According to the Action Aid Country Director, as quoted in the Guardian, women in Nigeria face problems with "unemployment, under employment, unremunerated work and lack of job safety and security" (The Guardian 9 Mar. 1.3 Situation of Widows In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Director of Widows for Peace Through Democracy (WPD), a UK-based international NGO that partners with NGOs in developing countries to "eliminate discrimination and violence" towards widows (WPD n.d.), stated that, regarding the ability of widows to access housing and employment in Abuja, it would depend, in part, on the ethnic group of the widow and her deceased husband, as well as social class, education, and whether they are from an urban or rural background (ibid. The same source stated that some widows may be "very vulnerable," and that, despite legislation enacted to protect rights to inheritance and land, many widows are subject to "harmful traditional practices," such as "widow inheritance, forced remarriage, levirate, deprivation of inheritance rights, property grabbing, [and] chasing off" (ibid.). "Nigeria." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015. Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).
She further explained that these factors may leave a widow "in extreme poverty and homelessness," causing them to resort to begging and forced prostitution for survival (ibid.). [Accessed 23 June 2016] Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at
In addition, she noted that there are few pensions and "corruption makes access to support services problematic" (ibid.). Threat of Violence Sources state that women who live alone in Abuja are subject to sexual harassment and violence (CIRDDOC 18 June 2016; CISLAC 17 June 2016; Member 20 June 2016), including battery (ibid.). Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.
The CIRDDOC Executive Director explained that single women are vulnerable to violence and sexual harassment because they are seen as being "without [the] protection of a man" (CIRDDOC 18 June 2016). Report of the Special Rapporteurs on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Including Its Causes and Consequences on their Joint Visit to Nigeria.
The CISLAC program officer further indicated that some single women "fall prey to men who [offer] to help lodge them until they settle in but [the men] end up sexually abusing them" (CISLAC 17 June 2016).
The Executive Director of CIRDDOC explained that unmarried women in Abuja are often not viewed as "respectable" and landlords are not always willing to sign leases with them, preferring instead to deal with men (CIRDDOC 18 June 2016).
According to the UN Human Rights Council, in Nigeria, nearly 30 percent of women have experienced physical violence at least once since the age of 15, and 7 percent have experienced sexual violence (UN 16 June 2016).
Sources indicate that rape is "widespread" in Nigeria (US 13 Apr.
You find someone promising to secure choice jobs for single ladies on the grounds that they sleep with them or give them so much money. (CISLAC 17 June 2016) According to the member and past President of FIDA, regardless of marital status, level of education, ethnicity and social class, women in Abuja face "huge challenges in spheres that are seen to be 'originally' roles reserved for men" (Member 20 June 2016).
The US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 states that there is a "common" practice of "demanding sexual favours in exchange for employment" in Nigeria (US 13 Apr. The same source reports that [w]omen's rights groups reported that the Abuja Environmental Protection Board took women into custody under the pretext of removing commercial sex workers from the streets of the capital.
The CIRDDOC Executive Director was also not aware of any agencies or NGOs in Abuja that help single women to obtain housing (CIRDDOC 18 June 2016). [Accessed 22 June 2016] International Federation of Women's Lawyers (FIDA).
According to the member and past President of FIDA, the National Council for Women Societies announced an initiative in 2015 to arrange with banks to develop housing properties specifically to be owned by women, but, as of June 2016, the project had "not progressed much" (Member 20 June 2016). "Empowerment Critical to Poverty Eradication - Action Aid." (Factiva) Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
According to activists, the board then forced women to buy their freedom or confess to prostitution and undergo rehabilitation (ibid.).