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Legalization of marital rape in Nigeria: a gross violation of women's health and reproductive rights

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The paper focuses on the volatile issue of legalization of marital rape in Nigeria. It examines; the meaning and historical development of health and reproductive rights; the legality of marital rape; the global trend towards criminalization of marital rape; and the numerous national and international provisions targeting the promotion and protection of women's health and reproductive rights. The paper also highlights a galaxy of institutionalized barriers that have grossly impeded the full realization and protection of women's health and reproductive rights in Nigeria. It finds that legalized marital rape in Nigeria is a gross violation of the health and reproductive rights of women in Nigeria and recommends inter-alia, an urgent review of section 6 and section 282 of the Nigerian Criminal and Penal Codes respectively to accord with current global trend towards criminalization of marital rape.

Keywords: Criminalization of marital rape; Health rights; Marital rape; Nigerian Criminal Code; Nigerian Penal Code; Rape; Reproductive rights

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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