Ari Tobi-Aiyemo will explore the status quo patriarchy in Africa in the context of African women and the law profession.
Over the past decade, the development agendas of many governments across the globe focus on women empowerment. These agendas venture through halls of discriminatory laws, practices, traditions, and cultures that have been unfair to women, especially African women. It is indisputable that African women have come a long way in their circle of life–from a place of biased laws, customs, and cultures– through thorns of cultural, social, and legal pressures, to glides of assertiveness. Typically, African girls grow into women of substance, power, affluence, and influence. They are not laid-back figures. They find their way to education and compete in what is often referred to as the world of men and make their way through law school. These women do not just end in getting diplomas, they pursue careers to practice law either in the private sector–as private Attorney, Founder and Executive Director of Civil Organizations or NGOs, Attorney in humanitarian practices, rendering pro bono services. Alternatively, these women also practice law in the public sector as judges, public servants, DAs, Prosecutors, Law teachers, and legal consultants. Hence, to a large extent, the journey through the circle of life of the African woman is filled with different forms of deprivation, discrimination, and disregard until today.
Ari Tobi-Aiyemo is a Ph.D. Candidate of Judicial Studies in the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a retired Magistrate-Judge from the great judiciary of Lagos State, Nigeria. She has interest in social justice, law, jurisprudence and human rights.