You are here


, Nigeria: Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 67th Session, 3-21 July 2017, New York, Amnesty International , 2017

Amnesty International report on legislative measures taken by Nigeria to ensure the protection of the rights of women and girls. It also highlights gender-based violence resulting from displacements and armed conflict; and forced evictions which led to the disproportionate loss of livelihoods for women, and to gender based violence. Finally, Amnesty reports the use of rape and other forms of sexual violence by the police.

, Special: ‘Nigeria – The Boko Haram girls’, The New York Times, 2018

Following the kidnapping of more than 200 girls in April 2014 by the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram, the campaign #BringBackOurGirls started and was supported worldwide. In this New York Times’ special more than a hundred girls who have been released four years later are photographed and some of their stories are narrated.

See also;;; and

In 2018, the documentary ‘Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram was released. To purchase the documentary, visit HBO official website

See the official website of #BRingBackOurGirls campaign here

, Thomson Reuters Foundation’s survey on the 10 most dangerous countries for women in 2018, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2018

The survey reports on the worst countries in the world for women in terms of health (e.g. maternal mortality, lack of access to health care facilities, lack of control over reproductive rights); discrimination (e.g. over land rights, job rights, property or inheritance); culture and religion (e.g. acid attacks, FGM, forced marriages); sexual violence (e.g. Rape, rape as a weapon of war, domestic rape or by a stranger); non-sexual violence (e.g. domestic violence); and human trafficking (including domestic servitude, forced labour, sexual slavery and forced marriage). The methodology is outlined and each listed country is fully described in each of the categories explored by the survey.

, Nigerian women protest against Abuja police raid and rape, African Feminism, 2019

Narrates the background of the #AbujaPoliceraidOnWomen campaign, in response to the violent arrest of 70 women in two clubs on the accusation of prostitution. The police allegedly raped those women who couldn’t afford the bail.

See also the interview on this campaign with Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, founder of the Stand To End Rape (STER) initiative and

, Nigerian women protest against Abuja police raid and rape, African Feminism, 2019

Narrates the background of the #AbujaPoliceraidOnWomen campaign, in response to the violent arrest of 70 women in two clubs on the accusation of prostitution. The police allegedly raped those women who couldn’t afford the bail.

See also the interview on this campaign with Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, founder of the Stand To End Rape (STER) initiative and

, Nigeria: Crackdown on Police Brutality Protests, Human Rights Watch, 2020

Provides a close examination of the development of the anti-SARS protests, especially between 8-15 October 2020.

See also:

Adeoye, Aanu, The young women leading Nigeria’s #MeToo revolution, Vice, 2019

Describes the ‘Stand To End Rape Initiative’ and the #ArewaMeToo campaign in Nigeria (‘Arewa’ means ‘northern’) to combat the widespread sexual harassment of young women in the country. Provides background on the difficulty of achieving accountability, due to the very conservative culture.

Afolayan, Gbenga, Hausa-Fulani women's movement and womanhood, Agenda, Vol. 33, no. 2, 2019, pp. 52-60

This article examines how women’s organisations have attempted to ensure compliance for Hausa-Fulani women with the Minimum Age of Marriage Clause of Nigerian Child Rights Act of 2003, in a context of plural legal systems and traditional norms, which make achieving gender equality difficult. The authors focus on this issue in the context of feminist attempts in Nigeria since the 1980s to reconstruct the concept of ‘the feminine’. This reconstruction is especially important in struggling against patriarchy and local interpretations of Islam in northern Nigeria.

Ajayi, Titilope, #MeToo, Africa and the politics of transnational activism, 2018

Debates of the reasons why the Western #MeToo campaign didn’t spread as much in the African continent as it did in the US, UK, France, India and China. The article also briefly outlines the various campaigns that have evolved instead, such as #EndRapeCulture in South Africa; #MyDressismyChoice in Uganda and Kenya; #BeingfemaleinNigeria. Other protests includes #Nopiwouma (‘I will not shut up’) and #Doyna (‘That’s enough’) in Senegal

See also

Akimbobola, Yemisi, Neoliberal feminism in Africa, Eurozine, 2019

Argues that, in a society like Nigeria’s, where lack of financial opportunity has fostered an entrepreneurial mindset, and where distrust of western feminism is culturally entrenched, neoliberal feminism may be women’s best option, even if neoliberal feminism is criticized for its disregard for structural inequalities and thus for failing women most susceptible to violence.

Akinwotu, Emmanuel, Just Stop Killing Us. Young Nigerians Rise Up, Guardian Weekly, 2020, pp. 15-16

Provides an overview of the reasons for the protests and the initial government response.     

See also: Akinwotu, Emmanuel, 'Nigeria Tried to Ban Bitcoin. How Did It Work Out?', Guardian Weekly, 13 August 2021, pp.25-6.

Akinwotu explains the rising use of bitcoin by the tech-savvy young, and notes how the government clamp down after October 2020 on bank accounts of those supporting the anti-SARS protests fueled this trend.

Alpizar, Lydia ; Duran, Anahi ; Garrido, Anali Russo, Building Feminist Movements: Global Perspectives, London, Zed Books, 2006, pp. 288

The chapters cover a wide range of countries and issues, including: The Korean Women’s Trade Union, the feminist movement in Indonesia, the Algerian ‘Twenty Years is Enough’ campaign, widening the base of the feminist movement in Pakistan, advocacy of women’s rights in Nigeria, re-politicizing feminist activity in Argentina, new modes of organizing in Mexico, and two chapters on Israel, one on an Arab women’s organization.

Ananaba, Wogu, The Trade Union Movement in Nigeria, London, C. Hurst, 1969, pp. 336

Chapter 7 covers the 1945 general strike.

Ashoka, When Police Brutality and Digital Rights Collide - Lessons from Nigeria, Forbes, 2020

Forbes discusses with Ashoka fellow, Gbenga Sesan, how both offline and online mobilization contributed to the build-up of the End SARS protests. The discussion also includes the intersection of police brutality and digital rights in the light of accusations that SARS officials were arresting individuals working in start-ups and stealing their data.

See also:

Aung, Nelly, Nigeria's Next Generation Protest Movement, Foreign Policy, 2020

Aung reports on the protests that erupted in Nigeria on 2 October 2020, after a video circulated showing a man killed by police. The protests broke out three years after the online campaign #EndSARS was launched, demanding an end to the squad's indiscriminate violence against young people. She notes the role of two Afro-Pop musicians and feminists in promoting protests, and the rapid extension of demands to encompass misuse of public funds, the unemployment crisis. poor economic infrastructure and bad government.

Aveni, Tofe, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. Nigeria: Has the #EndSARS Movement Come to an End?, The Africa Report, 2021, pp. 6

The author compares the Nigerian movement with Black Lives Matter and discusses within the wider context of Nigerian politics EndSARS has not been successful.

Beckett, Paul A ; Young, Crawford, Dilemmas of Democracy in Nigeria, ed. Beckett, Paul A, Young, Crawford, Rochester, University of Rochester Press, 1997, pp. 450

Multidisciplinary study by 13 Nigerian and 6 American political analysts of attempts at transition to democracy, including historical, social and economic as well as political factors.

Brown, Carolyn A., ‘We Were All Slaves’: African Miners, Culture and Resistance at the Enugu Government Colliery, Portsmouth, Oxford and Cape Town, Heinemann, James Currey and David Philip, 2002, pp. 354

Part 2 is on major miners’ strike organized by the militant Zikist movement. The movement became associated with riots and an assassination attempt and was banned in April 1950.

Coetzee, Azille, Feminism is African, and other implications of reading Oyèrónké Oyĕwùmí as a relational thinker, Gender and Women’s Studies, Vol. 1, no. 1, 2018, pp. 1-16

The author interprets the work of Nigerian feminist scholar Oyèrónké Oyĕwùmí to be embedded in a relational understanding of subjectivity, as developed in African philosophy, that is deeply relational, fluid and non-dichotomous and therefore not reducible to the strict, essentialised, hierarchical and stable gender dyad of the colonial Western gender system.

Cooper, Joshua, The Ogoni Struggle for Human Rights and Civil Society’ in Nigeria, In Zunes; Kurtz; Asher, Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements), Oxford, Blackwell, pp. 189-202

Account of one of the best known and documented campaigns against oil drilling which damages the local environment and communities, by the Ogoni people of Nigeria against Shell.

Dambo, Tamar ; Ersoy, Metin ; Auwal, Ahmad Muhammad ; Olorunsola, Victor Oluwafemi ; Olonode, Ayodeji ; Arikewuyo, Abdulgaffar Olawale ; Joseph, Ayodele, Nigeria's hashtagEndSARS Movement and its Implications on Online Protests in Africa's Most Populous Country, Journal of Public Affairs, 2020

This article looks at the claims on social media by Nigerian youth of police abuse, which is well documented in the three-year online EndSARS campaign. The authors examine the limitations of the campaign, which lasted three years with little success.  They explore the main themes of the campaign and consider4 how Nigeria's political environment can hinder successful movement activism.

Diamond, Larry ; Kirk-Greene, Anthony ; Oyediran, Oyeleye, Transition Without End: Nigerian Politics and Civil Society Under Babangida, ed. Diamond, Larry, Kirk-Greene, Anthony, Oyediran, Oyeleye, Boulder CO, Lynne Rienner, 1997, pp. 516

Comprehensive analysis of the political fault lines, corruption and repression of Nigerian politics, and the failure to achieve a transition to democracy, including the role of the military, constitutional formulas and electoral administration. Chapters on political parties, the press and ‘associational life’.

Dickson, Ajisaffe ; Ojo, Tinuade Adekunbi ; Monyani, Margaret, The impacts of social media on the #EndSARs# youth protests in Nigeria, International Conference of Information Communication Technologies enhanced Social Sciences and Humanities 2021, 2021

The increasing impact of digitalization, especially in Africa, has transformed political, social, economic and business activity. There is therefore a need for rigorous academic debate about the effectiveness of social media platforms for citizen activism. This study focusses on the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria to explore strategies and mechanisms used to try to influence government. The authors conclude that the movement may inspire youth-led movements elsewhere, but also examine how the nature of the Nigerian state resulted in an abrupt end to the protests.

Edozie, Rita Kiki, People Power and Democracy: The Popular Movement Against Military Despotism in Nigeria 1989-1999, Trenton NJ, Africa World Press, 2002, pp. 205

Analyses critically the roles of several national pro-democracy groups in the 1990s, and their attempts to mobilize civil society to resist. Compares their strategies and activities and their role in promoting a democratic transition.

Franceschet, Susan ; Krook, Mona Lena ; Tan, Netina, The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights, ed. Ennaji, Moha, Sadiqi, Fatima, Vintges, Karen, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, pp. 784

Covers women’s political rights across all major regions of the world, focusing both on women’s right to vote and women’s right to run for political office. The countries explored are Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, South Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States, Uganda, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe.

Gaskia, Jaye, Understanding Nigeria's #EndSARS movement, rs21, 2020

This article examines how the historical and class character of Nigeria has fueled repression and exploitation, and contributed to the indiscriminate violence used by SARS and its lack of accountability. It also explains how the #EndSARS movement developed.

George-Williams, Desmond, The Ogoni Struggle, In George-Williams, Bite Not One Another: Selected Accounts of Nonviolent Struggle in Africa (E. I. Africa - Sub-Saharan), Addis Ababa, University of Peace Africa Development Programme, pp. 68-74

Gros, Jean-Germain, Democratization in Late Twentieth Century Africa: Coping with Uncertainty, ed. Gros, Jean-Germain, Westport CT and London, Greenwood Press, 1998, pp. 162

Contributors to this book include democracy activists as well as scholars, who look critically at the process of democratization in: Malawi, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana and Gabon. The focus is not on institutions but on leadership, and also on the role of the military and churches in the reform process.

Habila, Helon, The Chibok Girls. The Boko Haram Kidnappings And Islamist Militancy In Nigeria, New York , Columbia Global Reports, 2016

Nigerian novelist Helon Habila tells the stories of the girls who have been kidnapped by Boko Harama in the northern part of Nigeria and the impact on their families. Having a deep understanding of the historical context, the author also illuminates the long history of colonialism, and the influence of cultural and religious dynamics that gave rise to conflicts in this region.

Hunt, Timothy J., The Politics of Bones: Dr Owens Wiwa and the Struggle for Nigeria’s Oil, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 2005, pp. 400

Focuses on the brother of the executed leader of the Ogoni movement, Kenule Sarowiwa, and his efforts to carry on the campaign.

Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Nigeria, London, Longman, 1983, pp. 517

Ch. 17 ‘Colonialism rejected’ (pp. 396-412) examines workers’ and women’s protests and growing nationalism from the 1920s to 1950.

Iyorah, Festus, How young Nigerians are challenging sexual assault in the Church, Sojourners, 2019

Report on the origin of the #ChurchToo movement in Nigeria to shed light on and challenge sexual assaults perpetrate by the clergy. 

See also

Nba, Nina Emma, Nigerian Women Mobilized: Women’s Political Activity in Southern Nigeria, 1900-1965, Berkeley CA, University of California Institute of International Studies, 1982, pp. 344

Ndifon, Naomi, Nigerian Women vs SARS: A Coalition against Police Brutality, Black Women Radicals, 2020

This blog highlights the activism of the Feminist Coalition, a group of young feminists who were  at the forefront of the youth  movement against police brutality. They helped initiate the public protests and provided food, security, mobile toilets and ambulances, as well as hospital services and bail arrangements for protesters.

Obi, Cyril I., Globalization and Local Resistance: The Case of Shell versus the Ogoni, ed. Gills, Barry K., In Gills, Barry K., Globalization and the Politics of Resistance Basingstoke, Palgrave/Macmillan, , 2000, pp. 321, pp. 280-294

Ojewale, Oluwole, Youth protests for police reform in Nigeria: What lies ahead for #EndSARS, Brookings, 2020

Ojewale argues that the EndSARS protests, which incorporate demands for human rights and greater democracy, provide an outlet for marginalized young Nigerians to express their grievances against the government. The excesses of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the failure of the government to address them, despite promises of reform, are at the top of the list. This blog provides an in depth analysis of the movement and its causes, and discusses how the protests might affect the 2021 election.

See also:

Okunna, Chinyere, #EndSARProtest. Re-thinking Nigerian Youth and Government Policies, AfriHeritage Policy Working Paper, African Heritage Institute, 2021, pp. 15

Young people, who comprise nearly 34 per cent of Nigeria's, population of over 200 million, are of central importance to its future. This paper examines the 2019 Nigerian National Youth Policy, and argues that #EndSARS was not only a protest against police violence, but 'a desperate reaction' to the long term failure of governments to 'make Nigeria a livable society in general, and to achieve genuine youth development in particular'.

Olukoshi, Adebayo, The Politics of Structural Adjustment in Nigeria, ed. Olukoshi, Adebayo, Portsmouth NH, Heinemann, 1993, pp. 144

Includes assessments of the increasingly active role of civil society and relations with the state.

Olukoshi, Adebayo, The Politics of Opposition in Contemporary Africa, ed. Olukoshi, Adebayo, Uppsala, Nordiska Afikrainstitutet, 1998, pp. 328

Contributors assess the efforts and problems of oppositions in difficult circumstances, and also consider issues of leadership and organization. The book includes case studies of Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Onubogu, Oge, Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa, United States Institute of Peace, 2020

After the explosion of the anti-SARS protests, this analysis argues that the way the Nigerian government responds to these emphatic demands for government accountability and an end to police violence will influence similar struggles across much of Africa, and impact especially on the young. 

See also:

Orabueze, Florence ; Ukaogo, Victor O. ; David-Ojukwu, Ifeyinwa ; Eze, Godstime Irene ; Orabueze, Chiamaka I., Reminiscence on #EndSARS protests of 2020 in Nigeria, Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, Vol. 13, no. 1, 2021, pp. 1-15

This study of the #EndSARS protests that shook Nigeria in October and November 2020 considers how far they can be related to more violent acts of insurgency such as Boko Haram. The study adopts a historical framework and draws on qualitative and quantitative research methods to explore how endemic governmental corruption and 'the re-enslavement and recolonization' of citizens' by political leaders has led to youth rebellion. The authors conclude that protest and violent forms of revolt will not cease until the deep-seated causes are tackled.

See also: Oloyede, F. and A.A. Elega, (2019) 'Exploring Hashtag Activism in Nigeria. A Case of #EndSARS Campaign'. Conference Proceedings: 5th in Communication and Media Studies (CRPC 2018) Famagusta. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, pp. 1-7.

Osaghae, Eghosa, Crippled Giant: Nigeria Since Independence, London, Hurst, 1998, pp. 342

Saro-Wiwa, Ken, A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary, London, Penguin, 1995, pp. 237

Republished as: A Month and a Day and Letters, Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2005, with Foreword by Wole Soyinka.

Sawyer, Suzana ; Gomez, Edmund Terence, The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 336

Studies cover Peru, India (Orissa), Philippines, Nigeria (the Niger Basin), Chad and Cameroon, as well as Australia and Canada.

Turner, Terisa E. ; Oshare, M.O., Women's uprisings against the Nigerian oil industry in the 1980s, revised version of paper presented to Canadian African Studies Association in May 1992, 1993

Wokoma, Iyenemi Norman, Assessing accomplishments of women’s nonviolent direct action in the Niger Delta, ed. da Togboa, Edith Natuka, Mintero, Dina Rodriguez, In da Togboa, Edith Natuka; Mintero, Dina Rodriguez, Gender and Peace Building in Africa Costa Rica, University of Peace, , 2005, pp. 167-185

A shorter account by Wokoma also available in George-Williams, Bite Not One Another: Selected Accounts of Nonviolent Struggle in Africa (E. I. Africa - Sub-Saharan) .

YouTube, Documentary, Sex For grades, BBC Africa Eye, 2019

Exposes the widespread abuse of young women by lecturers and professors in Universities in Nigeria (as well as Ghana). 

You can read the support statement by African Feminist Initiative here, retrieve the different episodes on BBC’s website and read an interview with Kiki Mordi, the journalists behind the BBC documentary here