A Critical Investigation Of Gender-Based Violence Against Female Students Career Development In Nigeria University (A Case Study Of University Of Calabar)

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A Critical Investigation Of Gender-Based Violence Against Female Students Career Development In Nigeria University (A Case Study Of University Of Calabar)

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

The world has faced several obstacles in its pursuit of progress, peace, and togetherness over the years. In light of this, it is critical to highlight the fact that proof of this is the continual rise in the global crime rate, which includes rape. Gender-based violence (GBV) is pervasive, although it is still the world’s least common human rights violation. Gender-based violence is a problem that affects many groups and countries, but its consequences are widespread. Domestic violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, partner violence, and sexual assault are all examples of gender-based violence (Rape). Both men and women are victims of this type of violence, but it is more prevalent in women and is more widely documented, whereas it is under-reported in males (Tade & Udechukwu, 2020). Rape culture, on the other hand, describes how rape victims are held responsible for the sexual attack they have suffered. In the 1970s, feminists in the United States created a rape culture.Rape culture is defined by Emilie Buchwald (1993) as “a complex system of ideas that foster male sexual aggressiveness and condone violence against women.”

She went on to say that rape culture represents a society in which violence is viewed as attractive and sexuality as cruel. Emilie Buchwald, in her mission to raise awareness about rape culture, emphasized how women continue to suffer threats of violence ranging from sexual remarks to sexual touching and rape. In a rape culture, both men and women agree that sexual violence is inescapable, that it is an unavoidable reality. What we accept as unavoidable, however, is the manifestation of beliefs and attitudes that may shift. Africa, as a mainly patriarchal society, has had practices and traditions that have persisted and advanced rape culture while paying little attention to the people underlying these civilizations since ancient times. The marriage ritual known as Ukuthwala, which is performed in the Nguni community of South Africa, is an example of this. In this tradition, a young man or woman under the age of marriage would abduct a lady or a girl and force her family to approve the marriage and begin an arrangement. Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda follow a similar tradition. These communities have made it illegal for kidnappers to have sex with the women they have kidnapped, although the ban is not always followed. Women are regularly raped in order to force the bride’s hand and her family to accept the marriage (WAWERU, 2018). In certain African societies, female rape survivors are considered miscreants and are frequently spurned in different ways, including marriage to their rapists or even execution. In Somaliland, for example, rape survivors are forced to marry their rapists in order to avoid embarrassment and humiliation in their family. However, in 2018, a landmark law was approved mandating that offenders serve at least 20 years in prison for similar crimes. It also increased the penalties for anybody who fails to disclose such offenses. The ingrained rape culture in Mauritania was addressed in a recent study by Human Rights Watch. In the study, women and girls discussed how they were raped and the numerous challenges they faced in their search for justice. Many women had to be brave enough to talk about the sexual violence they were subjected to as a result of humiliation, lack of fairness, and shame. One of the victims described how she was sexually assaulted by her father, whom she ultimately left, only to find herself in a relationship with a sexually abusive boyfriend who pledged to marry her. Despite this, the victim was arrested rather than the offenders (WAWEERU,2018). Rape is treated so casually in Egypt that a high-profile lawyer on national television said that women should be raped as a “national obligation.” Unfortunately, the scourge of rape in Nigeria has been ignored for a long time. This is due to ingrained man-centric sex generalization, social norms, religion, and media portrayals that see women as sex objects, discourage open sex conversations, and denounce women who seek to revolt against their victimization. Indeed, Nigeria’s lengthy silence on rape culture should be broken, especially now that the victims, primarily women, are daring to speak out about their abuse. According to available statistics in Nigeria, sexual and gender-based violence mostly affects women and girls (SGBV). The Tamar Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) stated that between 2014 and 2016, there were 641 rape victims and survivors, with 401 of them being under the age of 18, 240 being over 18, and 183 being under the age of 10. In any case, 629 of the 641 victims were females, while 12 were male victims and 24 of the females were disabled victims. According to a National Survey on Abuse Against Children in Nigeria conducted in 2014, one out of every four females experiences sexual violence throughout their adolescence, with about 70% reporting incidents of sexual violence many times. According to the same survey, around 24.8 percent of girls between the ages of 18 and 24 experienced rape before the age of 18, with only 3.5 percent of the 5 percent who sought aid receiving any assistance. According to the National Torture Survey done by Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL) in Nigeria, 65 percent of women in the country are raped and sexually assaulted. According to a survey conducted by the CLEEN Foundation in 2012, just 23% of rape incidents are reported to the police and government. As a result, 77 percent of rape incidents go undetected. The majority of the time, the victims of rape do not receive adequate treatment or medical care. Victims of rape seldom speak out as a consequence of shame, stigma from the broader public, mental trauma, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, according to WACOL’s investigation and analysis (STDs). WACOL further said that, as a result of SGBV, the rate of HIV/AIDS has exploded in women while progressively decreasing in males. According to HIV/AIDS statistics from 2020 to 2016, the illness has grown in women from 51.7 percent to 53 percent while decreasing in males from 48.3 percent to 46.9%. Rape is, without a question, a severe crime. Section 358 of the Nigerian Criminal Code states that any act of rape is punished by life imprisonment, whereas Section 359 of the Criminal Code Panel states that a rape attempt is punishable by 14 years in jail. In Nigeria, on the other hand, laws have been enacted to address the issue of rape. Laws such as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of the Federal Capital Territory of 2015 (VAPP). The minimum penalty for rape is 12 years in prison with no fine, while the maximum penalty is life in prison, and if the guilty individual is under the age of 14, the maximum penalty is 14 years in prison. If the rape was committed in a group, the lawbreakers would each be sentenced to 20 years in prison. Whatever the case may be, the perpetrators should be publicly identified, and victims of rape should be paid as the court sees proper. Despite the fact that this legislation has been enacted, there is still a lack of efficient enforcement, as well as a legal understanding of elements of the rape offense, such as consent. When there are no traces of wounds, broken hymens, or evidence to back up rape charges when they are reported, the guilty party may not be indicted, and the individual in question has little chance of being convicted. Every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, and every year, victims of rape are abused in Nigeria. The sad reality is that there is no safe haven for women and girls in Nigeria, since they suffer from gender-based violence, including rape. In Nigeria, rape culture has become prevalent. It is not a legend. It has become an accepted aspect of a woman’s life. Furthermore, most African countries lack anti-rape legislation, and those that do have it seldom enforce it. War and war have also contributed to some of the worst rape instances, as has the lack of prosecution, which contributes to the rape culture. After the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1820 in 2008, assault and sexual violence were classified as “war crimes and crimes against humanity or a constitutive manifestation of genocide.” While progress has been made in dealing with some of these issues, Africa still has a long way to go, especially now that there are new highways for spreading rape culture and enough data to show that sexual cruelty is still pervasive and new tactics are needed to deal with it.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Several investigations into the frequency of gender-based violence in the country’s institutions show that the problem is widespread. According to two recent studies, 15% and 27% of young females have experienced forced penetrative and attempted rape, respectively, while 44% have experienced unwanted touching (tade 2020). In a separate study conducted in Ondo State, western Nigeria, 27 percent of schoolgirls said their instructors pressed them for sex, while 79 percent said male students sexually harassed them. The majority of the reports come from institutions in the country’s south. In the culturally different northern section of the country, little analogous study has been done. As a result, we conducted this research to look at Gender-Based Violence Against Female Students’ Career Development in Nigerian Universities. The findings might be utilized to advocate for gender tolerance and to inform and create gender-based violence prevention strategies and policies in higher education institutions.

1.3 Objective Of The Study Objective

The overall goal of the research is to critically investigate gender-based violence against female students career development in Nigeria University. Specifically, the study is set to.

  1. Investigate the causes of gender-based violence at the University of Calabar
  2. Investigate the effect of gender-based violence on career development at the University of Calabar.
  3. Investigate ways in which gender-based violence can be curbed at the University of Calabar.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guide the objective of the study.

  1. What are the causes of gender-based violence at the University of Calabar?
  2. What is the effect of gender-based violence on career development at the University of Calabar?
  3. What are the possible ways gender-based violence can be curbed in the University of Calabar?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This research will add to the current body of literature on this subject and will also act as a resource for academics, researchers, and students interested in conducting future research on this or a similar topic.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The scope of study covers the Investigation of Gender-Based Violence Against Female Students’ Career Development at Nigeria University and the University of Calabar was used as a case study.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

The study was limited to a particular geographical area (south south) and was further limited to the University of Calabar due to time and budget constraints.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Gender-Based Violence:

Gender-based violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms. Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and safety issue.

Career Development:

Career Development or Career Development Planning refers to the process an individual may undergo to evolve their occupational status. It is the process of making decisions for long-term learning, to align personal needs for physical or psychological fulfillment with career advancement opportunities.

Chapter Two

Literature Review


Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literature that would assist in explaining the research problem and, furthermore, recognize the efforts of scholars who have previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.

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