Rights for Women
Economic Rights

How to Cite

M. L. GARBA. (2018). WOMEN’S NAME RIGHT IN NIGERIA. Unimaid Journal of Public Law, 5(2), 315 - 337. Retrieved from http://journals.unimaid.edu.ng/index.php/unimaid-journal-of-public-law/article/view/101


Equality right for women remains an agitation yet to be completely achieved. The struggle has over the years recorded progressive results with recognition of economic rights, electoral rights, and health rights among others. However, personality right of women remains only an illusion and ideological. Woman’s personality after marriage remains attached to, subdued by or consumed by that of her husband. Women are required to drop their father’s name and adopt their husband’s name as surname. It is normal! It is cultural! Those are the arguments. What is normalcy in a woman losing her identity to marriage? Is there anything in culture that requires this? What is the justification in the face of human rights and statutory protections of woman? In Nigeria, the practice is being institutionalised. An example is the practice of National Youth Service Corps requiring the change of surnames of married female corps members and the arbitrary change their surnames to their husbands’ names without free choice, before they can enjoy any benefit attached to the status of a married woman. Using empirical (qualitative) and doctrinal methods, the work attempts to answer the feminine question of whether a woman should lose her identity because of marriage. It found that the institutionalised practice and societal expectation are not only abnormal and culturally baseless, but they are also unconstitutional and violate our laws. The work concludes based on relevant International and domestic instruments that the personality of a woman as a human rights issue is not negotiable.



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