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Gender issues in urban indigenous communities in Nigeria: evidence from Port Harcourt
Urban indigenous people‟s way of life and their socioeconomic conditions have not attracted much attention in urban community studies despite the fact that they constitute an important segment of the urban population. Similarly, the manners in which urban indigenous women are subordinated to men in the patriarchal family structure and the attendant urban economic relations fostered by men deserve to be examined. This paper therefore attempts to examine gender issues in five indigenous communities in Port Harcourt. The communities are: Abuloma, Oroazi, Rumuadaolu, Elekahia and Ogbuna-abali. The key questions explored in the study are: how are urban indigenous women been marginalized in the process of urban growth and what urban role had been feminized? Focus Group Discussion (FDG) was used to elicit information from the women in these communities. The study revealed that the integration of indigenous communities into urban growth center redefine women agricultural role and created a new economic relation in which women constitute a large segment of people in the informal sector. The study also revealed that government urban renewal policy in the indigenous communities has not been gender sensitive. Based on these findings it is recommended that gender sensitive approach be adopted in urban planning.