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Adolescent Females' Reproductive Health in Nigeria

A Study on the Legislation and Socio-Cultural Impediments to Abortion and against Female Circumcision


Kingsley Ufuoma Omoyibo

The multi-cultural and multi-ethnic Nigerian society belongs to those developing countries where adolescents age 15-19 years, make up for the largest and growing age bracket of the total population. While reliable statistics on health issues are hardly available in Nigeria, it is estimated that over 60 percent of Nigerian women underwent some form of genital mutilation, which is responsible for a multitude of health problems later. Thus, this research explored issues of high political and social relevance in Nigeria as well as in international discussions from the World Health Organization to internationally operating non-governmental organizations of women's rights activists. The study gives a comprehensive discussion of cross-national studies on abortion and contraception, and on the effects of liberalizing the laws on it. The study adopted qualitative methodological techniques for the gathering of data by relying on focus group discussions and interviews of the target population-adolescents, as well as adults, orthodox and unorthodox medical experts. Finally, this empirical research provides a solid basis for further sociological research on the conditions of adolescent females' health and for practical steps in improving the Nigerian health care system.
Contents: Abortion and Contraception: a cross national trend – Religion and abortion – Legal politics of abortion – Female circumcision, cultural mutilation and identity – The politics of culture and female circumcision – The legal violation of female circumcision – Religion and female circumcision – HIV/AIDS infections in Nigeria – Adolescents, STDs and HIV/AIDS infection – Women's movement and reproductive health rights in Nigeria – The Nigerian constitution and the woman – Women and Sexuality amongst Urhobo and Okpe ethnic groups – Ethnography of Nigeria – Presentation and analysis of research data and discourse analysis of the hypotheses on abortion, contraception and female circumcision – Evaluation of assumption on reproductive health.