Son Preference – A Violation of Women’s Human Rights: A Case Study of Igbo Custom in Nigeria

  •  Ine Nnadi    


The issue of son preference is another pernicious violence against women for which the need to protect the girl-child is necessary and desirable in most societies of the world. In Nigeria, the preference for sons is very prevalent and exists in several cultures as it dates back to pre- historic times and it is tied to inheritance, unfortunately it has not succumbed to societal changes but has remained sacrosanct because of the desire for a son to carry on the family name and guarantee the family lineage. On marriage because of the value placed on men under Igbo custom, there is usually immense pressure on wives to give birth to sons. This, in addition to placing women in a situation in which they inadvertently encourage the inferior position of women through the preference for male children, also directly affects them in taking reproductive decisions and also affects their psyche. The Igbos is an ethnic group in the South Eastern part of Nigeria with a strong penchant for patriarchy. Women who give birth to a girl-child in Igbo land are unhappy at their first delivery, because of the fear of rejection and disappointment by the husband. This research is based on the doctrinal analytical content method which is the organization of study around legal propositions and the use of primary sources, like books, legal Encyclopedia, Monograms, and Newspapers. It therefore examined son preference with particular emphasis on Igbo custom in Nigeria and discovered its deep rooted nature in the psyche of the people as well as the fact that it is a violation of the human rights of women and suggested measures to curb same.

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