Backgroundto the studyGenderinequality is as old as man itself, it is not something that started in Nigeriaor any other specific country for that matter; it can be dated as far back tobeginning of culture and religion a time when women were looked upon as theweaker sex (in which they still are) and the men dominated in all areas. Genderinequality is the perception that men and women are not equal and this unequaltreatment arises from the socially constructed roles and attributes for bothsexes, this ideology presents that since men are superior to women they shouldnot be opened to equal opportunities, chances or experiences.Genderinequality is not subjected to just Nigeria or any particular country, it hasits tentacles rooted deeply all-over the world; especially in countries thatare patriarchal in nature- which is a significant feature of a traditionalsociety- such as Nigeria; that is, countries that a structure of a set ofsocial relations with material base which enables men to dominate women(Makama, 2013). Not only is Nigeria patriarchal in nature, it also runs on thebelief system that the best place for a woman is in the ‘kitchen’ and that iswhere she should belong, this mentality was confirmed by President MuhammaduBuhari, when he affirmed that his wife belongs to the kitchen and “the otherroom” at an international press conference.
This belief brought about themisrepresentation of women’s right from the family level to the society atlarge (this day, 2017)Thepatriarchal nature of Nigeria has skilfully sets the parameters for women’sstructural unequal position in families and markets by permitting illegitimategender terms in inheritance rights and by tacitly allowing domestic and sexualviolence and sanctioning differential wages for equal or comparable work(Makama, 2013). Tradition, culture and religion have dictated men and womenrelationship for centuries and entrenched male domination into the structure ofsocial organisations and institutions at all levels of leadership (Ipadeola,2014).Victimizedat each level, women traditionally have restricted access to education, ownershipof land and assets in Nigeria. It is disturbing and saddening to know thatwomen are also denied equal treatment in inheritance rights, human resourcesdevelopment and sustainable economicgrowth (Gregory, 2017). It is consequently troubling that at once they arelooking for equal treatment and participation in issues that concerns them andtheir families; some respected traditional rulers who ordinarily should have abetter understanding of the issue are making utterances that are entirelyunhelpful (Maria 1990).Thesouth-western Nigeria is known as the Yoruba land in Nigeria it consist of sixstates which are: Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo states. The Yorubapeople are known for their rich social and cultural heritage that has been inpractice for centuries even before the arrival of colonialism in Nigeria.
TheYoruba people are viewed as intellectual and highly respectable people; it haseven been argued that it to be part of one of the most civilized people in theworld and the evidence is seen in their culture and general way of life,ranging from their gestation, manner of greeting, their governance and alsotheir religious beliefs (Newsbreaker, 2015). Some laws have been put in place to protectthe inalienable rights of humans and laws enacted specially for the protectionof women’s right both nationally and internationally and Nigeria is party tothese treaties that are to protect the rights of women. Some of these laws canbe found in engraved in the very institution of Nigeria; The 1999 constitutionof Nigeria as amended in 2011, Universal declaration of Human Right (UHDR) 1948,Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW) 1979, The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and so on· Article I of the Universal Declarationof Human Rights (UNDHR) provides: “All human beings are born free and equal indignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should acttowards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.· Article 2 of the UNDHR alsore-emphasises the equality of human persons as follows: “Everyone is entitledto all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, withoutdistinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion,political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or otherstatus. Furthermore, no distinctionshall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or internationalstatus of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it isindependent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation ofsovereignty.
· Article 2 of African (Banjul) Charter OnHuman And Peoples’ Rights re-enacted the aforementioned provisions of the UNDHRon equality of human beings, which African countries including Nigeria adoptedas follows: “Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rightsand freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter withoutdistinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language,religion, political or any other opinion, national and social, origin, fortune,birth or other status.”· Section42(1) of the same constitution states further that: A citizen of Nigeria of aparticular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or politicalopinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person be subjected to anyform of discriminationItis all the more disheartening that in this age and time, the Nigerian Senatehas been found wanting in its role to help achieve these new goals of promotinggender equality. In September 2016, a watered down version of the Gender andEquality Bill passed a second reading in the Senate, and was referred to thecommittee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters. The first bill putforward six months earlier, and which included equal rights for women inmarriages, divorce, property ownership and inheritance, was voted down. Thatbill was rejected because members of the upper arm of parliament said “enactinga law to accord women equal rights with men was un-African and anti-religious”(Newsbreaker, 2015).Genderequality is not just a human rights issue, it is essential for the achievementof sustainable development and a peaceful, prosperous world. Therefore,circumscribing the access to opportunities that ultimately empowers women andgirls is counterproductive.
Women are not the objects of pleasure of men orproperty to be used and disposed of. Indeed, women have the same intrinsicworth as men. Therefore any custom that seeks to treat them as inferior to menor treats women as the property of their husbands cannot and should not stand(Maria, 1990).However,marginalisation on the right of women is a reoccurring problem in thiscommunity with various reasons, one of them been that the woman would move toher husband’s house and have a change in name; for this reason she isdiscredited from her right to inheritance of valuable property. 1.2.
Statement of the ProblemTheadvent of the repressive colonial administration coupled with the African cultureand custom reinforced this disease of nature of gender inequality, carving itsway through the societal structure, political culture and orientation has beenregrettably maintained and sustained by the conflicting counterpart ofpatriarchy. This flaw has caused conflict on the social roles men betweenwomen; resulting to women having the greater share of this flaw.Thechronic existence of this problem is as lethal as virus itself transmitted fromgeneration to generation under the legacy of culture and religion. From theonset the women have been treated as second class citizens in which they aredenied of their basic human right under the guise of tradition or themasquerading of culture especially among the Yoruba. The underrating of womennot only affects women but also men too because they view themselves assuperior beings and as such think that they can get away with whatever they do.
Also, the new wave of feminism has obstructed the main purpose of genderinequality making it seem like feminism should lead to female superiority andmale inferiority rather than the equal opportunity for both sexes and not onegender’s dominance over the other. Finally, human right is right entitled toall humans not segregated for a special set of people therefore why shouldthere be need for women’s right when human right is clearly sufficient for themen; it should also be sufficient for the women1.3.ResearchObjectivesThemain objective of this research is to help understand the concept of genderinequality and highlight ways in which balance can be maintained between bothgenders. Thespecific objectives of the study are:1. Todifferentiate between gender inequality and modern day feminism 2. Toexamine the extent of the marginalization of women’s right3.
Tounveil the ripple effect of gender inequality4. Toempower women while maintaining balance between both gender 1.4.Research QuestionsTheresearch questions are:1.
Whatis the difference between gender inequality and modern day feminism?2. Howand to what extent has the women’s right been marginalized?3. Whatare the ripple effects of gender inequality?4. Howcan women be empowered without obstructing balance?1.5.Significanceof the StudyThisresearch focuses on the inequalities or discrimination that women faceespecially in the south-western part of Nigeria known as the Yoruba communityin the country. The findings in this study will help us examine the society asit was before, as it is now and as it ought to be for the future generations tocome if certain amendments are made or not.
This research findings would assistwomen not only in south-western region of Nigeria to create an awareness on thelaws put in place to protect their right as humans regardless of theirbiological features or their socially dictated characters and also help usethose laws to their advantage when infringed upon.Thisresearch also would serve as an eye opener to the other things that areaffected by the discrimination of women’s right in Nigeria as a whole; it wouldalso explain to us how to balance things in the sense that there is going to beequality between both genders and not female supremacy at one end and inequalityfor the men at the other end. The research would help understand the concept ofinequality in other not to confuse it with feminism especially the extremistfeminism theories.
It would also give us an insight on the concept of equalityin Nigeria and give a glimpse of what Nigeria would look like if that idea isput to place. 1.6.Scope of the StudyThisstudy will be conducted to determine the status gender inequality in thesouth-western region of Nigeria during the pre-colonial era, colonial era, andmilitary regime and the Jonathan administration.1.7.ResearchMethodologyThisstudy is limited to Lagos and Ibadan. The reason why the south western part ofNigeria has been singled out as the geographical scope for this research is notbecause this issue cannot be found in the other zones but for the reason thatthis part of Nigeria is known to be one of the civilized part of the countryand also they hold themselves in high esteem when it comes to education butwith all these enlightenment there are still cases gender biasness.
It is aqualitative study that would be descriptive and the researcher would be makinguse of both primary and secondary sources such as books, journals, internetsources and so on.1.8.Limitations of the StudyThesignificant barrier that may confront this work will be in the region of timeit supposed to be covered. The time allocated for this research may not beenough because of academic, spiritual and extracurricular programs andactivities that are mandatory and must be attended in the duration of timeallocated for the research.
1.9.Operational Definition of TermsGender inequality: Gender inequality can be regarded as theunequal treatment or perception of individuals on the basis of gender.
Itarises from differences in socially constructed gender roles as well asbiologically through chromosomes, brain structure, and hormonal differences.Human right: Human rights are the basic rights and or freedomsthat all human beings are entitled to irrespective of their sex, religion, ethicsetc. whereby the exercise of these rights should not be encroach on. Patriarchy:Thisis a system that is ruled by the male; they are considered the head and have authorityover women and children. Basically it is the dominance of men in the culturaland social system.Feminism: Thisis a social theory or political movement which argues that legal and socialrestriction on women must be removed in order to bring ‘equality’ to both sexesin all aspect of public and private life but in truth clamours for femaledominance as opposed to male dominance.Ripple Effect:Insociology, ripple effect means how social interactions can affect situationsthat are not directly related to the initial interaction, andin charitable activities where information can be disseminated and passed fromcommunity to community to broaden its impactReferences Anonymous(2017, January 5). Gender inequality in Nigeria.
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