Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting Women in Nigeria

The Challenges and Public Health Related Perspectives


  • OUJ Umeora


Background: Most African societies are patrilineal and as such drive norms that tend to maintain male dominance, hence engendering much gender inequality and in some instances gender-based violence. it is therefore commonplace that most of the traditions and culture skew towards the male offering them a control mechanism over the female gender. It is pertinent to note that these practices which discriminate against women, debase their humanity, engender inequality , trample on their human rights are largely condoned by many members of the community in the name of ancestral heritage, culture, tradition or religious beliefs.

Methodology: A literature review of 24 relevant published articles and policy documents on harmful traditional practices in Nigeria from 1979 to 2016 using both manual and electronic search of relevant databases

Results: Some of the prevalent harmful traditional practices in Nigeria among others include female genital cutting, son preference, gishiri cut, home delivery, widowhood discrimination and early forced marriages.

Conclusion: Traditions and customs are said to have been handed down from generations to particular societies for identity and regulation. Some of these serve the men folk and are discriminatory against women, subjugating them to the caprices of men. More importantly, some of the cultures pose Public health challenges to women especially as regard reproductive health. These can lead to severe maternal outcomes including long term morbidity and mortality.


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Author Biography

OUJ Umeora

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ebonyi State University
Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. 


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Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting Women

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How to Cite

Umeora O. Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting Women in Nigeria: The Challenges and Public Health Related Perspectives. JRSH [Internet]. 2017Jun.1 [cited 2021Mar.8];1(1):42-6. Available from: https://www.jrsh.org.ng/index.php/home/article/view/11