The question of development among oil endowed nations of Africa: gendered violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria
Oil producing Nations of Africa have attracted the attention of human right activists and environmentalists over the years due to incessant violence arising from the policies enunciated by these states and oil multinationals towards the local people. The grievances of these communities which have fuelled the violence are informed by three fundamental issues: One, environmental degradation that is the by-product of oil exploitation; two, gross marginalization of the host communities and, three total exclusion of the local people from access to oil wealth generated from these regions.
In essence, in spite of the fact that some of the states are major oil exporters with billions of dollars accruing to these states yearly, this reality does not translate to physical development of these regions-the very locale which generates more than eighty percent of the national wealth. The perceived insensitivity of these states and oil multinationals to the plight of the oil bearing communities has, therefore informed the recurrence of violence in different dimensions with serious consequences on both women and children of the regions. Therefore, impact of the condition of these regions on women and children has necessitated the involvement of women in the struggle against the activities of these states and the oil multinationals in Africa. This chapter will highlight the circumstances that stimulated women involvement in oil violence in Africa, the responses of both the state and oil multinationals to women led protests and the policy prescriptions which, if implemented, could arrest the cycle of violence in Africa.
Keywords: Development, Gendered violence, Niger Delta inequality