Towards Greater Participation of Nigerian Women in Democratic Governance and Development: Challenges and Prospects.
Nigeria is a patriarchal society characterized by acute discrimination, exclusion, inequality and impunity. These features are also reflected in its politics, especially as they relate to the issue of gender imbalance. This asymmetrical relationship between the sexes in the process of authoritative allocation of public resources has stunted the process of sustainable human development in the country. It is the contention of this paper that the continued marginalisation of women in politics is a reflection of the deceit inherent in governmental programmes aimed at empowering women, which has made it difficult to achieve development through such programmes. In addition, the paper argues that challenges such as political violence, ‘monetisation' of politics, harmful traditional practices, division in the ranks and files of women and lack of participatory political culture have weakened the capacity of women to participate more actively in politics. The resultant effects on development, it was discovered, include unrepresentative policies, feminization of poverty, lack of ownership and acceptability of policies. The paper therefore suggests strategies for ensuring greater women participation in Nigerian politics in future in order to bring about a more rapid development for Nigeria.
Gender and Behaviour Vol. 5 (2) 2007: pp. 1406-1420