Journal of Human Rights and Social Work

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 147–155 | Cite as

Violation of Dignity and Life: Challenges and Prospects for Women and Girls with Albinism in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Aloy OjilereEmail author
  • Muhammad Musa Saleh


The mythology of most African societies includes the belief in patriarchy and primogeniture, holding the view that succession and the continuity of family lineage are only possible through the males. As such, women are considered inferior to men and often treated with prejudice. Albinism is also treated with prejudice in African societies. This includes the belief that sexual intercourse with a woman or a girl with albinism can cure serious infections like HIV/AIDS. Thus, in addition to common forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by women in Sub-Saharan Africa, those with albinism are particularly vulnerable to rape and sexual violation. In extreme cases, especially in East and Central Africa; these women and other persons with albinism are kidnapped for sacrifice or ritual purposes. Their vital organs are harvested for preparing “charms” for magic and spiritual powers. In other cases, they are simply murdered to ensure that they do not procreate. This paper explores common myth-based violations against women with albinism in Africa. It argues that these women suffer the tragedy of double prejudice and special violations to dignity and life, contrary to standard templates of international human rights. It then suggests specific measures for dealing with these violations at all levels: societal, municipal, regional, and international. Significantly, the paper raises global consciousness on the persecution of minorities, especially women and girls with albinism in Africa.


African mythology Violation of dignity and life Women with albinism 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawImo State UniversityOwerriNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Private Law, Faculty of LawUniversity of MaiduguriMaiduguriNigeria

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