Women's sexual and health rights in normal unions in Ibadan Nigeria

Yetunde A. Aluko, Nigerian Institute of Social & Economic Research (NISER)

Unequal power relations between men and women in marriage often limit women’s control over sexual activity, and their ability to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. This study through interviews with 114 women in a randomly selected community sample in Ibadan metropolis, examines how women have been able to exercise their sexual and health rights in conjugal unions. Findings reveal that between 57 percent of married women have been able to exercise their rights, while 43 percent perceive sexual rights as foreign import, designed to undermine culture, tradition and dignity. Also in terms of expressing their feelings to their spouses, it was revealed that women with higher level of education were over–represented, while those with lower level of education were less likely to express themselves. Therefore, failure to define discrimination of women as an issue of concern will further worsen the status of women.

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Presented in Poster Session 3