THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 9, No. 1, 2011
The Sociology of Gender Equality and Development in Democratizing Nigeria
Department of Sociology Faculty of the Social Sciences University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Although it is commonly believed that gender equality is a human right issue and that its protection should be natural and non-negotiable, this is usually not the case especially in Africa with deep-rooted traditional systems and patriarchal structures that sustain gender inequality. Since Nigeria’s return to democracy, even against the backdrop of huge militarization of the psyche of Nigerians due to long spell with military dictatorship, it would be expected that the gender landscape of the country should have of necessity improved. Somewhat, democracy has influenced gender relations relative to equality and the legal environment, but translating this to development remains critically questionable. While involvement of women in politics has become more visible, as more women now hold political offices and the law is more gender sensitive, the real preponderance of the intermingling of gender equality, justice system, political dynamics and development outcomes in Nigeria, however, remains clumsy and necessitates fresh interrogation. This paper, therefore, examines the nexus of gender equality and development against legal trajectories within Nigeria’s democratizing realities.
Keywords: gender equality, rule of law, sustainable development, Nigeria