Whenever the term “Gender” is mentioned, many readily attribute it to the womenfolk who, in many societies, are challenged and often put in a disadvantaged position concerning the men. As a result, many women empowerment programs are being championed to cushion the effects of this subjugation on women. This article shall look at understanding gender equality in Nigeria and the way forward.
Gender equality refers to the condition where both men and women living in society enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society.
Equal rights and opportunities cut across different sectors and different aspects of our lives, including decision-making and economic participation. This means that the needs of women and men are equally valued and favored and there should not be bias because of a person’s gender.
How to Achieve Gender Equality in Nigeria
To achieve and maintain gender equality society needs to embrace gender neutrality and maintain gender equity.
According to Wikipedia:
“Gender equality is the goal, while gender neutrality and gender equity are practices and ways of thinking that help in achieving the goal. Gender parity, which is used to measure gender balance in a given situation, can aid in achieving gender equality but is not the goal in and of itself. Gender equality is more than equal representation, it is strongly tied to women’s rights, and often requires policy changes.”
How Can We Tell if Nigeria Maintains Gender Equality?
One of the ways we can measure gender equality in the country is by looking at the representation of men and of women in a range of roles.
In a situation where (for example) women are hardly represented in a sector of society then we can begin to ask the question “why”? Could it be that women are not allowed equal opportunities in that sector?
However, this does not imply that men and women must be equally represented in everything in society.
Giving equal opportunities, there are things in life where women may thrive more than men, and vice versa. We can also look at the Nigerian constitution if certain laws are biased against men or women in society.
There is no doubt that gender plays a significant role in promoting or retarding a society’s development process. As was observed, individual actors that make up gender, and none of these actors’ actions and inactions are insignificant. As a continent, Nigeria and some other African nations is unique in their settings and have a patterned and orderly system, which is evident in their patriarchal society.
However, with the diffusion of culture in her abode, several other order patterns resulting in agitations and gender tensions were passed down, which has created a new perception of inequality in gender roles and rewards and recognition. These perceived inequalities have also led to the emergence of several programs and initiatives meant to empower women and cause them to be active participants in all social institutions. While many of these policies are laudable and have yielded some results proper balance in women’s integration in work and their roles as homebuilders. This paper, therefore, appreciates the work of the varieties of gender equality movements and policies. It concludes that each gender role, especially women’s roles both at home and in the industry, is as essential as men’s roles in corporate and formal organizations. However, this is not to say that women cannot function in other areas, even in politics and highly ranked leadership positions in society but not at the expense of their primary roles in the family-the basic unit of society.
Following the afore discourse and findings, for development to be smooth and long-lasting, this paper recommends that men and women see their roles as essential but not as superior, and each institution should afford to recognize each actor’s roles and accord appropriate rewards and benefits. Also, women should not just strive to make a point by attaining positions outside the home, thereby having little or no time to play their primary roles in the family but should see their primary roles as also a vital key to achieving societal development because they are and will be building lives that will make nations.
I hope you find this article helpful as well as interesting.