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Balancing Acts for African Women Development: Challenges of Women Academics in Africa, the Case of Nigeria

A Akinjobi


In traditional African society as well as modern, women had, and still have, recognized roles in the socio- cultural as well as economic spheres. Many homes are partially and some fully maintained by women, who being gainfully employed add the functions of workers to that of mothers, wives, daughters-in-law as well as children, sisters, aunts etc. This paper therefore addresses the challenges facing women academics in Nigeria who have to juggle academic with culture-imposed responsibilities of marriage and motherhood, emotional needs, and recreation. Questionnaires were administered on one hundred married and single-parent female academics in some Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics in Oyo and Osun States of Nigeria and a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was conducted at University of Ibadan. The investigation revealed imbalanced acts because though the female academics are very busy, yet they love their jobs, strive to meet up with their socio-cultural family responsibilities but fail to attend to their personal recreational needs. Since African female academics are empowered and inclined towards empowering other women, they need to remain healthy, improve their thinking and increase their energy for the optimal productivity needed for development by balancing the acts of job and family life with recreation.

Keywords: Female academics, family responsibilities, African socio-cultural responsibilities, job responsibilities, recreational needs