An Action Five Strategy For Bridging The Gender Gap In Academic Research Activities In African Universities. The Case of Nigeria
Academic research and productivity remain major criteria for determining productivity among university academics. Faculty progress and success are measured by their research productions. In the search for gender equality in higher education, the gender gaps in academic research productions raise concerns. Not only are the gaps limiting the rise on the academic ladder, they also reflect negatively on efforts to promote gender equity. This paper reports on a study that offers a strategy for bridging gender gaps in research in African Universities. The Action Five Strategy seeks to bridge research gaps between male and female academics. Two separate studies were carried out in 1988 using a sample of 297 lecturers with a minimum of five (5) years lectureship experience from ten (10) Nigerian Universities, in one case and, five hundred and sixty three (563) lecturers from thirteen (13) Nigerian Universities, in the other. Evidences from these studies in addition to some other works reviewed show that female academics are grossly disadvantaged in terms of awareness and involvement in research and publications. This may be one of the explanations for the under representation of women in higher ranks in the academic ladder. Other studies reviewed investigated reasons for this significant disparity in research activities between male and female academics. Against this backdrop, this paper proposes a five-action strategy for bridging the gap between male and female academics in research productivity. This strategy, which hinges on information and research network for female academics, recognizes five levels for building capacities for productive research activities among female academics. These are the individual, professional, institutional, societal/national and continental levels.
Keywords: Academic Research, Action Five Strategy, Academic Productivity, Gender Gaps, Capacity Building Levels
Studies in Gender and Development in Africa Vol. 1 (1) 2007: pp. 105-119