Religion as an Ideological Weapon and the Feminisation of Culture in Nigeria: A Critical Analysis of the Textuality of Violence Through the Legal Regulation of Child Marriages

The International Journal of Human Rights, 2020

34 Pages Posted: 12 May 2020

See all articles by Julie Ada Tchoukou

Julie Ada Tchoukou

University of Ottawa; McGill University, Institute of Comparative Law, Students; University of Cape Town (UCT), Faculty of Law, Students

Date Written: March 19, 2020

Abstract

The problem of child marriages has been discussed at length. Some authors have analysed the Nigerian legal framework to provide appropriate strategies for addressing this problem. Building on the important foundational works of these authors, my paper analyses this problem from a different perspective by focusing on the ideological foundations for the increased perpetration of child marriages. I use institutional ethnography, a feminist socio-legal methodology by Dorothy Smith to show that the problem of cultural violence against girls, as seen in the practice of child marriages, is not in the culture but in the manner in which the social, political and legal environment is developed to only meet the needs of the dominant class. This methodology requires conducting an empirical investigation, which goes beyond the limits of this paper. For now, I use the tool of textuality adopted by Smith to reveal the organising power of texts and make visible how activities in local settings are coordinated and managed extra-locally. The paper focuses on the actions of those acting within the institutional process and shows how the ruling relations in Nigeria as a whole, and more specifically the Northern region, both rely on and determine the girl child's everyday experience.

Keywords: Child marriage, feminist textuality, human rights, institutional ethnography, Nigeria, violence against girls

Suggested Citation

Ada Tchoukou, Julie, Religion as an Ideological Weapon and the Feminisation of Culture in Nigeria: A Critical Analysis of the Textuality of Violence Through the Legal Regulation of Child Marriages (March 19, 2020). The International Journal of Human Rights, 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3557204

Julie Ada Tchoukou (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa ( email )

Ottawa
Canada

McGill University, Institute of Comparative Law, Students ( email )

Montréal, H3A 0G4
Canada

University of Cape Town (UCT), Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Rondebosch 7701
South Africa

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