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ISSN: 0331-4111  e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 20, No. 1, June 2022
Pages 33-45

DOI: 10.36108/NJSA/2202.02.0130

COVID-19 Lockdown and a Surge in Women Unpaid Care Work in Nigeria: Corollary for Sustainable Development Goals

1 Olukemi Grace Adebola and 2 Dorothy Ngozi Ononokpono
1 Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
2 University of Uyo, Nigeria


The actualization of gender equality is central to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will be unachievable if no proactive measures are taken on the extent of women and girls’ involvement in unpaid care and domestic chores. Target 5.4 of the SDG delineated the need to recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructures and social protection policies as well as the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate. An online google questionnaire was used to collect data on the enormity of unpaid care work particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown among women of reproductive age (15-49 years). Data were analysed using univariate and bivariate analytical methods. The results revealed that almost all women of reproductive age (97.6%) in Nigeria are engaged in the enormous task of unpaid care which they reported increased during the COVID-19 lockdown (93.8%) without any form of commensurate remuneration by the government. Cultural norms remained the most significant reason (93.8%) why women and girls are main players in unpaid care and domestic work. Policy to address unpaid care work and women and girls’ representation in decision-making processes is recommended.

Keywords: Gender equality, unpaid care-work, COVID-19 lockdown, Nigeria, SDGs

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