Gender Inequality and Development in Nigeria: Hindrances and Implications

Abstract :

Gender inequality prevents women from contributing favorably towards national development. Nigeria is a patriarchal society and women are in a subordinate position and the degree varies across the length and breadth of the country. Despite the fact that the principle of non discrimination has been enshrined in Section 2 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999), gender equity persists. Equal opportunity for women is imperative for their quality of life and contributions to economic growth and development. Women are confronted with lots of socio-economic and cultural impediments which limit their aspirations in life. Women suffer discrimination and marginalization through denial of rights, making it difficult to fulfill their potentials towards developmental process. Despite government efforts in confronting gender inequality through treaties and conventions in gender mainstreaming, it is evident that gender inequality is prevalent in our nation. The paper examined gender inequality indicators which hinder female contributions towards national development. The methodological approach to this paper was based on reviews of published multiple documents to draw up statistical profile of the situation of women in Nigeria to show the existence of gender inequality. The paper showed that among all gender index indicators considered (Table not given), women are lacking behind when compared to their male-counterparts. These indicators are human development index, such as expected years of schooling, mean years of schooling, estimated GNI per capita, share of seats in parliament, and labor-force participation rate. The paper recommends extensive and transforming education of women, women empowerment, socio-cultural reorientation, government political will and support as measures to accelerate gender equality.