The Universality of Human Rights and Homosexuality: A Focus on Gender Issues in Africa

Gideon Uchechukwu Igwebueze, Opeyemi Adeola Ogundotun


Right from the evolutionary point of human rights, there have been doubts on its ontological existence; even when it is believed to conceptually exist, there have been doubt to its applicability across places and spaces within the contexts of their socio-cultural, political and economic realities. Hence, the universalism and relativism of human rights remain a controversial discourse both at the local and the international realms. In spite of the controversy obfuscating the universality of the generality of human rights, some can be said to be universal such as right to life, right to conscience, thought and religion; and right to non discrimination. Although these are not without problems at the level of interpretation and application to some realities in diverse places across the world. While others have discussed gender equalities as human rights phenomenon in the African context, it is scarcely or not discussed along homosexual rights. This paper considers the universalism of human rights within the context of African realities using homosexual rights and gender equality as case study. It focuses on the ubiquitous but predisposing factors responsible for the rejection of gender equality and homosexual rights in Africa, from the cultural, religious, legal and globalisation contexts.


Human rights; Universalism; Homosexual rights; Gender equality; Culture; Religion; Cultural imperialism

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