Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture & Education 2014
ISBN 978-967-13140-0-5

The Liberation of Igbo Woman of Nigeria From Some Customary Laws And Practices

Okafor, Stella Ogonna

Federal College of Education Eha-Amufu, Nigeria


The international bill of right aims to liberate every human being from oppression, suppression intimidation and unnecessary victimization. There are also some regional and municipal laws which guarantee the rights of every citizen particularly women and children. There is no doubt that some Igbo customary laws and practices tend to infringe on the fundamental rights and freedom of the Igbo woman thereby tending to degrade, marginalize and disinherit her. An Igbo widow, an unmarried Igbo woman, and illegitimate Igbo daughter are very often discriminated against. They are subjected to indignity and violence in the name of widowhood practice. The tradition disinherit them from the acquisition and ownership of properties in both their father’s and husband’s homes. The thrust of this paper therefore is to critically examine the right to the dignity of the Igbo woman as a human being and the right to freedom from discrimination. The method of data collection was by a field work through oral interview of some male and female elders who are custodians of Igbo customary laws, personal observations, collections and analysis of materials from several libraries. It was discovered that, there are still die-hard customs that survive the flux of time and development and many Igbo still cling to them not minding what Christianity has done to face out most of the obnoxious customs. The Igbo customary widowhood practice like other Igbo custom are unwritten and nobody knows who formed them and when they commenced but one thing is that woman are its victims and its victimizers or enforcers. The paper concluded with some suggestive solutions which if adopted by the government, the churches and the masses should help to lessen the burden of the Igbo woman.


Igbo woman, Customary Laws, discrimination.

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