Author by Dr. Comfort Oyinloye

Journal/Publisher: Gender, Culture And Development In Africa, Pan African University Press

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 315 - 328


A nation’s population is usually almost evenly divided between males and females except under peculiar circumstances such as war or highly selective immigration which normally affect males more than females. Nigeria’s 1991 population census, for example, indicates that males and females represent 50.4% and 49.96% of the population respectively (1997), while the 2006 figures show that males and females represent 49.3% and 50.7% of the population respectively (ILO, 2012). However, throughout the ages, the sharing of power, wealth, influence, employment, etc., between men and women has never been close to equality, even in most advanced countries, gender inequality has remained an issue. This notwithstanding, the role women play in the national development in all facets of human endeavour has been quite notable. Gender and development are important because they focus on connections between gender and development initiatives, and deal with issues such as health and education, decision making and leadership, peace building, violence against women and economic empowerment (Balatchandirane, 2007)Development cannot be realized without the very significant component of gender. Countries the world over have proved that exclusion of women in development has rendered their development efforts futile. Due to this realization, gender parity has become central to the development process everywhere, in international for a especially. As the world is focusing on development as a means of alleviating world poverty, removing particularly gender inequalities will give the world a better chance to develop (UN Women, 2013). Gender equality is a critical component of societal progress. It reflects basic rights that do not need any economic justification. This is reflected in the explicit inclusion of gender-related development objectives in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (Ward, Lee, Baptist & Jackson, 2010). Yet it is also the case that gender equality has broad and positive implications for economic and social development. Better-enlightened women can undertake higher-value economic activity. Countries are rarely wealthy if they have poor gender equality in education. Low education levels trigger a vicious cycle, wherein poorly enlightened women are left ill-equipped to obtain well-paid jobs, and this, in turn, reduces incentives for parents to invest in girls’ schooling. What can be done to reverse this trend? Education can benefit individuals in the labor market by facilitating entry into higher-earning occupations and by raising earnings within an occupation. It can also promote gender equality in the labor market if these two benefits of education accrue to women equality (or more than) to men. But the benefits of education depend on the quality of education (Hanushek, 2008) 54% of Nigeria still lives in poverty and the proportion has doubled since 1980 (when about 28% were classified as poor). Nigeria’s human development

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