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Female empowerment in Nigeria

Female empowerment in Nigeria is an economic process that involves empowering Nigerian women as a poverty reduction measure. Empowerment is the development of women in term of politics, social and economic strength in nation development. It is also a way of reducing women vulnerability and dependency in all sphere of life.It can be noted that the aggregate of educational, political, health and legal empowerment are key to women empowerment in Nigeria. Like many African women, Nigerian women have a subordinate role to their male counterparts.

There are imbalances within marriage, religious and government institutions and access to good health program. The United Nations, as well as a majority of nations across the globe, have developed and organized programs which aim to ameliorate gender inequalities. Women's development was adopted as the third millennium goal in 2000,the world conference on women in Benjin in 2000, and many others.

In Nigeria, the effect of women empowerment can be measured using indices such as education, literacy rate, employment and leadership roles.Lynne Featherstone has said that "High rates of maternal mortality and violence against women make Nigeria one of the toughest places in the world to be born a girl".

In looking to achieve the Millennium goal on women's development, the Nigerian government initiated the Women's Fund for Economic Empowerment and Business Development for women entrepreneurs, while "second chance" was meant to re-introduce dropped out women due to pregnancy back to school. At the Sixty-fourth General Assembly it was reported that "the number of senior female civil servants was judged to be 22.5 per cent, while judicial appointment across the 36 States constituted about 30 per cent. A national action plan on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Nigeria was deposited with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in July 2009. A chapter was devoted to the rights of women and children. A National Policy on Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions had also been put in place. Free medical treatment was provided for victims of domestic and sexual violence at temporary shelters that were being established nationwide. Nigeria was also working to improve the education of girls by recruiting more female teachers, creating skill acquisition programmes for girls and women, and providing textbooks at subsidized rates, among other measures. Judges and magistrates were continuously being trained on gender and women's rights. Health system facilities were being scaled up".

Educational statistics have been used as an indicator of gender inequalities versus women's empowerment in Nigeria. The population census conducted in 1991 by the Federal Government of Nigeria found that 61% (41 million) of Nigerian women population lack Intellectual property. In Africa, there are different form of education such as agricultural extension programme, in-service training, out of school education, audio visual education, mass media education, vocational education, in-service personnel training, community development, cooperative education,evening classes, library services, extra-moral education and trade union education.



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