A Critical Analysis Of Gender Inequality In Nigeria And Its Impacts For Inclusive Economic Growth In Nigeria From 1982 – 2020

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A Critical Analysis Of Gender Inequality In Nigeria And Its Impacts For Inclusive Economic Growth In Nigeria From 1982 – 2020

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Because of the implications for economic growth and development, as well as the importance of making progress inclusive, there has recently been a surge in global interest (including in Nigeria) in pursuing gender equality. Gender inequality is so serious that it is inscribed in the constitutions and laws of many countries. The achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is one of the most important Sustainable Development Goals. A number of theoretical contributions (see, for example, Kuznets, 1955; Sen, 1980) have supported the theoretical ideas that gender disparity has a negative impact on economic growth. However, the findings of empirical studies on the effects of gender inequality on economic growth are equivocal. Existing research (Egbulonu and Eleonu, 2018; Laura et al., 2018) has shown that gender disparity has a negative impact on economic growth. Other research (Klasen and Lamanna, 2009; Bandiera and Natraj, 2013) has found that gender inequality is beneficial to economic growth. Because of the differing perspectives on the influence of gender disparity on economic growth, researchers and politicians are constantly debating the issue. Gender disparity, notably in terms of access to education and employment, persists in developing nations, particularly in the field of female employment and education, notwithstanding worldwide improvements (World Economic Forum, 2018). Gender inequality, regardless of which gender is harmed, throws a shadow on both men and women. Inclusive economic growth and development incapacitates disadvantaged people and keeps them out of the development process (Klasen, 2017). It has direct and indirect effects on individual health, aggregate productivity losses, declines in per capita income and consumption (important proxies for inclusive growth), resource waste, below-standard cooperative governance in businesses and governments, and losses or declines in current and potential human resource capacity (a key driver of growth and development). In other words, once gender equality is established in society, opportunities for economic growth, a vital condition for well-being, and an increase in living standards will rise. As a result, every action done to address gender inequality is critical since it has both macro and micro benefits for those who are discriminated against as well as for the economy as a whole, such as supporting inclusive growth by lowering poverty, unemployment, and inequality (IMF, 2013; IMF, 2018). Inclusive growth is defined as strong, long-term growth that gives an opportunity for everyone to benefit from it (Ali and Zhuang, 2007). It is a growth strategy in which everyone has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the growth process. Inclusive growth ensures equity and fairness and benefits people from all walks of life. Economic and other changes disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable. Therefore, growth that leads to huge disparities is unsustainable. In reality, growth that perpetuates inequity endangers peace, produces insecurity, coerces the poor and disadvantaged into immoral and illegal behavior, and exacerbates society’s harmful divisions. Most political and civil instability around the world can be attributed to the lack of access to growth benefits (Vahabi, 20009). Because it comprises shared growth advantages, it is a growth approach that resolves concerns about inequality, unemployment, and poverty. As a result, a growth strategy (inclusive growth) that benefits the entire population should be pursued. But, in the midst of economic progress, why do we have poverty, unemployment, and inequality? Despite the fact that most developing countries (including Nigeria) have met their economic growth targets during the past few decades, the majority of the world’s population lives in poverty, with an increasing unemployment rate and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Nigeria is currently ranked as the poorest country in the world, with 50 percent of the 180 million people living in poverty (Brookings Poverty Report, 2018) and a 23 percent unemployment rate (NBS, 2018). The growth benefited a segment of the population (mainly wealthy men) at the expense of the disadvantaged, particularly young people and women. Women are disproportionately affected, according to available data, which is thought to be a result of disparities in access to jobs. The unemployment rate for women was 26.6 percent, compared to 20 percent for men (NBS, 2018). The population’s living standards have remained mostly unaltered, and, in some cases, have deteriorated, particularly for women. The Gross National Income has been growing steadily, yet poverty, unemployment, inequality, and a low standard of living persist. Over the years, Nigeria has undergone unprecedented growth. The majority of citizens’ potential was unrealized because they were unable to engage in the growth process fairly or at all. Nigeria is 122nd out of 144 countries in terms of narrowing the gender gap (WB, 2018). Given the sharp contrast between economic growth and the aforementioned realities, it is evident that while economic growth is a required prerequisite for enhancing wellbeing, it is not sufficient. Overcoming growth’s non-inclusiveness could help to improve the harsh reality and unfavorable statistics in emerging countries like Nigeria. This may be unlikely if men and women are not treated equally (Laura et al., 2018). Despite the potential consequences of gender inequality on inclusive growth and the quest to address fundamental development concerns such as poverty, inequality, and unemployment, most empirical studies on inequality in Nigeria (Risikat, 2012; Ikechukwu et al., 2014; Egbulonu and Eleonu, 2018) focused on the economic growth – gender inequality nexus but failed to grasp the issues of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Despite the huge achievements of the Nigerian women’s movement, there are limits that hinder its efficacy. A primary incentive for this study is the lack of prioritization among activists in women’s organizations, which has resulted in a segregated women’s movement with disparate interests. Corruption in the country has brednepotism, mediocrity, and conflict of interest among the movement’s members. Despite the fact that some women’s groups have little or no coordination, continuity, or sustainability, as well as no clear aims, mission, or vision, Madunagu (2008) stated that their presence has been classified as ad hoc bodies that are useful when the need arises. Financial support from outside donors, which was once a key source of funding for most women’s organizations in Nigeria, has been discontinued since the global economic collapse of 2008, posing a serious danger to their ability to continue their work. These anomalies in obtaining funding, as well as the occasional lack of or scarcity of funds, have been a serious challenge to implementing programs that advance women’s issues in Nigeria. Lack of education and enlightenment among women toward a substantial political orientation, as well as a lack of awareness regarding the interpretation of interventions, have hampered the adoption of women’s constitutions and the inclusion of women’s issues on the agenda. It has not been easy to persuade people to adopt the women’s movement’s message; most people are uninterested, and it is difficult to persuade women to join a strong union or alliance. Even those women’s organizations that have been founded are difficult to manage, as there is often a lack of confidence and trust in the movement’s relationships. The ineffectiveness of the women’s movement in defining national gender policies in Nigeria has been hampered by a lack of good coordination among women’s organisations and associations. There exist coalitions and networks among the movement’s organizations, but they are ineffective. Regular meetings have been a key stumbling block, and this has resulted in a dearth of documentation of NGOs’ actions within the movement.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

  1. To assess the impact of gender inequality on economic growth in Nigeria.
  2. To assess the effect of gender inequality on the unemployment rate in Nigeria.
  3. To assess the effect of gender inequality on income distribution in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the impact of gender inequality on economic growth in Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of gender inequality on the unemployment rate in Nigeria?
  3. What is the effect of gender inequality on income distribution in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

In terms of gender equity, the majority of studies undertaken by international organizations in the region have been generic. Because of the differences between countries, individual countries and people who experience the phenomenon are required to be examined. This survey provides an opportunity to hear Nigerian women’s perspectives on their access (or lack thereof) to education and the hurdles that prevent them from participating in it. The current research is unique and significant for current Nigerian educational policymakers in general, and Nigerian women in particular. Although there are no direct rewards for participants, revealing cultural influences, constraints, and challenges, as well as identifying the causes that contribute to women’s underrepresentation in the education business, is crucial to implementing institutional adjustments. Obtaining replies from those who are most affected by the issue could give a framework for future research as well as provide information for policymakers, educators, and students involved in decision-making. Women’s reactions and assessments of their needs could influence and inform educational policy, planning, and execution. The study may also serve to raise awareness and pique women’s interest in assessing situations that obstruct their educational potential and looking for ways to alleviate the injustice that prevents them from achieving these goals. The results may also be useful to policymakers as they develop educational policies that are more inclusive of both genders.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The research is limited to Gender Inequality And Its Impacts on Inclusive Economic Growth in Nigeria, and the study scope ranges from 1982 – 2020.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

This study only included Nigerian women who lived in Nigeria. Because the researchers chose a homogeneous group (Nigerian women) for this investigation, the generalizability of the study’s findings was limited to that group. Furthermore, participants were expected to respond in English, even if it was not their native language. Participants who did not have access to formal schooling, on the other hand, responded to the interview questions in their native language.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Gender Inequality:

Gender inequality refers to any type of discrimination and inequity that individuals face due to their gender identity.

Economic Growth:

Economic growth is an increase in the production of economic goods and services, compared to those from one period of time to another.

A Critical Analysis Of Gender Inequality In Nigeria And Its Impacts For Inclusive Economic Growth In Nigeria From 1982 – 2020

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