contained in S153(1)(C)[41] should be substituted with an Equal Opportunity Commission with an expanded mandate  to accommodate the interest of all Nigerians including women, youths, the aged, the disabled, ethnic minorities and other special interest groups. It should be entrenched as an independent commission in the Constitution with certain functions which are also contained in the Nigerian NGO-CEDAW Coalition’s memorandum sent to the senate committee.
Lastly, the subsection endorsing the Land Use Act in Section 315[42] should be removed unless the act is amended. This is because the Act is injurious to women’s rights and equal status.                                                            

[1] 1999 constitution
[2] United Nation system in Nigeria, Nigeria common country assessment, March 2001.
[3] Times, December, 1999.
[4] (2006) 6 N.W.L.R  p.228.
[5] National Political Conference, May 2005.
[6] Cap  220 LFN, 1990
[7]PCRC was established to review the 1999 constitution because of widespread criticisms. It had the mandate to collate the views of Nigerians and hereafter submit a report with recommendations for further actions. This assignment was completed on February, 2001.
[8] Article by united family International.( visted28/06/2013.
[9]  Lloyd,A. ‘’the crises of the African Woman,’’ Praxis; A Journal of Development Studies of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Vol.9, spring 1992.
[10] Felix D.Gaer,(eds),Advancing Womens Human Rights towards more effective UN enforcement. The international league for Human right 51,1983).
[11] Article by Angela King (1999, January 31)  - http/www/ watch/daw.(visited august 5th 2013)
[12] Article 5 Optional protocol, Rule 63 of the Rules of procedure of CEDAW. See also ATV HUNGARY , CEDAW  Communication No. 2/2003, UN DOC. CEDAAW/C/32/D/2/2003 (2005).
[13] Rule 58(3) of the rules of Procedure of CEDAW
[14]Rule 59 (1) of the Rules of Procedure of CEDAW
[15] Rule 62(1) of the Rules of Procedure of CEDAW
[16] Rule 69(3) of the Rules of Procedure of CEDAW
[17] Rule 69 (5) of the Rules of Procedure of CEDAW
[18] Rule 69 (8) of the Rules of Procedure of CEDAW
[19] Article 4(2) of the Optional Protocol
[20] Article 4 (1) of the Optional Protocol
[21] Article 3 of the Optional Protocol
[22] Rule 70(2) of the Rules of Procedure of CEDAW
[23] Ibid Rule 72(1) and (2)
[24] Ibid Rule 72(5)
[25] Ibid Rule 72(6)
[26] Communication NO. 1/2003  (2004).
[27] Communication No.3/2004.
[28] Communication No.2/2003
[29] Communication No.5/2005
[30] Communication No. 6/2005.
[31] CEDAW  optional protocol Article 8 Examination Concerning Gender Discrimination  CEDAW A/59/38 part 2 (2004) para 268.
[32] Section 1(3), 1999 Constitution.
[33]  Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[34] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[35] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[36] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[37] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[38] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[39] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[40] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[41] Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
[42] Land Use Act Cap L5 L.F.N.2004.

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