Institutionalization of Gender Inequality in Nigeria: Implications for the Advancement of Women


Oyekanmi, Felicia Durojaiye. 2005. “Institutionalization of Gender Inequality in Nigeria: Implications for the Advancement of Women.” Population Review Publications 44 (1): 56-71.

Author: Felicia Durojaiye Oyekanmi


This paper highlights the institutionalization of gender inequality in Nigerian society and affirms that there is a thin divide between the public and private lives of women in Nigeria, especially in rural areas. It draws attention to the emergence of non-traditional female-headed families. The new trend in defining the household shows that it is a dynamic social unit that is not necessarily built around men. This new flexibility in defining the household helps to envision women, not as persons who work merely to supplement household income, but as persons who engage in economic ventures because they have personal needs and aspirations. The main barriers to the advancement of women in public life are low level of employment of women in the formal labor sector, low literacy rates, gender stereotypes with regard to employment opportunities and promotions, and cultural practices such as patriarchy and early marriage that limit women's access to and control over resources. In their private liveswomen somehow manage to provide the necessary resources to maintain themselves and their children with or without financial assistance from spouses, although with increased difficulty. The feminization of poverty concept is applicable in view of the high level of poverty among women. In order to remedy the situation for women in Nigeria, and to enhance the lives of the populace in general, proposals are put forth that it is hoped will be embraced by government leaders, employers, families and individuals.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2005

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at