A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof. Clement Dakas says any culture that excludes women and girls in sharing family inheritance is “punitive and uncivilized”.
The perpetrators of the culture and custom should therefore be punished by civil authorities, Dakas said on Saturday in a convocation lecture at the University of Jos, Nigeria.
“A custom of this nature in the 21st century societal setting will only tend to depict the absence of the realities of human civilization.
“It is punitive, uncivilized and only intended to protect the selfish perpetration of male dominance which is aimed at suppressing the right of the womenfolk in the given society,” he said.
Furthermore, denying women the right to family property is a direct affront on the creator, noted the former Attorney General, University of Jos Law Faculty Dean and Director Research at the Nigerian Institute of Law, Abuja.
He said, “This practice, I dare say, is a direct challenge to God the Creator who bestows male children only; female children only [as in this matter], or an amalgam of both males and females, to whom He likes. He also has the sole power to make one a (sic) barren…”
Dakas challenged Nigerian authorities to fight all “anachronistic, discriminatory and unprogressive practices against women.
According to him, “Discrimination against women is not inherent in biological differences between the sexes but predicated primarily on social construction of roles and stereotypes that are, in turn, rooted in and perpetuate the economic disempowerment of women.
“Accordingly, consistent with its obligations under the Nigerian Constitution, CEDAW and related instruments, Nigeria must, in practical terms, make concerted efforts to end all forms of discrimination against women.
“Consistent with section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution, Nigeria needs to domesticate all regional and international instruments on the rights of women to which it is a party, such as CEDAW, in order to bolster the municipal legal framework for the promotion and protection of the rights of women.”