Women and Leadership in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects

Emeka Emmanuel OKAFOR, Monica Ewomazino AKOKUWEBE


Women are a major stakeholder in the development project of any society. Globally, the issues of women marginalisation and low participation in political leadership and decision making have been attracting a lot of attention from scholars. Although women and men have different biological and physiological make-up, they may share common features with men in terms of educational qualifications, socio-economic status and occupation among others. Yet, they are marginalised in virtually all spheres of public life. In many African countries, such as Nigeria, obnoxious social norms, political exclusion and economic lopsidedness dictate the presence and voice of women in public life. According to 2006 Nigerian population census figure, women constituted 49% of the total population, but there has been a gross gender gap between men and women, especially in political representation, economic management and leadership. This paper, therefore, examines critically some factors that have brought about this wide political and socio-economic disparity. Using both historical and descriptive approaches and guided by patriarchy and liberal feminism theories, the paper argues that the various economic, political, social and systemic practices serve as obstacles to effective participation of women in politics, governance and decision making in Nigeria. The paper concludes that, for there to be greater participation of women in all spheres of Nigerian society, government and other stakeholders should engage in programmes and policies that would empower women politically, socially and economically.

Keywords: Women, leadership, governance, marginalization, prospect, politics

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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