"When Will I Get My Rest?” Neo-Liberalism, Women, Class and Ageing in Ibadan, Nigeria


Adeniyi-Ogunyankin, Grace. 2012. “‘When Will I Get My Rest?’ Neo-Liberalism, Women, Class and Ageing in Ibadan, Nigeria.” Agenda 26 (4): 29–36.

Author: Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin


In-depth interviews about gender and the urban political economy in Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria with a sample of 24 women aged 46 to 83 years revealed that there are class differences in ageing as it pertains to women’s experiences of financial security and care work. Based on interview responses, this briefing argues that neoliberalism has exacerbated the class disparity in ageing among women in Ibadan. Neoliberalism has heightened urban inequality through policies that have led to currency devaluation, state retrenchment of social services and employment insecurity. These policies have in turn intensified women’s triple burden of reproduction, production and community management as women bear the responsibility of absorbing the shock of neoliberal economic policies. Moreover, contrary to neoliberal assumptions that older people are mainly dependants who rely on their families for financial assistance and care, poorer older women are also shock absorbers as far as economic activity and care work is concerned. This briefing highlights that neoliberalism in fact increases the burden on older people, especially women, and can have adverse effects on the ageing process in that it exacerbates deprivation and increases the social constraints faced by poor elder women and their burden of care.

Keywords: neoliberalism, gender, age, class, financial security, care work

Topics: Age, Class, Economies, Care Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2012

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