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Nigeria

Contextualizing Petro-Sexual Politics

Citation:

Turcotte, H. M. 2011. “Contextualizing Petro-Sexual Politics.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 36 (3): 200–220. doi:10.1177/0304375411418597.

Author: H. M. Turcotte

Abstract:

Petro-violence is a feminist issue. Through the examination of U.S. mainstream narratives of gender violence and petroleum violence within Nigeria, the author reveals how gender and sexuality are central to representations of terrorism and ethnic-gang conflict within petroleum politics. Through a framework of petro-sexual politics, which links histories of gender and petroleum violence together, the author considers how petro-violence materializes in multiple forms that have always been gendered and systemically violent. By demonstrating that gender violence is not merely an effect of petro-violence, the author argues it is the necessary condition for such violence to even take place. Understanding petro-politics means recognizing that gender violence is part of a larger political economy of violence that creates the conditions fostering and facilitating petro-politics in the first place.

Keywords: gender violence, petroleum politics, social imaginaries, transnational feminisms, contextualizing petro-sexual politcs

Annotation:

Quotes:

“Within international studies, ethnic conflict is constructed as ‘internal,’ an unfortunate result of long-standing ethnic and racial differences that can flare into fear, hatred, and war. Only very rarely is such violence recognized as a condition of systematic inequality and colonial state structures, a consequence of capitalism’s restructuring.” (202)

“Polgreen represents gender violence as endemic to the community rather [than] a condition or and for the petroleum industry… this view denies the material reality of the ways in which petro-communities, and women, have struggled for decades against violence such as environmental degradation, exploitation by multinational corporations, repression by the state, and depredations by domestic and international security forces deployed to protect oil interests… women are constantly negotiating through multiple forms of petro-violence, including intense forms of gender and sexual violence enacted by security forces of the state and those connected with multinational oil companies.” (203)

“Sexual and gender violence is a means of securing productive and reproductive resources that include bodies, labor, and land as well as oil. For Nigeria, this means an overlapping relationship between petroleum and sexual politics during its colonial period… The frameworks of colonial state practices of resource extraction and violence did not dissipate with independence; rather, they are further solidified within postcolonial state relationships of international security.” (206)

“The Biafran War is thus a key historical moment that, within discourses of international security, sediments the legitimacies and trajectories of petro-violence, reaffirming the state and MNCs as owners of the petroleum and, hence, as the sole legal and legitimate actors where oil is concerned and petro-communities as illegitimate bodies of threat… this war and its consequences also serves as the institutional link between the securitization of petroleum and sexual-gender violence.” (207)

“The Biafran War is an important historical marker in the instantiation of sexual violence as a necessary and naturalized security practice against people and communities who contest imperial oil practices. Sexual violence is more than just a “tool” of war, it is the condition on which global oil politics are made possible.” (207)

“In other words, today, as in the past, the security forces of the state and interstate system protect the oil industry through the regulation of petro-communities. Regulation relies on a constant fear of injury and danger, which are substantiated as “real” through material acts of ethnoracial, gender, sexual, environmental, economic, and political violence.” (207)

Topics: Economies, Ethnicity, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Economies, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2011

The Delta Creeks, Women’s Engagement and Nigeria’s Oil Insurgency

Citation:

Oriola, T. 2012. “The Delta Creeks, Women’s Engagement and Nigeria’s Oil Insurgency.” British Journal of Criminology 52 (3): 534–55. doi:10.1093/bjc/azs009.

Author: T. Oriola

Abstract:

The on-going insurgency in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria continues to have serious consequences for oil workers, corporations and the global oil market. In spite of the growing interest in arguably the greatest existential threat to the Nigerian state since the Civil War of 1967–70, scant scholarly attention has been paid to the Delta creeks and the fundamental roles performed by women in the insurgency. This paper interrogates the space represented by the creeks as the home territory of insurgents in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta. Using interview and focus group data garnered from 42 insurgents and five other sets of actors, I analyse the operational significance and symbolism of the creeks and its processual social sorting. In addition, I demonstrate the dichotomous relationship of women to the creeks. Women constitute a major source of reconnaissance, spiritual fortification, among other roles, but are concurrently considered eewo or abomination by male insurgents. Although academic analysis has been overwhelmingly concerned with the supportive roles and nonviolent protests of women, the Delta women are actively engaged in the on-going violent repertoires of protest.

Keywords: Niger Delta, insurgency, oil struggle, Nigerian women, Niger Delta creeks

Annotation:

  • Women mediate between insurgents, the state and TNOCs, exercise “sexual power” (see Turner and Brownhill), are sometimes employed as gunmen, act as emissaries for insurgents (seduce security guards for information, etc.), and provide spiritual fortification.

Quotes:

"I argue that, although scholarly attention has been overwhelmingly concerned with the supportive roles and non-violent protests of women, the Delta women are actively engaged in the on-going violent repertoires of protest in various capacities as gun-runners, combatants, mediators and emissaries of insurgents, amongst others.” (2)

“It is hardly surprising that the United States considers African oil—a major part of it Nigerian in origin—as a commodity of ‘strategic national interest’ (Klare and Volman 2004: 227). The continued provision of arms and ammunitions to the Nigerian state in its war against insurgents is part of the wider securitization of oil in Nigeria by the American and British governments (Lubeck et al. 2007) amid incursion into the Nigerian oil industry by countries like China (see Obi 2008).” (8)

“Focusing on the role of women in the domestic domain inadvertently feeds into the patriarchal ideological underpinnings of the Nigerian society. By establishing key areas in which women participate in the Delta insurgency, I aim to demonstrate that women are an essential part of the violent forms of protest just as they have been active participants in non-violent protest.” (10)

“Women benefit from the facticity of femininity and occupation of a socio-cultural space that construes (Delta) women as somehow less dangerous than men.” (11)

“In the case of the Delta insurgency, female insurgents perform influential roles that the society accords them. However, the young women are perceived as wayward and unsuitable as wives and mothers. Their participation is also largely marginalized. When the federal government of Nigeria granted amnesty to all interested insurgents, for instance, women were among the last set of participants to go through the process of rehabiliation because male insurgents received priority attention. Women’s participation in the insurgency and the rehabilitation exercise seems devalued and relegated to the fringes.” (18)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Multi-National Corporations, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2012

The Impact of Petroleum Refinery on the Economic Livelihoods of Women in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Citation:

Omorodion, Francis Isi. 2004. “The Impact of Petroleum Refinery on the Economic Livelihoods of Women in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.” JENDA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies (6): 1–15.

Author: Francis Isi Omorodion

Abstract:

Based on the premise that globalization infringes on the sovereignty of nation-states through promoting free movement of capital and labor, this paper seeks to delineate the impact of petroleum refinery on the economic livelihoods of women in Africa, using Niger Delta region of Nigeria as a case study. Indigenous communities are characterized by economy in which women are active and bear the primary responsibility of feeding members of their homesteads. However, globalization capitalizes on cultural factors through its gender segregation and inequality in African society to attain its goal of profit maximization through practice of male inclusiveness in the activities of petroleum refinery to support the supremacy of male economic livelihoods over that of female. Oil companies provide the male population with alternative employment in the oil industry, and/or pay the men "standby", referring to payment of stipend for no job done. Yet, a majority of women bear the burden for the survival of their household unit, either as the primary breadwinner of female-headed households or of their unit within a polygamous homestead. The paper argues that patriarchy and globalization subjugate women by neglecting and making female economic activities invisible and insignificant. Ultimately, by focusing attention on the operations of oil companies in Nigeria, the fundamental argument based on globalization, patriarchy, and gendering has a wider and global relevance as we peruse the impact of petroleum refinery on women's involvement in development.

Topics: Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Globalization, Households, Indigenous, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2004

The Implications of Oil Pollution for the Enjoyment of Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women in Niger Delta Area of Nigeria

Citation:

Oluduro, Olubayo, and Ebenezer Durojaye. 2013. “The Implications of Oil Pollution for the Enjoyment of Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women in Niger Delta Area of Nigeria.” The International Journal of Human Rights 17 (7-8): 772–95. doi:10.1080/13642987.2013.835911.

Authors: Olubayo Oluduro, Ebenezer Durojaye

Abstract:

Oil is a major source of income for Nigeria and it is the mainstay of the country’s economy. Nigeria’s intensive oil sector accounts for nearly 40% of its gross domestic product, but declined steadily to an average of 14.71% of the country’s total export between 2006 and 2011; and contributed about 80% of budgetary revenues that all tiers of government heavily depend on. Oil spills and gas flaring are some of the effects of the unregulated exploratory activities of the oil multinational companies that have contributed immensely to the physical and mental illness of the local inhabitants of the Niger Delta region and violated most of their rights as guaranteed under international and regional human rights instruments and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) 1999. In view of the growing threats to human health and the environment (posed by human activities), the international community has agreed to a number of treaties to respond to the health and human rights challenges posed by environmental degradation. Although Nigeria is a party to most of these instruments, it has done little or nothing to regulate the conduct of the oil companies that negatively impact on the health of the Niger Delta people. While the impact of oil extraction affects both men and women, the article focuses on its implications for women’s reproductive well-being. This is because women are a disadvantaged and marginalised group and have continued to experience discriminatory practices in many parts of the country, including the Niger Delta area. The article discusses the health challenges associated with oil exploitation in the Niger Delta, paying attention to the position of women. It then proffers suggestions on measures and steps that could be taken by the Nigerian government and other stakeholders in ensuring the adequate protection of the health rights of local inhabitants.

Keywords: oil, exploitation, health, Niger Delta, women

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Governance, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2013

Engendering Civil Society: Oil, Women Groups and Resource Conflicts in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Citation:

Ikelegbe, Augustine. 2005. “Engendering Civil Society: Oil, Women Groups and Resource Conflicts in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.” The Journal of Modern African Studies 43 (2): 241–70. doi:10.2307/3876206.

Author: Augustine Ikelegbe

Abstract:

Civil society has been an active mobilisational and agitational force in the resource conflicts of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. The paper examines the gender segment of civil society and its character, forms and roles in these conflicts. The central argument is that marginality can be a basis of gendered movements and their engagement in struggles for justice, accommodation and fair access to benefits. Utilising secondary data and primary data elicited from oral interviews, the study identifies and categorises women groupings and identifies their roles and engagements in the oil economy. It finds that community women organisations (CWOs), with the support of numerous grass-roots women organisations, are the most active and frequently engaged in the local oil economies, where they have constructed and appropriated traditional women protests as an instrument of engagement. The paper notes the implications of women protest engagements and particularly their exasperation with previous engagements, the depth of their commitments, and the extension of the struggle beyond the threshold of normal social behaviour.

Annotation:

  • Women constitute a large portion of subsistence farmers, fisherwomen and informal sector in Nigeria; marginalized in trickle down of benefits from MNCs (Shell has a female capacity building program), but women are not recognized as owners of land or water resources, underemployed by MNC, and excluded from compensation for acquisition, pollution and devastation of farmlands and fishing waters (242)
  • Women led peaceful mass actions against oil companies; now, NGOs and MNCs are focusing on how women can help peace-building capacity in the region (242)
  • Women’s organizations are primarily on the rise in the informal sector (market associations, cooperatives and informal credit) -- Mobilization, autonomy to challenge status quo, define own interests and set own agendas (245)
  • Women’s groups preceded colonialism, were a part of traditional governance systems; Subordinated by colonial and post-colonial groupings and the addition of colonies of migrants, settlers, workers and artisans (249)
  • Categories of women’s groups: local/traditional governance structures (MNC calls to action; leverage with community – threaten to relocate or protest naked; mutual support system); communities/clans; influence-seeking groups (250)
    • Socioeconomic, pan-ethnic and regional since the 1970s
    • National groups are few and mostly professional
  • Economic downturn has led to more oil and gas exploration for rents and MNC profits, exacerbating pollution, poverty, hunger, unemployment, and anger.
  • Brunt of oil economy: women are largely sedentary farmers and thus suffer most from land degradation and loss, driven from fishing by gas flaring, prostitution rings for oil workers, and men leave to work for oil companies (254)
  • Women have threatened to seal off oil wells; Women and men together shut down Shell production facilities and protested land acquisition. (256)
  • Limitations on female involvement (266-7):
    • Local demands for development, employment and empowerment are greater than national demands for control, derivation and restructuring
    • Women lack the resources for causes that are not cultural or communal although community women’s organizations derive their strength from being culturally-based
    • Women are traditionally the last resort, demonstrating that the local threshold has been reached

Quotes:

“How have women emerged to articulate gender-related issues and mobilize themselves? Through what means and structures are women mobilized to address perceived grievances in the oil economy? Do women have associational voices in the economy of oil at the community, ethnic, pan-ethnic, state and regional levels? What kinds of women civil and community groups exist and at what level? Are women grass-root community organizations making any impact on the oil economy? In particular, what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potentials? Are there linkages, networks or organization frameworks within and beyond the community women groups?” (242)

Topics: Civil Society, Economies, Poverty, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Justice, Multi-National Corporations, NGOs, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2005

Armed Resistance: Masculinities, Egbesu Spirits, and Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

Citation:

Golden, Rebecca Lynne. 2012. “Armed Resistance: Masculinities, Egbesu Spirits, and Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.” PhD diss., Tulane University.

Author: Rebecca Lynne Golden

Annotation:

Summary:

This dissertation addresses the Ijaw/Ijo armed resistance movement for self-determination waged by young men against multinational oil companies and the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Niger Delta. I investigated the reciprocity of violence, the transgression of social order, and the search for legitimacy. The processes of defining Ijaw masculinities as responses to the everyday militarization and of this riverine, polluted environment and the increasing marginalization of Ijaw youth encompassed three dimensions of warriorhood, cosmology, and reciprocal, brutal disorder. This struggle was not one of disengagement but of diverse involvement, where a generation of men, were torn together by poverty, despair, and revolt. Complex notions of agency, (dis)connection, and belonging provide outlets for a youth-based political hierarchy that hurls young men over the gerontocracy and into the mainstream of Ijaw petrol politics. Armed with Egbesu (powerful Ijaw god of justice and war) warriors intensified their violent resistance, infused with renewed vigor from historical, ethno-spiritual identities. I demonstrated, through a progression of violent professionalization and a new democracy, that indigenous cosmology shaped and legitimized the struggle against the Nigerian Government; Egbesu orders daily lives in a world of disorder. The war god offers a counter-balance to tradition and modernity, and yet he is the manifestation of both. I revealed that the modern Ijaw warrior believes that well-organized, fighting organizations are capable of propelling the Delta out of her problems while socially promoting young men to senior status, as condoned by their elders. The new Ijaw warrior dreams of returning to his village or town as a hero to supplant older forms of rule, yet he is no longer in control of his lands and trading routes. Instead, oil lifting, pipeline sabotage, and burning cash have become the new order. The armed rebellion wove a web of betrayals and disillusionment. The contradictory reverberations of failures and successes of Ijaw warriors continues to anchor everyday meanings on historical transgressions, warrior obligations, and future aspirations for social inclusion, while sequestering the emergent Ijaw warrior in perpetual battle. He is the unseen additive in the Nigerian oil, on which the world depends.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Men, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Multi-National Corporations, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2012

Oil Activities, Unsustainable Environment and the Combative Reactionism of Women in the Niger Delta

Citation:

Emuedo, Crosdel O., and Okeoghene A. Emuedo. 2014. “Oil Activities, Unsustainable Environment and the Combative Reactionism of Women in the Niger Delta.” African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 8 (1): 1–9. doi:10.5897/AJPSIR12.031.

Authors: Crosdel O. Emuedo, Okeoghene A. Emuedo

Abstract:

The Niger Delta is made up mainly of rural communities with the majority of people depending mostly on fishing and farming for their livelihoods. The traditional division of labour gives the Niger Delta women primary responsibility for providing for and managing the sustenance of the family household. Women depend mainly on the environment to eke out a living as they have little access to control over land, education and skilled work. Years of oil exploration activities with frequent oil spillages have led to severe environmental degradation with resultant destruction of farmlands and aquatic flora and fauna. This has placed extra burden on women in the Niger Delta, as they have to strive even harder to meet their daily needs. In addition, women are also the least to be hired by the oil companies in the Niger Delta. Women thus, suffer a discrepant impoverishment that deflates their status vis-a-vis men. The effect of the environment on the women of the degraded Niger Delta communities includes a high level of poverty and reduction in economic activities.

Keywords: oil activities, women's reaction, Niger Delta

Topics: Civil Society, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2014

Trafficking of Women in Nigeria: Causes, Consequences and the Way Forward

Citation:

Akor, Linus. 2011. “Trafficking of Women in Nigeria: Causes, Consequences and the Way Forward.” Corvinus Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 2 (2): 89-110.

Author: Linus Akor

Abstract:

The phenomenon of the trafficking of women, especially of young girls and women into exploitative sexual and commercial labor, has recently begun to attract local, national and international attention from world leaders, academics, the mass media, advocacy groups, the clergy and humanity in general. This is against the back drop of the fact that the trafficking of women has a number of far-reaching socio-economic, health and political consequences. Several factors, among them poverty, unemployment, ignorance and family size have been implicated as being reasons why women fall easy preys to the antics of traffickers. From available statistics, we can say that about 500,000 women are brought into the United States of America and Europe yearly for sexual and domestic servitude. Of the over 70,000 African victims of women trafficking, Nigerian women account for 70 percent of those trafficked to Italy alone. Fighting the menace requires a coordinated and concerted push from all stakeholders. This paper presents the causes and consequences of the trafficking of women from Nigeria to America and Europe. Empirical evidence indicates that the activities of traffickers, corrupt embassy officials, the country’s porous borders, poverty, refusal of victims to expose traffickers, delay in prosecuting apprehended culprits and biting youth unemployment have “conspired” to undermine the battle against the illicit trade. The paper makes far-reaching recommendations about how to mitigate the identified obstacles.

Keywords: trafficking of women, poverty, prostitution, traffickers, Italo, madam

Topics: Corruption, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Girls, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, West Africa, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Italy, Nigeria

Year: 2011

Beyond Survival: Militarism, Equity and Women’s Security

Citation:

Mama, Amina. 2014. “Beyond Survival: Militarism, Equity and Women’s Security.” In Development and Equity: An Interdisciplinary Exploration by Ten Scholars from Africa, Asia and Latin America, edited by Dick Foeken, Ton Dietz, Leo De Haan, and Linda Johnson, 29-46. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV.

Author: Amina Mama

Abstract:

This paper explores the tension between the prospects for equitable development and the global investments in militarism. It argues that militarism – a highly gendered economic, political and cultural phenomenon – not only sustains underdevelopment in poorer nations, but also poses a key obstacle to gender equity in militarized societies more generally. Evidence from current research on the Nigerian, Liberian and Sierra Leonean civil wars illustrates women’s increased participation in more recent conflicts, their improvised livelihood strategies and their contribution in peace activism. In the era of neoliberal globalization, postcolonial militarism continues to undermine the prospects for democratization, social justice and genuine security, especially for women. An effective strategy for addressing the dual perils of militarism and gender inequality requires strengthening the work of the women’s movements, to engage in more effective evidence-based advocacy that highlights and challenges the gendered political, economic and cultural foundations of militarism and insecurity.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Combatants, Female Combatants, Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

Effect of Oil Exploration on Socio-Cultural Issues in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria

Citation:

Akhionbare, A. E., and E. E. Osuji. 2013. “Effect of Oil Exploration on Socio-Cultural Issues in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.” Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries 5 (2): 19-24.

Authors: A. E. Akhionbare, E. E. Osuji

Abstract:

This study examined the effects of oil exploration on socio-cultural issues in Oguta local government area of Imo State, Nigeria. Cluster sampling technique was used to select 316 respondents for this study. Information on the objectives of this study was elicited from the sampled respondents through a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as the mean, frequency distribution, percentage and Likert scale. Multiple responses were recorded in terms of environmental challenges posed by oil exploration in the area. Problems such as loss of source of livelihood, community clashes and intra and inter-community violence, loss of community norms, destruction of historical sites of importance, sexual pervasiveness, decrease in longevity and infant mortality and inequality/inferiority complex were regarded as serious socio-cultural problems in the area. Strengthening of Social Impact Assessment within the EIA process in Nigeria, as well as an upgrade to Strategic Environmental Assessment to address socio-cultural issues in policies and plans is recommended for the Government, while the management of oil companies should liase with members of the host communities on ways to restore and preserve the traditions of their host community.

Keywords: oil exploration, socio-cultural issues, oil companies, Oguta, Likert scale

Topics: Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2013

Pages

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