Nigeria: Not left out of the global rollback of sexual and reproductive rights
“What is going on?”
23 July 2019 | By OluTimehin Adegbeye
A few weeks ago, police officers conducted a raid on a Marie Stopes clinic in Lagos. They harassed patients, temporarily detained a doctor, and illegally accessed confidential documents. Immediately following this deeply unnerving attack, which came on the trail of other anti-rights incidents involving state agents, a group of Nigerian feminists, women’s rights campaigners and LGBTQI+ activists came together to ask, “what is going on?”. In the course of the digital conversation that ensued, a consensus was reached: a strategic effort to undermine the sexual and reproductive health and rights of Nigerians is underway, and women’s bodily integrity is on the frontlines.
Nigeria’s patriarchal conservatism is hardly news; women, girls and queer folks in this country are regularly and legally denied their bodily autonomy, and the rate of sexual violence is high.