Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women examines the reports of Nigeria

GENEVA (14 July 2017) - The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today considered the combined seventh and eight periodic reports of Nigeria on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Introducing the report, Aisha Jummai Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, said that the Government of Nigeria took very seriously the issues raised in the Committee’s concluding remarks on the previous periodic reports, as well as the issues raised with respect to the current combined reports. In 2008 Nigeria had adopted the Strategic Implementation Framework and Plan of Action for operationalizing the National Gender Policy. The results achieved included several legislative and policy instruments adopted both at the federal and state levels to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, stereotypes and negative cultural practices affecting women and children. The Violence against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 prohibited female genital mutilation, harmful widowhood practices, harmful traditional practices and all forms of violence against persons in both private and public life.

In the ensuing discussion, Experts welcomed Nigeria’s efforts and numerous initiatives to provide quality education for girls. However, they expressed concern about Nigeria’s complex and lengthy legislative process, which was particularly detrimental to women, and about the fact that the Convention had still not been domesticated at the federal level and at the level of the 36 states. They also expressed concern that the simultaneous application of statutory, customary and religious laws could create differentiated degrees of protection to women’s rights. Other issues highlighted by Experts were the grey areas of the Gender Equality and Opportunities Bill, sexism in the judiciary, the negative impact of Boko Haram on women’s and girls’ rights, blanket screening by the military and protracted detention of women, the high proliferation of small arms and weapons, the use of schools for military purposes, endemic violence against women, sexual exploitation of internally displaced women, criminalization of prostitution, inadequate representation of women in political and public life, discrimination of women in employment on the basis of pregnancy and marital status, gender pay gap, resistance to comprehensive sexuality education, the very high maternal mortality rate and HIV rate, economic empowerment of rural women, and criminalization of same-sex marriages and homosexuality.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Jummai Alhassan said that the delegation would send to the Committee details and outcomes of various gender equality initiatives that Nigeria had launched. She assured the Committee that the Government of Nigeria would continue to strive to end discrimination against women, and to learn about good practices elsewhere.

Dalia Leinarte, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation for the constructive dialogue. She commended the State party’s efforts and encouraged it to address the Committee’s recommendations in order to ensure the comprehensive implementation of the Convention.

The delegation of Nigeria consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, the National Assembly, and the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will next meet in public on Friday, 21 July, at 4 p.m. to adopt the provisional agenda for its sixty-eight session, and the report of the Committee on its sixty-seventh session, and to close the session.

Reports

The combined seventh and eight periodic reports of Nigeria can be read at CEDAW/C/NGA/7-8.

Presentation of the Reports

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, said that the Government of Nigeria took very seriously the issues raised in the Committee’s concluding remarks on the previous periodic reports, as well as the issues raised with respect to the current combined reports. In 2008 Nigeria had adopted the Strategic Implementation Framework and Plan of Action for operationalizing the National Gender Policy. The results achieved included several legislative and policy instruments adopted both at the federal and state levels to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, stereotypes and negative cultural practices affecting women and children. The Violence against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 prohibited female genital mutilation, harmful widowhood practices, harmful traditional practices and all forms of violence against persons in both private and public life.

The number of female political appointees had risen from 10 per cent in 2007-2011 to 33 per cent in 2013-2015, with the appointment of 13 female ministers out of 42, and four female special advisers out of 18. Four women had been appointed as justices of the Supreme Court, and 15 as judges of the Court of Appeal. Nigeria had also had its first female Chief of Justice, President of the Court of Appeal, five State female chief judges, the head of the civil service, and the acting secretary of the federal Government. The results achieved on maternal health and reproductive and sexual health were modest. But the prevalence of HIV among pregnant women aged 15 to 24 had steadily declined from 5.4 per cent in 2000 to 4.1 per cent in 2010. The number of health facilities that offered free anti-retroviral drugs had increased from 143 in 2011 to 1,057 by the end of 2014. Reducing maternal mortality was among the Millennium Development Goals’ targets that had seen appreciable progress. Between 2008 and 2015 it had declined from 545 per 100,000 live births to 243. Significant progress had also been made in antenatal coverage and the number of births performed by skilled health personnel in rural areas had reached 58.6 per cent in 2014.

Speaking of women displaced due to the Boko Haram insurgency, Ms. Jummai Alhassan said that the federal Government had rescued 103 Chibok school girls in August 2016. The Government would provide them with education and jobs. During 2016 the Government had rebuilt thousands of destroyed homes and it was rehabilitating and resettling about two million internally displaced persons. It was also pursuing a youth de-radicalization programme in order to protect youth from extremism and intolerance, and a policy of job creation through skills acquisition and establishment of agriculture-based factories. According to the estimates of the United Nations Development Programme, one billion dollars were needed to rehabilitate about 6.9 million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east of the country.

Questions by Experts

An Expert regretted that the delegation of Nigeria had sent its replies to the list of issues late in June 2017 and that many answers were imprecise. Experts expressed concern about Nigeria’s complex and lengthy legislative process, which was particularly detrimental to women. Discriminatory norms in the Constitution and various laws had remained in place for decades. The Convention had still not been domesticated at the federal level and at the level of 36 states. Was the State party willing to propose that all issues relating to human rights, including children and women’s rights, and issues of gender-based violence, belong to the Executive Legislative List to ensure a uniform framework of protection across the country? Was the Government willing to establish a clear calendar to proceed to the needed constitutional review with that addition? Would the discriminatory provisions contained in the Constitution be revised or lifted?

Was the State party ready to engage strongly for the adoption of the Gender Equality and Opportunities Bill that would domesticate most of the Convention? Experts voiced concern over the negative consequences of Nigeria’s complex plural legal system, with statutory, customary and religious laws applying mainly to personal status issues and giving varying degrees of protection to women’s rights. Would those three systems be harmonized into a unified personal status law?

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, said that the Gender Equality and Opportunities Bill had undergone a second reading by the National Assembly. Difficulties had occurred due to the fact that some of the proposed provisions conflicted with the Constitution. The National Assembly members now had to sort out the grey area. There was no more sexism in the judiciary. Women now occupied some of the highest judiciary offices in the country. A budget line for legal aid had always been in existence in Nigeria.

The delegation clarified that the ongoing constitutional review was likely to end by the end of 2017. The review of all discriminatory legal provisions against women and children had recently been finalized and the relevant report would be complimentary to the constitutional review. The federal Government could not take decisions and impose them on state governments, which was why the review had been slow. Human rights had already been devoted a whole chapter in the Constitution. Thus, adding separate issues to the Executive Legislative List would be counterproductive and would create a constitutional crisis. The right to life of every individual, both Nigerian nationals and foreigners, was guaranteed by the Constitution. Redefining the section of the Constitution that did not allow a Nigerian woman to transmit her nationality to her foreign spouse on the same basis as a Nigerian man had long been advocated by civil society.

As for the conflict between statutory, customary and Sharia law in the State party, very extensive advocacy had to be launched among religious leaders.

Follow-up Questions from Experts

What were the grey areas in the Gender Equality and Opportunities Bill? As for sexism in the judiciary, Experts clarified that they had been referring to sexism expressed by judges in handling cases.

As for the Exclusive Legislative List depriving a large part of the population from the benefit of human rights protection, there had to be a point where decisions were taken to move on. A more dynamic approach was needed for the implementation of women’s rights.

The Rabat Declaration provided some guidelines on faith and human rights. The delegation was invited to look into some relevant practices.

The weakening of positive law in 12 out of 36 states in Nigeria was a worrying trend. Traditions and faiths should be respected, but the trend in some states was questioning the very foundation of women’s rights. There was a need to strengthen positive law?

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation noted that it would gladly look into the Rabat Declaration practices. As for the grey areas of the Gender Equality and Opportunities Bill, some of them included the provisions on inheritance which were in conflict with relevant provisions under the Islamic law in the north and with customary laws in southeast Nigeria. A very gender sensitive judiciary existed in Nigeria, which was reflected in judgments.

Second Round of Questions from Experts

Experts reminded that the Boko Haram insurgency had negatively impacted women’s and girls’ rights by forceful displacement; disruption of means of livelihood and educational pursuit; and separation from families, exposing them to sexual violence, exploitation and abuse. Had government forces been using schools for military purposes? What were the State party’s concrete plans to protect schools from military use? Given the limited access to sexual and reproductive healthcare in camps for internally displaced persons, what steps was the Government taking to ensure equal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare services for women and girls affected by the conflict?

Some women, including pregnant women, had been detained for many months without being convicted or even charged with a crime. What were the plans of the State party to stop the arbitrary and indefinite detention of women and to ensure their protection and security during detention? The proliferation of small arms and weapons was very high in Nigeria, with 70 per cent of all such weapons in West Africa being located in Nigeria. What were the plans to monitor and stop their proliferation?

Experts welcomed Nigeria’s initiative to launch a second National Action Plan 2017-2020 under the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 in May 2017. How many state action plans had been established so far and what was the plan and timeline to ensure its implementation in all states?

How was the Government dealing with the state of emergency? Terrorism, environmental crises and migratory flows required a well-developed system to protect women’s rights. It was extremely important to keep in mind that the traditional chief system did not necessarily support women. There should be a mechanism to allow the streamlining of gender actions at the federal and state levels. How would women be placed at the heart of all institutional developments? What specific resources had been allocated to the implementation of women’s rights?

It was commendable that Nigeria was employing temporary and special measures to accelerate de facto equality between women and men, based on specific objectives contained in the National Gender Policy Strategic Implementation Framework and Plan of 2008. What was the timeline and calendar for the adoption of policies to address disadvantages experienced by specific groups of women subject to multiple forms of discrimination, namely women with disabilities and conflict-affected women and girls?

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, clarified that nothing could be imposed on states from the federal level. Thus, it was necessary to conduct relevant discussions at the state level. The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development was developing budget lines and advocating for the inclusion of women in peace and security initiatives. Some of the empowerment initiatives for women in rural areas included production and preparation of food for local schools, micro-loans and social benefits through the National Women’s Empowerment Fund.

The successful implementation of the National Action Plan 2017-2022 would depend on public acceptance and ownership. There was a commitment on the ground to push forward the implementation of women’s rights, as reflected in a number of initiatives. The delegation said that it was true that blanket screening by the military was a problematic issue. To address that issue, the Government in collaboration with the European Union had established in 2016 a human rights desk within the military. The mainstreaming of gender into counter-terrorism measures had been introduced. As for small arms and weapons, a national committee under the relevant protocol of the Economic Community of West African States was monitoring the use of such weapons.

On the use of schools for military purposes, during the insurgency the military was forced to protect schools and to prevent Boko Haram from occupying them. Blanket screening methods used by the army were justified in order to investigate and determine who belonged to Boko Haram.

Follow-up Questions from Experts

The competition for natural resources between farming and herding communities had often led to conflict and deaths. How did the State party plan to address that problem?

How could a more consolidated approach be adopted in the funding and implementation of gender policies, given the urgency of women’s situation in the country? Experts underlined that strengthening women’s rights was a way to combat terrorism. What were successful female empowerment initiatives and why were they successful?

Replies of the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, explained that an implementation committee at the federal level was responsible for the evaluation and monitoring of the implementation of women’s empowerment programmes. State ministries for women’s affairs did the same at the state level.

The conflict between farmers and herders usually arose in border regions. The Government had created grazing zones to take care of herders’ needs, and it was cooperating with neighbouring countries to deal with the issue. Combined military and police forces had been sent into crisis zones to maintain peace.

Many committees had been established in the country to look into the problem of discrimination against women and gender-based violence. Women and girls were encouraged to report violations of their rights. The Council of Women Affairs was held every year, gathering all stakeholders.

Third Round of Questions from Experts

Numerous studies demonstrated that violence against women was endemic in Nigeria, with nearly three in 10 women experiencing physical violence since the age of 15, and with one quarter suffering from spousal violence. Experts commended the State party for having consolidated the pending laws on gender-based violence into the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act. The Committee was concerned about the persistent continuation of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes concerning women’s roles and responsibilities. It was still unclear whether the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act applied outside the federal capital territory and whether it had actually helped in combatting and addressing such discriminatory attitudes and stereotypes. Was there data available to show whether the Act had helped reduce the incidence of harmful practices and stereotypes? What measures were taken or planned to assess the impact of relevant awareness raising campaigns?

On trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation of internally displaced persons, Experts reminded that Nigeria had been downgraded in its performance to combat human trafficking. What was the composition and the budget of the National Anti-Trafficking Agency? Why had there been a decrease in its budget and services for victims? Why were there so many laws on trafficking in persons? The problem of sexual exploitation of women and girls was a serious one. Prostitution was not a federal offence. Internally displaced persons were potential victims of trafficking and there were allegations of abuse of internally displaced women by State officials.

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, noted that the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act could not be implemented at the federal level. It had to be enacted at the state level. Nevertheless, the Federal Government had done much to advocate the enactment of laws at the state level. On the allegations of abuse of internally displaced women by State officials, many pregnant women in camps claimed that they had been drugged by some officers.

Budgetary resources had been adopted for the expansion of shelters for victims of trafficking. But in general, there was a lack of funds for anti-trafficking actions due to the economic recession. Prostitution was not condoned in Nigeria.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

How did the intense awareness raising campaigns conducted by the federal Government vis-à-vis state level bring about a change in patriarchal mind sets?

Prostitution was not a federal offence, but the sexual exploitation of others was a criminal offence. Experts noted that it was not clear whether prostitution was criminalized throughout the territory of Nigeria.

Experts reminded that one of the main reasons for entry into prostitution in Nigeria was poverty and lack of education. There were various examples of harassment and abuse of female sex workers by law enforcement officers. What measures was the State party taking to combat violent abuse and harassment of sex workers?

Significant migration flows had brought a new dimension to the problem of human trafficking and the Experts called for the strengthening of north-south cooperation to deal with the phenomenon.

Replies of the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, stressed that prostitution and human trafficking were criminalized under federal law. Law enforcement officers had no right to violate the rights of sex workers. However, the Federal Government would not support their profession.

The 2015 Violence against Persons Prohibition Act was applicable only in the federal capital territory, and there was still no data available on its implementation. Prostitution was criminalized in the context of human trafficking. Within the reporting period, Nigeria had had a positive assessment for it anti-trafficking performance.

Fourth Round of Questions from Experts

What measures were in place to achieve the goal of the 35 per cent quota of women’s representation in public life? How many women had applied to the Women’s Trust Fund, established in 2010 to support women political aspirants during the 2011 elections? A key concern was the monitoring, assessment and transparency of progress made with regard to the de facto special measures to eliminate discrimination in political and public life. What percentage of the diplomatic service was female? What were the enabling measures for the education, training and further advancement of women in the diplomatic service and other regional and international bodies?

Had the Government envisaged a timeframe for the repeal of the Constitutional provision that prevented Nigerian women from transmitting their nationality to foreign spouses on the same basis as Nigerian men? What strategies were in place to give full recognition to women’s equality in marriage?

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, said that the amendments to allow the transfer of Nigerian nationality by women had been rejected several times by the National Assembly. Twelve months of continuous residence in the same state allowed women to run for elected posts in that same state. A lot of progress had been made in the representation of women in public and political life, as well as in the private sector.

Female parliamentarians in the National Assembly aimed to encourage their male colleagues in the Assembly to pass women friendly laws, as well as to advocate for the enactment of those laws at the state level. So many factors, such as customary laws, religion and financial resources, prevented women from contesting in elections. Accordingly, a quota for female parliamentarians needed to be introduced.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

Special measures were needed to improve the parliamentary representation of women in Nigeria, which was an important country in Africa.

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, stressed the importance of the adoption of gender-related legislation in order to strengthen the participation of women in politics. The domestication of the Convention was part of the ongoing constitutional review and it was the Government’s top priority.

Fifth Round of Questions by Experts

No figures were provided by the State party on various programmes on girls’ education. Experts commended the increase in budgetary allocations for those programmes. How were state-level contributions ensured? How many Chibok school girls remained abducted? How many had benefited from health and psychological services? What alternative educational measures were available? What had been done to protect school premises in the context of the Boko Haram insurgency and to legislate a safe and secure environment for teachers and students? Was psychological support training part of schooling? Was the issue of military use of schools being investigated?

Privatization of education had affected the access to education by girls. Why was there resistance to comprehensive sexuality education?

With respect to employment, what was the plan to re-active the Women’s Development Centre across the country and especially in rural areas? Special attention was needed to ensure that the minimum wage was free from the gender pay gap. Payment and hiring provisions of the police force with respect to pregnancy and marital status of women were discriminatory and should be brought in line with the Convention. What specific measures had been taken to combat harassment of women at the workplace? There was also a need to bridge the information and communication technology divide among women.

Experts raised concern over the persistence of the very high maternal mortality rate and high rates of malnutrition. There were significant disparities between the north and south of the country in that regard. What additional measures had been taken to strengthen women’s access to reproductive health services? Specific attention needed to be paid to rural women. The abortion law remained very restrictive, allowing abortion only to save the life of the woman. Was there a plan to legalize abortion in the case of rape, incest and serious foetal damage?

According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria had the highest global HIV rate and women were more affected than men. The lead pollution in the north of the country in 2011 had caused numerous deaths and still births.

Replies of the Delegation

The delegation said it had comprehensive data on education as of December 2015, which it would provide to the Committee. Progress in budgetary allocations to education had been made, even though they did not meet the UNESCO threshold. Since 2010 there had been a national curriculum on sexual education at the junior and secondary school level. Nevertheless, it was true that some resistance to sexual education existed. The Government was working to establish schools for married women and girls.

An amendment to the Police Act would overwrite police regulations on the hiring of women on the basis of pregnancy and marital status. The Police Training Manual contained chapters on gender and human rights. A gender pay gap in the public service did not exist.

The law on abortion remained restrictive and it was one of the legislative grey areas. Once the legislative review of that law was completed, it would be clearer whether the law on abortion could become broader. Progress in the provision of contraceptives had been modest.

The Government was carrying out efforts to ensure that skills development centres for women were re-opened.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

The lack of data did not allow the Committee Experts to assess the impact of Nigeria’s educational programmes for girls. Human rights in schools should be available as early as possible. Experts reminded that 60 per cent of children were out of school in the north of the country.

What measures were being taken by the Labour Inspectorate to ensure that women in the workforce were not penalized for pregnancy?

Experts expressed puzzlement that the delegation denied the existence of a gender pay gap in Nigeria, given that the problem of unequal pay for the work of equal value was present in many countries.

Replies of the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, assured the Committee that there was only one salary structure applied to both women and men in Nigeria. The practice of unequal salaries for women and men could exist only in the private sector. But that was not permitted under the law. A federal committee was working on the harmonization of all the laws that conflicted with the provisions of the Constitution. There was an impetus within the police force to mainstream a gender perspective in its work.

Sixth Round of Questions by Experts

There was a very serious ecological contamination in the Lake Chad region, which was exacerbated by the security concerns. How were women actively involved in saving that area? Was the State party ready to review its development model and ensure that it was more inclusive of women’s rights? It was equally important to ensure that the new energy resources initiatives were female led.

Within the context of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change, what were the State party’s plans to increase women’s self-reliance tools, public-private programmes for vulnerable women, gender-based economic inequalities, and inadequate housing for women in urban and rural areas?

As for rural women, women owned 7.2 per cent of the total land mass. Access to land should be guaranteed to women. What actions had the Government undertaken to ensure women’s ownership of land? Were women fully involved in the design of rural development plans? Rural women still had difficulties to access health and social services. Was there a comprehensive development for rural women that holistically addressed all the barriers that they faced? Experts stressed the need for a code of conduct for State officials working in camps for displaced women and girls.

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, said that many camps for internally displaced persons had been disbanded as people were returning to their communities. The Government’s livelihood support provided to families was, in fact, given to women as family caretakers. There were many welfare services for women. Children in primary school were taught civic education.

The Government had established a joint commission with countries concerned by the ecological situation in the Lake Chad region. Nigeria had just adopted its environmental policy with a whole chapter on climate change adaptation and mitigation processes, which had a gender sub-chapter. The mandate of the national office which had dealt with the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals had been extended to deal with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

Women with disabilities experienced intersecting forms of discrimination. What were the measures adopted by the Government to eliminate such discrimination and what were special services provided to women with disabilities?

Experts reminded that homosexual acts and same-sex couples were heavily sanctioned under the Sharia law in the north of Nigeria. Violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans gender and intersex women by State and non-State actors were widespread. Had the Government taken any measures to ensure the rights of these women?

Women in detention faced many forms of violence and disadvantages. What were the measures taken to remedy that problem?

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, explained that Nigeria was a democratic country and the people of Nigeria were the sole ones to decide whether same-sex marriages and homosexuality were acceptable. Ms. Jummai Alhassan herself objected to the recognition of same-sex marriages on the basis of morality and religion. What was good in one country was not necessarily seen as good in another country. The Same-Sex Prohibition Act did not permit violence against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation, but it did prohibit same-sex relations.

As for women in detention, they were not mistreated and in case they were, prompt actions were taken. Prison overcrowding was addressed through the handing down of alternative sentences for minor offences. Progress had been made in respecting the rights of women with disabilities, especially in terms of physical accessibility.

Seventh Round of Questions by Experts

On equality between women and men before the law, Experts raised the issue of harmonization of customary, Sharia and common law with respect to marriage, family relations and inheritance. It was true that Nigeria had a population explosion, security issues, and problems in coordinating the three legal models. However, none of that should be used as an excuse to neglect women’s rights because women made up more than 50 per cent of the population.

Replies by the Delegation

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, reiterated that Nigeria was a secular country. People had a choice of which courts to approach. Polygamy was allowed under Islamic law and any practice of the Sharia law was constitutional. The minimum age of marriage under Islamic law was the age of maturity. But, even though it was not possible to outlaw the Islamic practice of early marriage, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development was advocating against early marriage on the basis on health reasons.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

Experts reminded the delegation that the Convention on the Rights of the Child set the minimum marriage age at 18 and that other Muslims countries had legalized that provision.

As for polygamy, it was important that it was applied properly under the Sharia law and in line with the principle of equal standing among the spouses. Sometimes faith leaders did not know religious rules properly.

Tensions could happen when women’s status was governed by three different legal systems. There was a danger of creating inequalities among women themselves.

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation stressed that Nigeria upheld its treaty obligations on the issue of child marriage. The national policy was focusing on advocacy and awareness raising to make all states adopt 18 as the minimum marriage age across the country. Twenty four out of 36 Nigerian states had adopted 18 as the minimum marriage age.

Concluding Remarks

AISHA JUMMAI ALHASSAN, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, said the delegation would send to the Committee details and outcomes of various gender equality initiatives that Nigeria had launched. She assured the Committee that the Government of Nigeria would continue to strive to end discrimination against women, and to learn about good practices elsewhere.

DALIA LEINARTE, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation for the constructive dialogue. She commended the State party’s efforts and encouraged it to address the Committee’s recommendations in order to ensure the comprehensive implementation of the Convention.

For use of the information media; not an official record