The Social Phenomenon of Women Empowerment in Nigeria: A Theoretical Approach

DOI: 10.4236/sm.2012.24051   PDF   HTML     6,870 Downloads   14,448 Views   Citations


Women have continued to make immense contributions to development in Nigeria. These landmark achievements have not been without challenges, hence the predominance of women issues at local, national and international seminars, workshops and symposia. Issues such as women’s status, roles, and needs have been of utmost concern. Efforts to address these issues led to the adoption of various strategies towards making women relevant in every sphere of life in the society. One strategy that had gained currency over the years among scholars and practitioners of women and gender studies has been that of women “empowerment”. The continued persistence of women’s problems in the areas of gender equality, gender roles, improved social status, etc., raises a number of questions about the empowerment strategies of governmental and non-governmental agencies. Are the strategies based on faulty theoretical assumptions? Is their application in the Nigerian situation faulty? What is the problem of their application in the Nigerian context? This paper attempts to examine these questions against the background of the tenets of women empowerment strategies.

Share and Cite:

Nwagbara, E. , Etuk, G. & Baghebo, M. (2012). The Social Phenomenon of Women Empowerment in Nigeria: A Theoretical Approach. Sociology Mind, 2, 388-393. doi: 10.4236/sm.2012.24051.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Adekanye, T. O. (1988). Women in African agriculture. Journal of the Institute of African Studies, 3, 1-4.
[2] Adeleke, J. O. (2012). Effects of the national policy implementation strategy on the working conditions of women in agricultural developemnt: A case study of Akungba and Oka Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. British Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 5, 315-324.
[3] Afolabi, M. M. (2008). Women as pillars of national economy in Nigeria: A study of economic activities of rural women in six local Government Areas of Ondo State. International Association for Feminist Economy, Torino, 19 June-21 July 2008.
[4] Ake, C. (1994). Democratization of disempowerment in Africa. Ikeja: Malthouse Press.
[5] Barrett, N. (1982). Obstacles to economic parity for women. American Economic Review, 72, 164-165.
[6] Boserup, E. (1980). Women’s role in economic development. New York: St. Martins Press.
[7] Crawley, H. (1998). Living up to the empowerment claims: The potential of PRA. In I. Guijt, & M. K. Shah (Eds.), The myth of community. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.
[8] Damisa, M. A., & Yohanna, M. (2007). Role of rural women in farm management decision making process: Ordered probit analysis. Trends in Applied Science Research, 2, 241-245. doi:10.3923/tasr.2007.241.245
[9] Economist (2000). A survey of Nigeria: Here is hoping. Economist, 1,1.
[10] Ezumah, N. N. (1988). Women in agriculture: Neglect of women’s role, Journal of the Institute of African Studies, 3, 9-15.
[11] Famoriyo, S. (1988). The significance of women in Nigeria agriculture. Journal of the Institute of African Studies, 3, 1-4.
[12] Gabriel, A. O. (2000). Women empowerment in the Niger-Delta: Past, present and future. Journal of Niger Delta Research, 2, 21-39.
[13] Gajanayake, S. J. (1993). Community empowerment: A participatory training manual on community project development. Il: Office of International Training and Consultation.
[14] Garba, P. K. (1997). A strategy for empowering women: Application to trade union activities. In P. K. Garba, et al. (Eds.), Women and economic reforms in Nigeria. Ibadan: Women’s Research and Documentation Centre.
[15] Gardiner, J. (1997). Gender, care and economics. London: MacMillan Press.
[16] Griffin, V. (1989). Women, development and empowerment: A pacific feminist perspective. Kuala Lumpur: Asian and Pacific Development Centre.
[17] James, V. U., & James, M. M. (1995). The current and future directions for African women farmers. In V. U. James (Ed.), Women and sustainable development in Africa. CT: Praeger Publishers.
[18] Lopez-Claros, A., & Zahidi, S. (2005).Women’s empowerment: Measuring the global gender gap. URL (last checked 8 April 2006).
[19] Madunagu, B. (2007). Women’s health and empowerment: Speeches, essays and lectures (1995-2006). Calabar: Clear Lines Publications.
[20] Mill, J. S. (1865). Principles of political economy. London: Longman.
[21] Mill, J. S. (1970). The subjection of women. In A. S. Rossi (Ed.), Essays on sex equality. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
[22] Montagu, A. (1982). Introduction. In J. E. Fairchild (Ed.), Women, society and sex. New York: McMlii.
[23] Mullender, A., & Ward, D. (1991). Self-directed groupwork: Users take action for empowerment. London: Whiting and Birch.
[24] Mwangola, M. S. (2006). Looking, back, moving forward: Relections on Forum’85. CODESRIA Bulletin, 1-2, 6-7.
[25] Nwagbara, E. N., Ering, S. O., Abia, R. P., & Osuchukwu, N. C. (2007). Strategies for involving women in framing environmental policies: A critical appraisal of the Nigeria situation. Calabar Journal of Politics and Administration, 4, 118-132.
[26] Nwagbara, E. N., & Ering, S. O. (2007). A sociological analysis of political gender-balancing in Nigeria. Journal of Research in National Development, 5, 51-62.
[27] Ogbuagu, S. (2004). Gender, population and environmental issues. Owerri: Ark Publishers.
[28] Ogunlela, Y. I., & Mukhtar, A. A. (2009). Gender issues in agriculture and rural development in Nigeria: The role of women. Humanities and Social Sciences Journal, 4, 19-30.
[29] Omonijo, B., Rotimi, A., & Agande, B. (2007). Census: Kano beats Lagos. Vanguard Newspaper, 23, Article ID: 60243.
[30] Para-Mallam, O. J. (2006). The national policy on women and the challenges of mainstreaming gender issues in Nigeria, 1985-2005. Ph.D. Thesis, Leeds: University of Leeds.
[31] Rowlands, J. (1992). What is empowerment? The challenge of researching women, empowerment and development in Honduras. GAPP Conference on Participatory Development, London, 9-10 July 1992.
[32] Salihu, A. (2001). Nigerian women and the Obasanjo regime. DPMN Bulletin. URL (last checked 25 July 2012).
[33] Tischler, H. L., Whitten, P., & Hunter, D. E. K. (1986). Introduction to Sociology (2nd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
[34] Ubanna, S. (2000). Unchaining women. Newswatch Magazine, 32, 13-14.
[35] UNDP (2012). URL (last checked 7 July 2012).
[36] UNFPA (2012). URL (last checked 7 July 2012).
[37] World Bank (2001). Tracking poverty: World development report 2000-2001. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.