Counselling for Gender Sensitivity in Nigeria: Counsellors’ Roles
This paper examined the need for Nigerian counsellors to engage in gender sensitive counselling in order to promote national development. Gender-sensitive counselling is an enlightened process that emphasises increased awareness of the social order of gender. Gender-sensitive counselling refers to the counselling process that identifies and acknowledges gendered structures and processes in the society, as well as how they affect men and women’s lives. The contributions of women in the development of any nation cannot be over emphasised. There are many gender stereotypes in Nigeria as well as in some other parts of the world that influence individual’s daily processing of information. These gender stereotypes affect people’s thoughts often without realising this influence. Invariably, such biased thoughts limit individual choices in many daily situations especially for the females. Gender stereotypes has led to discrepancy in the male/female interest and participation in education, science and technology, key economic activities, labour market and other social exclusion problems. School guidance and counselling has the capacity to change these cultural barriers and restrictions; however, current situation revealed the need for Nigerian counsellors to be more gender sensitive in the discharge of their professional responsibilities. This can be achieved through the development of gender sensitive counselling skills and activities. This paper therefore highlights the needed gender sensitive skills for counsellors to contribute their quota to national development by reducing and gradually eradicating sexism in Nigeria.
Keywords: Counselling; counsellors’ roles; gender; gender sensitive counselling; gender Stereotypes