Assessing the impact of microfinance as a gender empowerment tool in Nigeria (2023)


The assumption underlying the relationship between microcredit and women's development as a means of lifting the poor out of poverty and enabling the poor to access financial services that lead to economic empowerment within communities and individuals has led to debates among scientists. This raises questions about whether microcredit really offers opportunities as a tool for women's empowerment and as a model for the development and realization of human rights. The study therefore seeks to determine whether there is a direct link between microcredit and economic development and a direct link between microcredit and women's empowerment and whether microcredit has contributed to their standard of living.

The study attempts to achieve its objective by first examining the historical context, problem and causes of gender inequality in Nigeria. There follows an assessment of the international, regional and national legal framework available for the enjoyment of human rights and protection against gender-based discrimination. It provides an overall assessment of the obstacles that prevent women from enjoying fundamental rights and freedoms in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the study examines the theory and practice of gender equality and how the issue can be addressed through human rights and development studies, evaluates the policies implemented by the Nigerian government, and examines whether the policies have resulted in the promotion of sustainable development. .

To achieve these goals, the study examined the theoretical practice of analyzing the empowerment-microfinance nexus in the context of feminist literature and analyzed the different avenues of empowerment, assessing the impact, effectiveness and limitations in empowering women through microcredit programs.

To accomplish this, it tested these proposals across three selected microcredit organizations that provide low-interest loans to those who would not normally receive them, two government-backed microcredit organizations, and one nongovernmental organization, and assessed whether there is a direct link among microcredits as an imaginative means to promote women's economic development and enjoyment of human rights. The study examined the extent to which the programs led to women's economic, social and political empowerment. Furthermore, the impact of microcredit on poverty reduction is extrapolated.

This study shows that women in Nigeria are involved in large-scale economic activities. The study found that while MFIs have to some extent economically empowered rural women, the full benefits of these women have yet to be realized due to high interest rates, inflexible repayment schedules, bundling, etc. She also noted that microcredit provides finance to improve market development and rural development, but there are limitations sanctioned by customs, budget obligations and social infrastructure. All this complicates the empowerment of women, although it contributes in a practical way to their daily lives. Furthermore, it is widely recognized among development practitioners that microcredit programs not only help reduce poverty, but also empower women. It is very difficult to find a poverty reduction strategy that does not include microcredit as an element of national development.

The study concludes the discussion by identifying some of the legal measures to be considered and recommending how these measures can increase women's empowerment through sustainable development.



List of abbreviations…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………………………………….



1.1 BACKGROUND ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

1.2. OBJECTIVES AND GOALS ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

1.4. CONSTRUCTION OF THE THESIS ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 7

CHAPTER TWO – …………………………………………… 9


2.2. …………………………………………………………… 9

2.3. …………………………………… 11

2.3.1 ………………………………………………………………………………. 12

2.3.2 …………………………………………….. 16

2.4. …………………………………………… 18

2.4.1. ……………………………………………………………………………… 18

2.4.2. …………………………………………………………………………………. 19

2.4.3. ……………………………………………………………………………. 20

2.4.4. ……………………………………………………………. 21

2.4.5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 24

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 24

CHAPTER THREE ……………………………………………. 26

3.1. ………………………………… 26

3.2. …………………………………………………………………………………. 27

3.3. …………………………………………………………………………… 28

3.3.1. …………………………………………………………………………… 30

3.3.2. ……………………………………………………………………………. 33

3.3.3. ……………………………………………………………………… 36

3.4. ……………………………………………………………………………………. 41

3.4.1. …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 41

3.4.2. ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 44

3.4.3. ………………………………………………………………………………… 46

3.5 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

CHAPTER FOUR – ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 49

4.1 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….49

4.2. …………………………………………………………………………………. 49

4.3. ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

4.4. …………………………………………….. …………………………………………… 54

4.5 ………………………………………………………………………………… 55



4.5.3. …………………………………………………………………………… 61

4.5.4. ……………………………………………………………………………………. 63

4.5.5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………64

4.5.6………………………………………………………………………………………….. 65

4.6. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 67

CHAPTER FIVE………………………………. ………………………………………. 69

5.1 …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 69



5.4 ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 75

5.5 …………………………………………………………………………………… 81

5.5.1. ……………………………………….

5.5.2. ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 83

5.6 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

5.7. RECOMMENDATIONS: THE WAY FORWARD ………………………………………………………………

BIBLIOGRAPHY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

1.4. Study organization

The study consists of seven chapters. Chapter one provides background for this.Essayand explains the goals and objectives of the study. It also contains brief summaries and the structure of the work. Chapter two analyzes the theoretical basis of the nature of rights and the impact of an HRBA on education. In this chapter, key concepts such as the meaning of “human rights” and “HRBA” are defined to make sense of some of the discussions about the legal framework of rights that continue in chapters three and four. Chapter two also identifies and discusses the core principles of an HRBA, which is the benchmark for measuring the success or failure of rights-based solutions.

Chapter three reviews and analyzes the legal framework for the right to education. This chapter examines the relevant provisions contained in the main international, regional and national human rights instruments. The tools are examined to highlight their usefulness in the HRBA and to identify some of their strengths and weaknesses in a factual context.

Chapter four examines steps taken by the Nigerian government and other development partners to fulfill their commitment to basic education for girls and boys in Nigeria. This chapter focuses on the universal basic education system (hereinafter referred to as UBE) in Nigeria, particularly highlighting the origin of the UBE and examining its objectives. It then examines the challenges of the UBE program that have so far hampered the full implementation of free and compulsory primary education and gender equality in Nigeria. Other important educational initiatives such as the Nigeria Girls' Education Initiative (NGEI), which grew out of the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) with a vision for a world

Chapter five analyzes the potential and limitations of the HRBA for education. The importance of this is that both the MDGs and the EFA had 2015 as a target to be achieved, but this has not yet happened. Therefore, considering strengths and limitations is a reminder that "business-as-usual" approaches cannot be the norm for achieving the relevant objectives that this paper considers. The arguments in this chapter lead to the conclusion that the post-2015 education agenda requires alternative approaches.

Chapter six focuses on the “second part” of the research question, i. H. CA as a complementary approach to the HRBA to achieve gender equality in education and compulsory basic education for girls in Nigeria. Much is thought here about the importance of the certification authority, what it implies and some criticisms of it. Furthermore, the CA is used as a lens through which to assess educational barriers for girls in Nigeria. It is argued that AC increases people's abilities, allowing them to make decisions they value. In this way, even girls' right to education is strengthened.

Chapter 7, the final chapter, summarizes the results of this work from the previous chapters. The chapter presents recommendations for moving forward towards achieving free and compulsory education and gender equality for girls in Nigeria and as part of the development of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Analysis of existing literature

Rebecca J. Cook - "Human Rights of Women" - is a collective contribution that analyzes the application of international human rights law specifically to women in different cultures around the world and relevant development strategies to promote fair application of human rights law at international, regional and domestic levels.

yourEssaypresent a compelling mix of reports and case studies from different regions of the world, combined with scholarly assessments of various aspects of international law that affect women. It also addresses overlapping agendas such as feminist studies about women and international human rights law that affect women.

However, it failed to address how international human rights law can be applied to address the various disadvantages and injustices that women face in exercising their human rights, and it failed to address the human rights group's reluctance to recognize the potential of international human rights law means defending women's rights.

Susan Deller Ross - "Women's Human Rights" - The first human rights case book to focus specifically on the human rights of women. It focuses on the violence and deprivation women face due to religion, cultural relativism that denies them their basic freedoms, and discriminatory laws.

However, it does not address how human rights treaties can be used to obtain court decisions on land inheritance, employment, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, child marriage, and new laws that protect women from discrimination.

Scholar's multifaceted view of empowerment. There is consensus that empowerment is not an end in itself, but a process derived from the famous work of Michael Foucault. However, they failed to address Kabeer's concept of three dimensions; Features, action capability and performance.

Chapter One

general introduction

TThe global reach of the microfinance industry in developing countries has made it difficult to find a poverty reduction strategy that does not include microcredit as an element of development. Attempts to provide loans to the poor have failed. People without traditional collateral cannot borrow money from lending institutions. Banks only offer loans to people who can provide collateral if they default on their loans. The poor were seen as a security risk. As a result, people who do not qualify for credit participate in the informal savings system, which has strict requirements, limited resources and little security. They are often exploited for their inability to have other options. Lack of access to credit facilities was identified as the main obstacle to women's empowerment.

The forerunners of rural microfinance and smallholder credit had a history of dramatic policy failures, as documented by the Ohio State School. At the time, it was generally accepted that attempts to provide small credits to the poor (then synonymous with small farmers) had been a disastrous policy (see Adamsand others1984 and others). It failed to provide credit to the poor, did little to improve agricultural productivity, and had high default rates that prevented the establishment of viable rural financial institutions. The poor were considered unbanked. The high unit cost of transactions, the inability of the poor to repay loans, and the political manipulation of such initiatives meant that development policy had to withdraw from this area and leave the entire banking sector to the private sector. for-profit sector.

study background

We know that women in Nigeria are more economically active – as farmers, workers and entrepreneurs – than anywhere else in the world. They are crucial to their families' well-being and their children's prospects in life. They are an important voice in the leadership of their communities and nations. However, they face a number of obstacles that prevent them from fulfilling these roles to the fullest. These barriers to women's full participation are fundamentally unfair. But more than that, they are impediments to Nigeria's development potential. Closing the gender gap can lead to deep and lasting economic returns.

Women and men in Nigeria often experience different opportunities, conditions and privileges; earn different wages, do not have equal access to education and are not always equal before the law.

Women face a range of barriers to realizing their full potential, from restrictive cultural practices to discriminatory laws and highly segmented labor markets. Eliminating gender inequality and empowering women can increase the productive potential of one billion Africans and give a huge boost to the continent's development potential.

The concept of microcredit is not new as there has always been a tradition of saving people by taking small self-help loans from individuals and groups to start businesses or agricultural ventures. Canadian Catholic missionaries established the first credit union in southern Nigeria in 1957. However, the oldest African microcredit system, SUSU, began in western Nigeria in the early 19th century.ºCentury. Government policies and programs have encouraged its rapid development. The creation of the African Development Bank (ADB), the provision of subsidized credit in the early 1950s and the creation of rural and community banks in the 1970s and 1980s, and the enactment of PNDCL 328 in 1991 to establish various categories of Enable -Banking financial institutions, including savings and loan societies and credit unions.

Microcredit is the provision of financial services to low-income customers or community lending groups, including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services. It therefore encompasses the provision of financial services and the management of small amounts of money through a range of products and a system of intermediation functions aimed at low-income customers. It includes loans, savings, insurance, money transfer services and other financial products and services. It is therefore one of the crucial financing tools for the poor. Microfinance is a key strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the goals of microcredit is that the poor, particularly women (because of their unpaid work), need access to productive resources, with financial services being a key resource. Microfinance can have a significant impact on cross-cutting issues such as women's empowerment, thereby promoting gender equality. Microfinance schemes generally provide small, short-term loans to very poor microentrepreneurs (very poor microentrepreneurs are women). Loan repayment is always guaranteed jointly by group members, with access to credit or future loans being dependent on successful repayment. Therefore, peer monitoring and the prospect of larger loans later act as a strong incentive to pay. According to the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, 80% of the labor force is in the informal private sector. The industry is characterized by female dominance and lack of access to credit from traditional banking institutions due to collateral issues. Therefore, the effectiveness of any microcredit program or program must be judged on how it was able to empower women economically, politically and socially.

A growing body of evidence shows that not only are women overrepresented among the poorest people, but they are also more likely than men to spend their income on the welfare of children and loved ones. Therefore, anti-poverty programs that target women are likely to be more effective. Women's empowerment is the second stated objective of the microfinance summit campaign. There is also evidence of significant potential for microfinance to empower women to challenge and change gender inequalities at all levels. There is now a growing need to rethink current best practices to ensure that women have equal and potentially preferential access to all types of financial services.

Many microcredit programs target one of the most vulnerable groups in society – women, who live in families with little or no wealth. Many studies have concluded that these programs significantly improve women's security, autonomy, confidence and status in their families by providing opportunities for self-employment. Is it like that in Nigeria? This study, therefore, would find answers to several questions raised here. In short, it would discover the impact of microcredit on rural women in Nigeria


I chose to write about the situation of women in Nigeria because of their enormous contribution to the nation's economic and social development. Women not only make up the largest proportion of the poorest in society, they are also the most vulnerable. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with diverse people, religions and cultures. it's the 7thºlargest exporter of crude oil in the world. In 2014, approximately 44.6% of Nigerians lived below the official World Bank poverty line of US$1.25 a day, and the Microcredit Summit 2005 found that 68.6% of Nigerian women lived on less than US$1 per day. The more than 162.5 million inhabitants include more than 300 ethnic groups with different dialects. Of this magnitude, 51% are women, totaling 83.4 million. As such, any discussion of the country's future must include them, the role they play and the obstacles they face in building the future. The Nigerian population is mostly made up of Christians and Muslims, while few practice African traditional religion. The southern part of the country is predominantly Christian while the northern parts of the country are Muslim. Country culture emphasizes a woman's need for total submission to her husband in all aspects of life, including the sexual act.

Women are Nigeria's hidden resource and investing in them will increase productivity and promote sustainable growth, better health and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As a country with a significant rural poor population, the concept of microcredit is not new in Nigeria, as there is a long tradition of savings, taking out small loans by individuals and groups as part of self-help to establish businesses or agricultural businesses. . Approximately 90% of Nigerian women do not have access to formal financial services and their need for microcredit is critical to development goals.

(Video) Assessing the impact of cash transfer programs on women’s empowerment in Tanzania

“Susu”, one of the microcredit schemes, was introduced in Nigeria in the early 20th century and has evolved to where it is today through government policies and programs. It is a key strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the goals of microcredit is that the poor, particularly women (because of their unpaid work), need access to productive resources, with financial services being a key resource. Microfinance can have a significant impact on cross-cutting issues such as women's empowerment, thereby promoting gender equality. Microfinance schemes generally provide small, short-term loans to very poor microentrepreneurs (very poor microentrepreneurs are women). Loan repayment is always guaranteed jointly by group members, with access to credit or future loans being dependent on successful repayment. Therefore, peer monitoring and the prospect of larger loans later act as a strong incentive to pay. According to the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, 80% of the labor force is in the informal private sector. The industry is characterized by female dominance and lack of access to credit from traditional banking institutions due to collateral issues. Therefore, the effectiveness of any microcredit program or program must be judged on how it was able to empower women economically, politically and socially.

Many microcredit programs target one of the most vulnerable groups in society – women, who live in families with little or no wealth. Many studies have concluded that these programs significantly improve women's security, autonomy, confidence and status in their families by providing opportunities for self-employment. Is it like that in Nigeria? This study would assess the impact of microfinance on rural women and find out whether microfinance programs have empowered women in rural areas

Microcredit programs allow women to assume a greater role in household decision-making; have better access to financial and economic resources; having larger social networks and greater bargaining power with husbands; and have more freedom of movement. Famed economist Kabeer defines women's empowerment as the process by which those who have been denied the ability to make strategic decisions in life acquire that ability. The main objective of any microfinance plan or program is to enable the poor to access financial services to engage in income-generating activities. This would lead, so to speak, to an economic empowerment of poor women, who make up the majority of the world's poor because they are deprived of paid employment.

Justification of the study

Despite many international agreements affirming their human rights, women are still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. Microcredit programs have the potential to set in motion a series of virtuous circles of economic empowerment, improved well-being for women and their families, and broader social and political empowerment. The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) provides loans to women to empower them economically and politically. Are these women socially, politically and economically empowered by the microcredit services they have benefited from? These issues raise the question of whether financial institutions and various government interventions aimed at empowering women in Nigeria have had a significant impact. These merit academic research to assess the impact of microfinance on women's empowerment in Nigeria, particularly in rural areas..

The purpose of this study is to examine whether microcredit has been a positive driver for women's empowerment in Nigeria. To achieve the purpose of this study, three microcredit organizations that provide soft loans to rural women are evaluated to determine whether there is a direct link between microcredit as a source of women's empowerment and development through microfinance programs. Many microcredit institutions include social goals, particularly women's empowerment, in their poverty reduction mission. The problem, however, is that most microfinance research assumes that financial success inevitably leads to women's empowerment. The understanding that empowerment is perceived differently depending on individual experience, culture and socio-political context has been largely ignored in the microfinance literature.

The theses raised in this study are (1) there is a direct relationship between the availability of microcredit and economic development; (2) there is a direct relationship between microcredit and women's empowerment in Nigeria; (3) the availability of microcredit facilitates income-generating activities among people and contributes to their higher standard of living; (4) that there is a link between microfinance institutions and the development of financial sustainability among Nigerian women; and (5) that microfinance institutions in Nigeria are directly linked to the development of women leaders.

This study shows that women in Nigeria are involved in large-scale economic activities. It was also found that microcredit provides finance to improve market development and rural development, but there are limitations sanctioned by customs, budget obligations and social infrastructure. All this complicates the empowerment of women, although it contributes in a practical way to their daily lives. Furthermore, it is widely recognized among development practitioners that microcredit programs not only help reduce poverty, but also empower women.

As poverty reduction is a major development concern, developing effective target indicators requires a thorough understanding of the determinants of poverty and the characteristics of the poor. Recent studies of poverty in Nigeria have rightly recognized the need to focus on expenditure rather than income as a better indicator of well-being. There are two advantages to using consumption (expenditure) rather than income as a measure of well-being. First, measuring income is more problematic than measuring consumption, particularly for rural households, where a large proportion of income comes from autonomous agriculture. Furthermore, since a satisfactory measurement of living standards requires annual income, an income-based measurement requires multiple visits or the use of recall data, whereas a consumption measurement may be based on consumption over the last few weeks. Most studies have adopted a rather arbitrary and variable method of defining the poverty line, on the basis of which poverty is plotted for Nigeria.

The Federal Statistical Office (BAS, 1997) adopted all ratios (one-third and two-thirds) of average income/expenditure as the basis for defining the poverty line. The limitations of this approach to measuring well-being are now well known. For example, a certain level of income/expenditure is not a sufficient indicator of the level of well-being to define the poverty line. More important is how this value is used to determine the level of well-being and the ability to engage in economic activity. Recognition of this fact has led to the adoption of consumption-based approaches to defining the poverty line.

To the author's knowledge, this study is the first to use the dietary energy intake (FEI) variant of the consumption-based method in the analysis of poverty in Nigeria.

This approach is based on actual expenditure on food consumption and the caloric content of consumed goods. The problem of the disappearance of the middle class and how this explains the rise of inequality and poverty is also explored, a hitherto neglected topic in the literature on Nigeria and indeed much of sub-Saharan Africa. In this regard, the study contributes to knowledge about poverty in Nigeria.

This study will complement other literature on women's empowerment through microfinance

Chapter Two


Several literatures have endeavored to examine Nigeria's diversity in terms of the North-South religious divide, while others have endeavored to examine the gender inequality syndrome. Most of the literature has pointed to the large disparities among the Nigerian population. However, it is not within the scope of the study to examine the dichotomy between North and South. Most writings on Nigeria's gender inequality strategy are silent on general gender policy and did not receive attention in the government's 1976-1985 pre-UNDW national planning, although such literature does exist, it often tells a story strongly. denial of the deepening of oppression. However, there is evidence that Nigerian women have diligently contributed to the struggle and development efforts over the years.

Theory and practice of gender inequality

Gender theories were anchored in anthropological or psychological explanations or in the functionalist perspective. These explanations emphasize gender as an important measure of the social division of labor; Some tasks are socially defined as women's work, while others are seen as men's work. Thus, it leads to the following generalizations that women have children; Women cook and are mothers and wives, clean and wash; they also care for men and are subordinate to male authority, but are excluded from positions of power.

The functionalist perspective emphasizes that gender is biological, that differences between women and men are natural. This perspective considered biological difference as responsible for differences in the behavior of men and women and in the roles they play in society.

They further argued that the biological differences between men and women underlie the sexual division of labor in society. He even argues that biological differences, such as men's greater physical strength and the fact that women have children, lead to greater roles for sheer practicality.

Alternatively, gender is seen as a social construct that asserts that men's and women's responsibilities, abilities and expectations are not always biologically determined. The gender roles assigned to men and women are clearly defined; structurally and culturally in ways that create, reinforce, and perpetuate relationships between male dominance and female subordination. Through the process of socialization in the family, in educational institutions and in other social spaces, boys and girls are conditioned to certain behaviors and different roles in society. They are encouraged to conform to established cultural norms by being rewarded or punished for their behavior. Sometimes, the places that women occupy in society are materialized by claims of innate disposition. Such conditioning and stereotyping can easily lead to questioning the ability of girls and women to perform certain tasks. If repeated regularly, it can become ingrained and difficult to uproot from people's mental structure.

But it is not only through socialization that inequalities are planted. Marked gaps in policies, legal frameworks and investment opportunities make it difficult for women to realize their full potential in the social, economic and political arenas. For example, government policies and practices and women-dominated subsistence agriculture do not require as much support as foreign exchange earnings and export-oriented economic activities associated with men. Lack of support leads to poor performance and sustainability.

In addition, there are laws that deny women access to land ownership and the ability to invest freely. These laws act as a handicap to women's economic capacity and perpetuate a culture of dependency. However, women's economic independence is an important step towards reducing inequalities, preventing violence and promoting self-esteem and well-being. Economically independent women are more likely to assert and demand their rights when violated. They are also likely to mentor the girls and serve as role models for them.

To see the inequalities clearly, it would be necessary to scrutinize different spheres of life and question them about the roles assigned to women. Gender inequality manifests itself in various domains of the family, the labor market, political-judicial structures and cultural-ideological productions, for example in the mass media. Values, norms and practices anchored in areas of social interaction can help promote inequalities, increase gender power gaps or increase violence against women. For example, the cultural practice of son preference can contribute to denying girls access to education and limiting their life chances. It can lead to early marriage and early pregnancy. Furthermore, the perception that politics and business are primarily the domain of men can lead to differences in political, economic and social participation, decision-making and leadership. Despite these difficulties, it is important to recognize that gender equality and women's empowerment are an integral part of national development, peacebuilding and conflict resolution. They are at the center of the humanization of the world. While interventions to address these inequalities can be political and economic, others can be cultural. A closer look at the cultures of this region can reveal practices that have the potential to contribute to overcoming inequalities, as we will show below.

According to Murdock, men with superior physical strength are better able to perform the most arduous tasks such as mining, logging, house building, land clearing, and house construction. However, women are not at a disadvantage when it comes to higher tasks that can be done around the house or at home, for example, collecting plant products, fetching water, preparing food and making clothes and utensils.

So by its biological function of raising and caring for children; the woman is tied to the house; Due to her physique, she is limited to less strenuous tasks. Another famous functionalist, Talcott Parsons (1955), made similar arguments to explain the role of women in industrial society. He argues that in a relatively isolated nuclear family, women fulfill two basic roles in modern industrial society; the socialization of young people and the stabilization of adult personalities. He stated: “In our opinion, the basic explanation of the distribution of roles between the biological sexes lies in the fact that the early birth and breastfeeding of children establish a strong presumed primacy of the mother-infant relationship.

Why is there gender inequality in Nigeria.

Nigerian society has always been a patriarchal society. The structure of patriarchy was a fundamental feature of traditional society. It is a structure of a set of social relations on a material basis that allows men to dominate women. It is a system of gender-based social stratification and differentiation that gives men material advantages while severely restricting women's roles and activities. There are clearly defined gender roles, various taboos ensure compliance with certain gender roles. Traditionally, men have not been involved in household chores, including raising children - such tasks are considered the exclusive domain of women. Men are attributed the following qualities: strength, power, masculine/powerful courage, self-confidence and ability to face the outside world, i. H. animal and human invaders, to meet them head on and deal with them effectively. These qualities were reflected in the type of work the men did. Men were responsible for much of what was considered "heavy" work. In short, men cared for their families (Bernard 1981; Aweda 1984; Carrigan et al. 1987; Stock 1995; Silberschmidt 1999 etc.). Women do the household chores. They maintained the houses, processed and cooked all the food. They also help plant and harvest food and cash crops. They were primarily responsible for the birth and upbringing of children from birth; Men were only called upon when exceptional discipline was deemed necessary, particularly for boys (Aweda, 1984: 184).

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals and other government approaches to gender inequality and the unequal structures that enable men to dominate women are evolving in Nigerian societies. Women are subjugated by patriarchy, cultural relativism and restricted access to public office. Historically, there has been inequality between men and women. Historically, women have been denied access to economic opportunities, power, status and privileges in society, or have had unequal access. Women in Nigeria experience unequal access to resources and decision-making processes with limited mobility. Women are under-represented in almost all areas of social life such as politics, commerce, agriculture, industry, military, religious and educational institutions. They were not given equal voting rights until recently, when there was global recognition and concern about gender discrimination (Amadi, , Alemika & Agugua; 2001).

In Nigeria, despite women's rights enshrined in the 1999 constitution, many women do not enjoy the same freedoms as men, particularly in the areas of education, economic self-determination and political participation. There are a wide range of inequalities between men and women in obtaining certain positions in Nigeria. Discrimination against women has spread in civil service and military ranks, where important positions are reserved for men and women are neglected in the background (Alemika & Agugua, 2001). .

In this context, the United Nations motivated the declaration of 1975-1985 as the “Women's Decade” to combat global discrimination against women. This declaration should raise global awareness of the status of women and mobilize the world community to eliminate discrimination against women so that women can achieve equal economic, social, political and legal status with their male counterparts. The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted General Recommendation 19 in 1992. It includes violence in the prohibition of sex discrimination: violence directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately (is discrimination). "This includes acts that cause physical, mental or sexual harm or the threat of such acts, coercion or other deprivation of liberty." Violence against women is an internationally recognized human rights violation when the violence is perpetrated by a public official or a private individual.

CEDAW participating countries must take all necessary measures to eliminate sex discrimination, including legal sanctions, civil remedies and preventive measures (such as public information and education campaigns and protective measures such as victim support services). Furthermore, the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995, adopted a Platform for Action (PPA) for implementation by member countries. The platform document addressed several issues, including discriminatory practices that exclude women from vital opportunities in society (Alemika & Ogugua, 2001:2).

Harmful cultural practices that affect women's rights (cultural relativism)

Practice of female genital mutilation in Nigeria

Circumcision is practiced in many societies in the Great Lakes region and often serves as a rite of passage into adulthood. Female circumcision (female genital cutting; female genital mutilation) can have negative effects on a woman's health. The practice is common in the North East Province of Kenya (99%) and less common in the Western Province (5%) (KDHS 2003). It is also related to education and is more common among the uneducated. In Kenya, genital mutilation is highest among Somalis, Kisii and Maasai and lowest among Luhya and Luo. The Maasai and Kuria in Tanzania circumcise their girls. The practice of not circumcising girls practiced by certain communities in the region could be replicated in circumcision communities and this would be a way of ensuring that girls stay in school and do not get married at a young age. Successful uncircumcised women from circumcision communities can be held up as role models. For example, a minister in Kenya, Hon. Linah Jebii Kilimo spoke out against female circumcision among the Marakwet and held herself up as a role model. Additionally, some communities in Kenya and Tanzania are starting to adopt alternative rites of passage for girls. In these rites, girls are isolated and "circumcised" in their unincised genitals. They undergo life planning skills and are prepared for the future through counseling. Life planning skills are related to decision making, adolescent development, gender roles and equality, relationships, teen pregnancy, STDs and planning for the future (African Youth Alliance, 2002). The positive elements of the culture are maintained while the negative ones are modified or eradicated. These alternative rites of passage give girls the opportunity to continue their education and protect them from the dangers of circumcision. The cultural practice of "unyago" practiced among the Digo of Tanzania is reformulated. In "unyago" the girls are taught by a "kungwi" how to behave when they get married; how to take care of the body and how to deal with men. In contemporary "unyago", they also learn to assert their rights and negotiate for them.

Female genital mutilation is an embedded cultural practice common to at least 128 ethnic groups in Nigeria. It is practiced by various ethnic groups across the country, most commonly among the Yoruba, Fulani and Ibo tribes. Clitoridectomy, in which the clitoris is partially or completely removed. Also the process of removing clitoris along with partial or complete removal of clitorislips, known as excision, is responsible for nearly 90 percent of reported cases of female genital mutilation in Nigeria. It is particularly common in the east of the country. Removal of the external genitalia and suture of the vaginal opening, known as infibulatioin, is common among the descendants of Othman dan Fodio, the Fulani people of northern Nigeria.

There are several reasons for continuing the practice of FGM that were and are used to justify its maintenance. Their eligibility differs from one group to another depending on the beliefs and culture of different ethnic communities. These motives range from those that attribute cultural importance to the practice to hygiene, myths and the desire to control female sexuality. Culture, and in particular the desire to preserve one's cultural identity, are the most frequently cited reasons for the continued practice of female genital mutilation in Nigeria. These practices are believed to protect families from harm and are widely supported by older people in rural areas.

This practice eases a young woman's transition into adulthood. It is only after the practice has taken place that a young woman acquires new rights, duties and specific teachings deemed necessary to prepare her for marriage, pregnancy and the expected responsibilities as an adult member of her community. It is considered one of the most important and respected cultural rituals in Yorubaland. It involves the initiation process in which girls learn their culture and various traditional values. Cultural justifications remain one of the contributing factors to the continued practice of female genital mutilation in the Yoruba and Igbo tribes.

Female Genital Mutilation is a requirement for marriage in rural areas, a woman may be considered an adult and, more importantly, not eligible for marriage until FGM is practiced and men seeking a wife often become involved with families of the girls in hopes of securing the marriage. . Women who have not engaged in FGM face stigma in their communities and may not be accepted by their in-laws. They may also be banned from cooking. Community members can even refuse to join the community

The myth that the practice prohibits promiscuity and suppresses women's sexual desire and ensures that a woman remains faithful to her husband after marriage is common in Nigerian communities.

In the early 1980s, the women's rights group raised international awareness of the negative impact of female genital mutilation on women's rights, a time when "women's rights were beginning to be accepted as human rights" and provided a good platform to promote female genital mutilation as a human right. human beings to address legal issues. The practice was seen as harmful to women's health and also violated their basic human rights. Despite this, she was still seen by peasants as a tool of patriarchy and a symbol of women's subordination. There is an international consensus that female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights.

Harmful widowhood practices

Typically, widowhood should evoke sympathy, empathy, and support from others. However, the situation of widows in Africa is worrisome due to the harrowing experiences they are going through. In addition to the shared experience of loss, they had to face other challenges such as deprivation, helplessness and hopelessness through harmful cultural practices. Nigeria has ratified international and regional human rights instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)2 and the Protocol to the African Charter on Women's Rights (African Women's Protocol) and is committed to take appropriate measures and measures to eliminate harmful cultural practices that may violate women's rights

Widowhood practices or burial rites are not unique to Nigeria as they are common throughout Africa. Various forms of rites are performed in different parts of Africa when a woman loses her husband. In many parts of Africa, the surviving spouse is expected to go through certain rites upon becoming a widower or widower. In some situations, the nature and form of these rites vary by culture and belief. Widowhood rites, often by-products of institutionalized sociocultural norms, are more or less social duties for women. It is also a time when a widow is expected to weep and mourn the loss of a loved one, especially a husband (Samuel, 2011:185). Regardless of whether the marriage produces children or not, the practice of widowhood is observed, especially among women married according to customary law.

Widowhood or funeral rites are performed not only to mourn the dead, but also to ensure that the bond between the dead and the living is intact. Therefore, the mourning period is often accompanied by a series of life events and activities to honor the soul of the deceased spouse. These practices range from widow cleaning in eastern Africa, levirate marriages in southern Africa to shaving the widow's hair or other degrading treatments (Amstrong et al., 1993). Whatever their nature, widowhood practices usually involve various forms of inhumane, degrading and barbaric acts that can endanger a woman's life. Some commentators have argued that widowhood practices are not only tools to perpetuate gender inequality, but are also barbaric, cruel, unethical and a gross violation of women's fundamental rights and freedoms (Sossou, 2002; Nyanzi et al., 2009: 13).

In his award-winning novel So Long a Letter, Ba (1981) vividly captures the oppressive nature of culture in a patriarchal environment. More importantly, the novel reflects the pain, suffering and humiliation that widows often experience as a result of funeral rites in an African patriarchal setting. Ramatoulaye's (the novel's protagonist) experience after her husband's death in the novel is that of a woman choking on the vagaries of culture. Instead of receiving comfort or assistance from her late husband's family, she faces a cultural practice that requires her to marry her late husband's brother or be thrown out of the house. This novel highlights the difficult decisions a woman must make after the death of her husband in a typically patriarchal African society. Interestingly, these funeral rites are usually performed when a woman loses her husband and not the other way around. This tends to raise concerns about the discriminatory nature of and justification for these practices.

In general, widowing practices are observed to varying degrees by different cultural and ethnic groups in Nigeria. The length of the mourning period and the type of activities to be undertaken may differ from one ethnic group to another. For example, in one community in the Delta region of Nigeria, “after an initial seven-day confinement, a subsequent thirty-day mourning confinement in a small open-air hut is mandatory for widows” (Ewelukwa, 2002). This period is accompanied by isolation and shaving of the hair. While among the Yoruba in the southwest, the length of funeral rites, which may involve wearing dark clothes, weaving or cutting hair, refraining from bathing and mourning, ranges from 7 days to a year (Oyeniyi and Ayodeji, 2010).

Among the Igbos of southeastern Nigeria, a widow is subjected to varying degrees of dehumanizing practices or rites, all in the name of custom and tradition. This includes denying inheritance rights, shaving the hair, drinking from the water used to bathe the deceased spouse, sitting and sleeping on the floor.

In a popular documentary called “Till Death of thewepart” of the non-governmental organization Communication for Change. Three women who have endured the humiliation and suffering associated with widowhood in eastern Nigeria share their experiences. One of the women, Nnameka Ezeonu, complained that she was not allowed to eat or drink until her husband's funeral. The women told how they were made to drink the water used to bathe their dead husbands and how they slept in the same room with their husbands' bodies during this time of mourning. In some parts of Igbo culture, a widow is expected to wear black clothing during the mourning period.

In some situations, a widow is expected to force her married daughter to shave her head and pubic area. Even worse, a widow can be dispossessed of assets left by her deceased husband. One of the women in the documentary mentioned above said that before her husband's death she lived in a two-room apartment and had a car, but was deprived of all of this shortly after her husband's death. This is an indication that widowhood practices not only perpetuate gender inequality, but can also deny women access to economic resources and lead to poverty. It has been noted that “evictions can occur when a woman has been forced to leave her home because of actual or suspected acts of violence or discriminatory customary laws that deny women inheritance rights” (COHRE, 2002).

These practices are believed to be observed to establish the woman's innocence in relation to her husband's death. The belief is that a man could not have died a natural death. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the cause of death (Oyeniyi and Ayodeji, 2010). Unfortunately, in this situation, the deceased's wife is often the prime suspect and must undergo these torturous practices to prove her innocence.

Male Preference Syndrome

To social area

African women have borne the brunt of cultural traditions, many of which have been described as oppressive and limiting women's advancement. Male dominance was cited as the main obstacle to gender equality. Friedl (1975:7) defines male dominance as “a situation in which men have highly privileged access, though not always exclusive rights, to activities that society values ​​most and the exercise of which allows some degree of control over them. ." It is significant that Friedl recognizes that men are privileged in terms of access to certain economically and socially significant material and rights, such as access to land and property. These institutions and positions in communities play a role in the elevation of men over women. .Asymmetrical relationships are also highlighted by Divale and Harris (1976:521-38), who define male dominance as an "institutionalized complex" composed of "asymmetrical frequencies of practices and beliefs linked to gender..." The case would confer prestige and status over male gender and contributions and skills devalue it by women.

The preferential allocation of rights can also be associated with attitudes and beliefs about gender roles. Indeed, Sanday (1981:164) analyzes male dominance from two angles. First, the "exclusion of women from political and economic decision-making" and, second, "male aggression against women". Sanday measures this aggression based on five characteristics: (1) expectations that men should be tough, brave, and aggressive; (2) the presence of men's houses or designated places where only men may assemble; (3) woman arguing, fighting or hitting frequently; (4) institutionalization or regular rape; and (5) look for wives in other groups. Sanday suggests that the presence of these five traits in a society indicates high levels of male aggression; while the absence of all five traits indicates that male aggressiveness is underdeveloped (1984:164). This type of domination can be expressed in the cultural stereotype of "macism" or masculinity.

Interestingly, Sanday's research shows that where women have economic control but no political power, 53% of women are vulnerable to male aggression. Therefore, economic empowerment and political participation are important for women's empowerment. Male aggression toward women does not necessarily lead to female passivity. In some societies, women are expected to fight back; while in others women assume the role of submissive. But even when women are submissive, they will use their own tools of resistance to show their displeasure. Sanday postulates that "male dominance is significantly associated with environmental and historical conditions" and that female dominance is a stress response. This stress can manifest itself in endemic wars and chronic famine (1981:171-2). Repressed aggression that seeks an outlet harms women.

It is important to describe the root causes of male dominance to understand gender inequality and injustice. This is only possible by understanding the cultural context in which domination manifests itself. As cultures have their own organized systems that determine how members of that particular culture behave towards each other and their environment, they have the potential to empower or disempower both men and women. Mead (1963:284) argues that all cultures share the same range of basic temperament types, established on the basis of heredity. These differences provide "the cues by which culture works, selecting a temperament or combination of related and congruent types as desired". In other words, there are certain universal trends that are particularly marked by context and history. Distinctive traits solidify and become the key to defining communities.

Building on Mead's position, Sanday proposes that "each culture should select a gender role blueprint - that is, a model for organizing gender role expectations... Gender role blueprints form a kind of blueprint symbolic. Such plans help men and women to orient themselves as husbands and wives to each other, to the world around them and to the adolescent boys and girls whose behavior they are expected to follow a commonly accepted pattern" (1981:3). , “gender role maps are part of the system of meaning by which a people explain their achievements, deal with their fears, anchor their past and imprint themselves with a sense of 'hood of the people'” (1981:163). sociocultural meanings shape behaviours, attitudes and beliefs.Women play a key role in transmitting these interpretations of the world because of their role as family educators and language teachers to their children.

Indeed, Mead (1968:19) argues that the further men move away from the phenomenon of human birth, the more the male imagination contributes to the 'cultural superstructure of beliefs and practices related to childbirth'. In many African societies, it is women who raise children and teach them good manners, respect and social responsibilities. Women, if empowered, can make a significant contribution to reshaping gender roles and expectations. They can subvert the stereotype while fulfilling the social and cultural role of child education and socialization. Therefore, critical interventions aimed at mothers could contribute to women's empowerment through the reorganization and restructuring of gender relations. Due to the patrilineal nature of countries in the Great Lakes region, many skills were denied to women. They have less access to education, skills development, economic opportunities and participation in decision-making processes. The Nairobi Future Strategies for the Advancement of Women (1985) reemphasized the need to enable women to realize their full potential. The meeting approved

The core culture that permeates Nigerian society is patriarchal in nature. This male-dominated culture places women in a subordinate and secondary position in society. The patriarchal culture of male supremacy still remains rooted, hidden and protected within the suspended and relatively sacred traditional institutions and structures. A major challenge in implementing gender-sensitive and gender-balanced policies in Nigeria is therefore the patriarchal cultural norms, attitudes and practices that have been accepted as the natural order of things. This culture is still ingrained in men and is evident both consciously and unconsciously, despite the general quest for meaningful changes in gender relations through political initiatives and policies, as well as various international conventions and agreements signed by Nigeria.

Strategy to combat gender inequality

Legal framework for equality

International legal framework

As a result of the backlash to the CEDAW Act of 2005 in the 5th Legislative Assembly in 2007, FMWASD continues to consult and involve government officials, political leaders and members of the National Assembly, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders Ongoing efforts to reintroduce the bill for approval before the end of the current legislature.

2.3 The Nigerian Parliament continued to legislate at various levels to resolutely curb any offensive practices against women. The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill 2010: A Bill to Incorporate, Domesticate and Enforce Select Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the National Policy on Women and Other Issues Related to, must be resubmitted to the National Assembly was imitated by many State Assemblies, with emphasis on ensuring equal opportunities. In addition, related laws are passed by different state legislatures (see Table 2.1).

2.4 The HIV/AIDS Anti-Stigma Act was passed by the Legislature and enacted by the President during the 2014 World HIV/AIDS Day celebrations.

2.5 The Nigeria Law Reform Commission (NLRC) has completed its work on incorporating gender equality and CEDAW provisions into Nigerian laws and sections of various national laws needing amendment have been formulated. The NLRC's recommendations were submitted to the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice for presentation to the National Assembly. This comprehensive legislative reform includes laws identified in the study conducted by the Women Development Centre, which aims to repeal Section 55 of the Northern Nigerian Penal Code, Section 55 of Chapter 198 of the Nigerian Labor Code, 1990 and Section 360 of the Penal Code.

quadro regional

On the subject of women's rights in Africa, Article 17 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights states: "Women have the right to live in a positive cultural context and to participate at all levels in the determination of policies cultural". This is in addition to Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which "establishes the principles of non-discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other national opinion, and social origin , property, birth or other status.” Articles 60 and 61 of the said Charter also recognize “regional and international human rights instruments and African practices that are consistent with international human rights and international norms…”. are confronted with inequality and injustice in many areas of their societies

At the continental level, the transition from the Organization of African Union (OAU) to the African Union (AU) in July 2002 and the re-establishment of the East African Community (EAC) paved the way for the broader political and economic empowerment of women. While the OAU was an assembly of African political leaders, the AU is an association of the peoples of Africa. For example, the Constituent Council that establishes the AU includes institutions for popular participation such as the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council. The founding law provides that the AU will strive to promote gender equality and protect the rights of individuals and peoples in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights instruments.

As a result of lobbying by pan-African networks, the AU Summit in Durban in 2002 recognized the contributions of African women and civil society organizations and stated that the AU's objectives could not be achieved without the full inclusion and participation of women ( Wandia 2003: 51). Mainstreaming gender in the AU will invariably yield positive results for similar policies at national level. For example, gender equality departments have been established in several ministries in Kenya, including the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Gender Equality and Social Services. In Tanzania, the Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) and other advocacy groups ensured that gender inequalities were addressed at the national level and that discriminatory policies and laws were repealed.

It is widely recognized that investing in women's human development has important multiplier effects, enabling them to become human development champions for their families and communities. At the same time, social problems that erode women's human capital, such as violence against women, result

The active involvement of African women in national and local institutions and civil society helps to make African governance more inclusive and responsive to the needs of society. Women are also important peacemakers in times of conflict. However, in many African societies, women are not treated as full citizens under the law in areas such as marital property rights, inheritance, land ownership and work. They are also held back by common norms that subordinate women to men.

Some African countries have taken important steps in promoting women's participation in political life through quotas in parliament. Even without quotas, more women than ever are reaching high political office. We must now ensure that improved representation of women translates into real influence - in government, business and elsewhere - so that women can make their full contribution to political, economic and social life.

All African countries recognize the principle of non-discrimination in their constitutions. All but two have signed international conventions that prohibit discrimination against women. The Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, which has 46 signatories, is a comprehensive guarantee of women's rights to social and political equality. Traditional laws and practices are not in sync. However, exceptions to the principle of non-discrimination are common in African constitutions and laws. In areas such as marital property, inheritance, land ownership and work, women are not treated as full citizens.

There are 9 countries where a married woman cannot apply for a passport like her husband and where a married woman is not completely free to choose her place of residence. In 35 countries, married women are required by law to obey their husbands. Formal laws are reinforced, or in some cases undermined, by traditional practices and cultural norms that subordinate women to men. Customary rules on marriage, inheritance and property are often formally exempt from non-discrimination provisions in national constitutions. As a result, women's participation in society and the economy remains an important mediator of their husbands and fathers.

Most laws governing the economies of African countries are gender neutral: they assume that all parties are equally free to enter into contracts, travel and trade, own property and control their own wealth. In practice, this is not always the case. By law or custom, often only male heads of households can hire. Men can also exercise sole control of household finances – even if their partners contribute equally to the family income.

Legal reforms can increase women's productivity quickly. Legislative reforms to promote gender equality can have a significant impact on both women's position in society and their productivity. In 2000, for example, Ethiopia introduced a package of family law reforms that raised the minimum age of marriage for women, removed the husband's ability to refuse permission for his wife to work outside the home, and required the consent of both spouses to administer the marital property. . While the reform is being implemented across the country, it was introduced for the first time in three of Ethiopia's nine regions. A study carried out five years later found that these three regions were far ahead in terms of female labor force participation and skill levels.

There is evidence that women's formal legal rights affect their ability to move from self-employment to more substantive entrepreneurship. Worldwide, participation

National Legal Framework

A former colony of Great Britain, Nigeria adopts the common law legal system with an emphasis on precedent. In practice, however, the country derives its legal sources from legislation, customary law and Sharia. Although Islamic law and indigenous customary rights preceded the customary law system, the latter tended to take precedence over the former due to colonialism.

The Nigerian legal system consists of a tripartite legal system (Statutory, Customary and Sharia), which has made it difficult to comply with one of the basic provisions of the Nigerian Constitution (Chapter II, Section 17, Subsection 2), which requires that all citizens, regardless of gender, birth, etc., must have equal rights, duties and opportunities before the law and states that “all citizens, without discrimination of any group, must have the opportunity to find decent opportunities for permanent employment.

Applying these three systems side by side in a diverse country with different ethnic and religious groups has implications for women's rights. It should be noted that Nigeria is a federation and as such each constituent state has the power to legislate. While some legal provisions, such as the Constitution, tend to recognize women's rights, customary law and Sharia tend to perpetuate gender inequality. For example, although Section 42 of the Constitution guarantees equal rights and freedoms for all human beings and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, some cultural practices, such as wife inheritance or the birthright system, appear to be inconsistent with this provision. Summarizing how cultural practices perpetuate women's subordinate position, Williams (2004) argues that the Nigerian woman is defined by her roles as mother and wife and that her worth depends on her marital status, as her legal and social status is linked to that of your husband. In addition, some provisions of Sharia, applied in most of the northern region of the country, perpetuate the low status of women. For example, while Sections 21 and 22 of the Child Rights Act 2003 prohibit early marriage, setting the age of marriage at 18, Islamic (Sharia) law allows early marriage and prohibits teenage girls from using contraceptives. Child or early marriage is common in the northern parts of Nigeria, where girls are generally married at age 12 or younger. a means of livelihood. This clearly underscores the tension that can exist between statutory law and customary or religious law in a multicultural society such as Nigeria.

Nigeria's pluralistic legal nature potentially creates an avenue for confusion and uncertainty regarding the promotion and protection of women's fundamental rights and freedoms. Bond (2010) has argued that legal pluralism can undermine women's right to make free choices on issues that affect their sexual and reproductive well-being. Furthermore, in explaining the impact of legal pluralism on women's rights in Nigeria, Ewelukwa (2002) stated that:

The fundamental contradictions inherent in the legal system – the coexistence of modern statutory law with traditional customary rights and practices – have created a complex and confusing legal system under which women often lack adequate legal protection. . . Not surprisingly, many of the problems facing much of Africa today “are the result of an attempt to bring together not only different legal systems, but also fundamentally different conceptions of society and the family. Iwobi (2008) echoed this position by noting that legal pluralism can potentially lead to the adoption of laws and practices that can be detrimental to women's rights.

Article 16: Equality in marriage and family

The tripartite legal system and its problematic imports

14.1 The fact of marriage gives the spouses some fundamental rights, such as the right to consortium (right to change name, defense of life and physical integrity, right to coexistence and right to sexual intercourse).

14.2 Previous reports have discussed the problems caused by this tripartite legal system of civil, common and religious law, dealing with forms of marriage that manifest themselves in age of marriage, inheritance law, consent of the parties and parental consent, divorce (forms civil and customary practices of divorce), practices of widowhood, polygamy and its effects on health, female genital mutilation and its violation of the right to health and sexuality, and sexual discrimination.

14.3 The various forms of marriage in Nigeria have attracted particular attention and action, as the Nigeria Law Reform Commission (NLRC) has been given the specific task of harmonizing these laws, as well as other objectionable provisions listed here.

• Section 55(i)(d) – Northern Nigeria Penal Code

• Section 282 – Northern Nigeria Penal Code

• Section 221 of the Penal Code

• Section 353 of the Penal Code


(Video) Webinar: A self-assessment tool for improved Gender Equality and Social Inclusion


• Section 360 of the Penal Code

• Section 6 of the Penal Code on marital rape

• Section 1 of the Penal Code

• Section 16(2)(c) of the Matrimonial Affairs Act to establish a conviction before determining cruelty

• Article 29(3) of the 1999 Constitution on the renunciation of citizenship and the presumption that every married female child assumes the status of an adult.

• Section 26(2) of the 1999 Constitution

• Guiding Principles and Formulas for Allocation of All Positions, Decree (1996 nº 34) of the Federal Character Commission (Institute, etc.) on Indigenism

• Police Ordinance 112

• Section 33, Cap C. 38 LFN Penal Code Act 2004 – Criminal Liability of Married Women Under Common and Statutory Law

• Denial of citizenship to a foreign husband of a Nigerian woman

14.4 With this task in mind, the NLRC has taken concrete steps to reform any objectionable legislation that has been determined to be repealed or removed altogether. A draft Marriage/Divorce Registration Act of Common-Islamic and Common Law, which would make mandatory registration of all marriages contracted within the state, has been developed and submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

14.5 The New Evidence Act of Nigeria has clearly stated in its Section 14(3) that any customary law which shall apply but fails the test of stress, compatibility and public order, shall be discarded and declared null and void. . Specifically, some sections of the Evidence Act 2011 were amended to conform to recognized non-discriminatory standards.

legal framework

2.2 As a result of the backlash suffered by the CEDAW Act 2005 in the 5th Legislative Assembly in 2007, FMWASD continues to consult with government officials, political leaders and members of the National Assembly, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders and has not slackened their efforts to re-strategize to reintroduce the bill for passage before the end of the current Legislative Session.

The main issue with nationality and women in Nigeria is Section 26(2) of the 1999 Constitution, which sets out who is a citizen of Nigeria and how citizenship can be acquired through marriage and naturalization. The section does not allow a Nigerian woman married to a foreign national to transfer citizenship to her spouse by virtue of the marriage.

2.8 The National Assembly created a Constitutional Review Commission to anchor the process of revising the 1999 Constitution. A national conference was also held in 2014 and one of the tasks of the conference was to consider issues related to the peaceful coexistence of Nigerian citizens, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, etc. Country. The memorandum on women's affairs that fills the gap created by this section of the Act has been submitted to these two bodies, and the request for revision of Section 26(2) of the Constitution is one of the priority issues listed.

2.3 The Nigerian Parliament continued to legislate at various levels to resolutely curb any offensive practices against women. The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill 2010: A Bill to Incorporate, Domesticate and Enforce Select Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the National Policy on Women and Other Issues Related to, must be resubmitted to the National Assembly was imitated by many State Assemblies, with emphasis on ensuring equal opportunities. In addition, related laws are passed by different state legislatures (see Table 2.1).

2.4 The HIV/AIDS Anti-Stigma Act was passed by the Legislature and enacted by the President during the 2014 World HIV/AIDS Day celebrations.

2.5 The Nigeria Law Reform Commission (NLRC) has completed its work on incorporating gender equality and CEDAW provisions into Nigerian laws and sections of various national laws needing amendment have been formulated. The NLRC's recommendations were submitted to the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice for presentation to the National Assembly. This comprehensive legislative reform includes laws identified in the study conducted by the Women Development Centre, which aims to repeal Section 55 of the Northern Nigerian Penal Code, Section 55 of Chapter 198 of the Nigerian Labor Code, 1990 and Section 360 of the Penal Code.

4 The Law and Gender Discrimination in Nigeria

The incorporation of international human rights agreements into the national legal system promotes the development of human rights, which also ensures that international standards can be applied in the national legal system. The same applies to the protection of women's rights against discrimination. It is the domestic legal framework that plays an essential role in protecting women's rights against discrimination.

As the following discussion shows, Tanzania has taken a number of legal measures to protect women's rights against FGM. Measures include the 1977 Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania and other laws that supplement constitutional provisions that protect women's rights against the practice.

4.1 Protection of the Constitution

As mentioned above, the inclusion of constitutional provisions to protect women's rights is one of the most effective measures that can improve the legal framework to curb human rights violations through the continued practice of FGM. Constitutional provisions must be drafted in a way that promotes gender equality and prohibits harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, that harm women's health. Of course, if the Constitution does not expressly provide for these rights, other general provisions that protect women's rights against FGM can also be interpreted.

Tanzania's Constitution is based on the principles of liberty, justice, fraternity and harmony.79 It aims to build a unified society in which every citizen has the opportunity to exercise human rights and enjoy liberty, justice, fraternity and harmony. As the supreme law of the country, the constitution is also known as the constitution

“Basic Law” from which other laws derive.80 More specifically, the Tanzanian Constitution protects the right to equality and non-discrimination81, one of the rights implicit in the continued practice of FGM. The right to equality enshrined in the constitution guarantees equal treatment for all people in the social, political and economic areas of life.82 The right to non-discrimination, on the other hand, protects women from all forms of discrimination. It is clear that the general prohibition of discrimination alone is not enough to protect women from female genital mutilation.

The Constitution goes further by expressly prohibiting discrimination based on sex. FGM, as mentioned earlier, discriminates against women on the basis of gender, as it is performed primarily to control female sexuality. Constitutional recognition of these two consequential rights helps protect women from FGM. Article 14 of the Tanzanian Constitution protects the right to life, a right that under certain circumstances is threatened by the continued practice of FGM. The right to life includes the right to life and the right to have one's life protected by law in society.83

women and human rights

women and human rights violations

For over a decade, numerous cases of violations of women's rights such as acid baths, murder of women, rape, abuse of widows and physical assault have taken place in Nigeria. Unfortunately, it is only the extreme cases of violations of women's rights that result in death or permanent disability that attract media attention and police interest. Critical cases such as female circumcision or genital mutilation, female assault, marital rape, sexual harassment, verbal and emotional abuse, incest, termination of employment as a result of pregnancy, etc., are not considered problematic enough to be highlighted in the media , even though the police are taken seriously (Salaam, 2003).

Furthermore, victims of violence, particularly domestic violence and rape, rarely report it to the proper authorities. For example, a wife battery is considered a private matter between husband and wife. Furthermore, in Nigeria, as a typical patriarchal society, tradition or culture and religious beliefs view a woman as the property of her husband, who has the moral right to spank her as punishment for disobedience and/or perceived wrongdoing. In the case of rape, women see it as a social stigma when their ordeal becomes public knowledge.

Former Minister of Women and Social Development, Ms. Hajo Sani, at the 19th Session of the United Nations in New York in 1998, assessed the situation of women victims of violence in Nigeria. She said,

“There is no record of the prevalence of violence against women, especially at home. This is because women rarely report violence to the police for fear of reprisals from both husband and family. Furthermore, law enforcement officials do not readily consider complaints of domestic violence. They treat such a complaint as a minor 'two fight' offense or laugh it off as a 'husband and wife problem'..."

In Nigeria too, laws protecting women against violence are inadequate. For example, marital rape is generally not recognized as a crime in any legal system in Nigeria, even if the wife is injured, in the European Scientific Journal, June 2013 Issue, Volume 9, No. 17, ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (printed ) and – ISSN 1857-7431 126

Process of forced sexual intercourse. Formal redress mechanisms in cases of domestic violence or rape through police investigation followed by prosecution are often ineffective. This is particularly the case in cases of rape, where the police are not adequately trained to deal with such cases and the burden of proof remains with the prosecution, who may require a woman to prove that she did not consent, or where the testimony of a woman according to Muslim law is not as valid as that of a man. As a result of the above, women's rights issues and the situation in Nigeria are not being given the seriousness they deserve, either by the government or by individuals.

women and the law

Nigeria's penal code contains a number of provisions on sexual and domestic crimes that are particularly relevant to women's rights. However, different laws apply in different parts of the country, for example on rape.

Rape is gender-specifically defined as "carnal knowledge" or having sex with a woman or girl without her consent or under duress. Despite the restrictive nature of the definition, which does not extend to male rape, it is important to note that, in practice, most rape victims fail to benefit from these provisions. The way a rape trial is conducted and the type of evidence required exposes women to outrage, making it a trial for men but a tribulation for women. The law must be extended to include marital rape. Currently, the Penal Code specifically excludes “sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife” from the definition of rape, provided he has reached puberty.

Also in criminal law it is necessary to eliminate gender inequality in the punishment of indecent assault. Currently there is a dichotomy that gives the impression that one gender is superior to the other. Sections 350 and 363 of the Penal Code cover the same offense (indecent and unlawful bodily harm), but provide a lesser penalty if the victim is female (two years imprisonment) than if the victim is male (three years of prison).

In northern Nigeria, the Penal Code expressly excludes as a criminal offense any act which does not amount to grievous injury and which is committed by "a husband for the purpose of correcting his wife, husband and wife being subject to any law or custom, where such rectification is recognized as lawful.” The law through the Penal Code condones the widespread problem of domestic violence, encouraging wife beating unless it causes serious harm.

Under traditional laws, a woman herself is often seen as property, and generally no expectations are expected of her. Indeed, under some traditional common law systems, notably in the South East European Science Journal, June 2013, issue, volume 9, #17, ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (print) and – ISSN 1857-7431 127

Nigeria, she is one of the assets “inherited” after her husband's death.

Women and Religion/Culture

In general, religion is used as a tool to defend class society and patriarchy. It discriminates against women. As a result of the theocratic nature of government in Northern Nigeria before the advent of British colonialism, Islam was institutionalized as the culture - way of life - of most people in the region. Islam, like most religious beliefs, gives its followers hope for a fantastic paradise - paradise.

Aware of the emotional attachment of Northern Nigerian Muslims to religion and the resultant psychological indifference, the politicians who ruled the Northern states of Nigeria introduced Sharia law to improve their political prospects and divert attention from their own plunder and theirs. . It is clear that, as a religious law, Shariah gives a central place to the paternalistic interpretation of the proper role of women and the socio-political order of society.

Sharia conflicts with secular national principles, particularly regarding women's rights, on which Nigeria is formally based. It severely restricts women's rights. The main victims of this political Sharia are women.

We fight discrimination based on religion, gender, ethnic origin or race. In this regard, the right of Muslims to practice aspects of Sharia relating to worship, dress, naming of children and other personal or family matters must be respected.

However, religion must be a personal matter and separate from the state. This is even more important in a multi-religious society like Nigeria. Failure to comply with this principle by successive capitalist governments in Nigeria is one of the main reasons for the emergence of ethnic and religious conflicts in the country, especially since some states began to adopt Sharia law in 2000. Bourgeois politicians who opposed the Code Penalties Criminal law from Sharia law like stoning and amputation to crimes like theft, prostitution or so-called adultery argue that these types of laws and punishments are necessary to stem the rising tide of crime in society. Even some sections of the working masses within and outside Sharia states, troubled by the violent crime and social decay that permeates society, genuinely support the penal code in the belief that it is the solution to these problems.

The Penal Code is also informed by the belief that the more severe the sentence, the lower the crime rate. But these are wrong views. Crime, violence and other social vices are products of the worsening mass poverty and unemployment generated by Nigeria's troubled neocolonial capitalist economy. Only the elimination of the root causes of endemic poverty, providing decent living conditions, full employment with living wages, free and quality education and medical assistance and decent housing for all can lead to the reduction, if not the eradication, of crime.

women and culture

Habitual system” – used as a weapon against women

Another strategy that has been used to keep women out of modernity under the pretext that modernity for women is not African is the maintenance of a dual legal system that applies only to black women. White colonial women were never affected by the so-called "customary laws" that both white and black men reconstituted and codified in the face of women's resistance to patriarchal restrictions and surveillance. What were largely cultural conventions and practices were "legalized" and entrusted to men who held supervisory status within the traditional hierarchy as chiefs and chiefs. They became repositories of supposedly centuries-old untouchable rules and regulations designed primarily to regulate cheap labor for the colonial state, but more importantly to ensure that Black women remained in the backward and privatized realities of the old patriarchal social existence.

The reinvention of customs and conventions into 'common law', which is a misnomer because if something is 'law' it must apply to everyone, has become a powerful weapon against women's demands for equality in their societies and has withstood the test over time both the interests of black men who feel threatened by the civic demands of black women and the interests of white feminists who continue to study African women in these petrified contexts. Few question the gendered nature of such a system, and several European scholars have argued that these customary rights for African women are actually better than modern civil rights.

Law – because they insist, such systems provide women with a place of belonging

(Arnfred, ; Greer, ; Armstrong, ).

What are the implications of perpetuating a customary system that primarily targets women, with serious implications for black women's struggles for the right to integrity (physical and sexual) and protection from aggression and impunity? I want to touch briefly on some of these consequences to show how exclusionary they are for black women of all classes, but especially for rural and poor women.

First, customary practice works by maintaining rituals and systems that place black women outside the protections and rights that civic spaces offer all citizens in modern society. Africans struggled against colonialism and racism, and African women participated in many ways and in large numbers in these struggles for justice and freedom to become citizens. We create the civic spaces that encompass the justice system; economic and political structures; Educational institutions and other civic resources that result from the collective struggles of people in any society. The law in general is intended to ensure that every person in a society has at least a theoretical right to such protections and rights, even if in reality class and gender are mediated, often making this assumption difficult to realize for certain groups (MacKinnon, ) .

In the context of Nigeria (and the continent as a whole), the existence of “customary law” only exacerbates the difficulties that black women in particular face in exercising their rights, essentially because it supersedes the civil rights that a constitution guarantees to women as citizens Women outside the bounds of the law and therefore apply a different standard to black women than to African women and as citizens of their societies. The Nigerian Constitution clearly states that “African” customs and customs take precedence over any rights and entitlements granted to women by the Constitution, so long as these rights and entitlements threaten the supremacy of customs and traditions (zygomo). It is the most ridiculous but most closely guarded section of the constitution and although the women of Zimbabwe have been fighting it for years, they have not been able to change it because of the

Male judges (in consultation with Shariah judges) have used it effectively to block any attempt to break down the barriers these customs and conventions erected between black women and their civil rights.

These are the laws that make it acceptable for men to continue to hurt women in the home, even though it has become a crime because women often find themselves outside of justice systems designed to be 'family' and 'anti-custom' ; Conventions that facilitate the use of girls as redress when men kill each other or one family harms another, and police and other legal professionals seem at a loss to eradicate this practice, claiming it is "cultural" and "significant to the identity of Shona as a people"; practices that allow widowhood rites to construct women as witches; an evil and dangerous; as women who need cleaning because they are polluted and need cleaning through degrading practices, destroying women's self-esteem and labeling them "husband killers".

In many African communities these women, when older, are banished to remote villages where they live as outcasts, inscribed with the status of exiles in their own society, simply because their husband has died; These are practices that allow parents to sexually assault and rape their daughters under the allegation that they are preparing them for marriage, and as women and girls are increasingly outside the civic protections of their society, they are vulnerable to rape. for purposes of "healing as well as ritual murder. The list of violations is seemingly endless and is related to the existence of so-called customary rights, specifically designed to guarantee male cultural and sexual privileges; allowing men to behave with women and girls with impunity , often without redress by those affected by such behavior.

For me, this is one of the biggest challenges we face as feminists and Africans. We must find ways to remove this obstacle to women's dignity and rights; an obstacle presented in the form of culture and institutionalized as “an authentic cultural system appropriate for African women”. Worst of all, it is championed by certain anthropologists and "feminists" like (Greer) who claim that there are some good things about it and that African women shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Well, my position is that this is total bullshit. These people need not live under so-called "proper" customs, and if they did, they would change them, as they did when this backwardness prevailed in Europe. Why is it culturally appropriate for African women to be treated as less than human; what inhuman and barbaric patriarchal practices continue because they apply to black women? If white women love these customs so much, why not reinvent them in their European societies and enjoy them there instead of worrying about them?wewith their nonsense about "preserving our authentic cultures".

Given the choice, most African women would choose a modern and dignified life, with education for themselves and their children, with running water and a school nearby; with decisions about which contraception to use and how many children to have; with electricity and a safe and aesthetically pleasing home in which to live and the right to be autonomous individuals who can relate to others through systems and choices that satisfy them as individuals and as part of their communities.

It is a cruel myth to suggest that African women like to "belong" in backward spaces, where their worlds are so limited that they never experience even a fraction of what life has to offer a modern man; where they don't know their rights, because they are coded in languages ​​and signs that they can't decipher, because they don't know how to read (and please, don't tell me that illiteracy is beautiful, because you also know how I do it is illiterate people are poor and marginalized in all societies in the world today); where your life is just one long, miserable nightmare of poverty and dispossession.

The fact is that Africa needs to modernize and we will not allow anyone to stop this process, whether they believe it is part of their privilege to continue to study Africans as “exotic objects” or to exploit Africa for profit and profit. Through African women's struggles for rights and justice, we are pulling our continent out of the backwardness that has been so "exciting" and "profitable" for certain groups of people.

In my opinion, Europeans cannot continue to monopolize modernity at the expense of the rest of the world. We can move forward together, or we can do it the hard way and continue the fight for every individual's right to define themselves as full and worthy human beings - the choice is ours and I hope we find the way to work together we will choose the way world one place of dignity and justice for all people. Then culture can become what it should be and an aesthetic artifact that improves life in the service of all who make it and use it as a source of pleasure.


Women's Rights and Sharia

Women's Rights and Customary Law

Strategic litigation in defense of women's rights before national courts

Judicial actions

2.12 The role of judges in promoting women's human rights is systematically divided into two parts – namely, the ideologies of judicial restraint and judicial activism (Nweze, 2003). Recently, several decided gender cases have used legal activism to radically deviate from abhorrent customs that impede women's progress and fulfillment. The following landmark decisions strengthen the legal environment that protects the rights of women and girls in Nigeria:

EU.Asika gegen Atuanya (2008) 17 NWLR (Pkt. 1117) S. 286:In this case, the Court of Appeal ruled that any custom contrary to natural justice, justice and good conscience must be abolished and not rear its ugly head. A custom that discriminates against women by denying them the right to own land belonging to their fathers was seen as an offense against natural justice, justice and good conscience. The Court also ruled that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria re-emphasized the right of every citizen of Nigeria to acquire and own real estate anywhere in Nigeria, as such women should not be deprived of ownership and the right to inherit real estate. .

ii.Lois Chituru Ukeje vs. Sra. Gladys Ada UkejeIn April 2014, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled in this case that, irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance of her deceased father's estate. Consequently, Igbo customary law denying a child the right to share in his deceased father's inheritance violates Section 42(1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to all Nigerians. This discriminatory law is void because it conflicts with Section 42(1)(2) of the said Constitution.

iii.Onyibor Anekwe & Anor v. Onyibor Anekwe Frau. Maria Nweke (2014) LPELR 22697 (SC),The Supreme Court ruled that Nigerian customs which disinherit women are contrary to natural justice, fairness and good conscience and therefore should not stand. The court therefore found the Awka custom in Anambra State to be repugnant, whereby married women can be disinherited upon the death of their husband because they have had no children by the deceased husband.

4. dr Priye Iyalla-Amadi v Director General of the Nigerian Immigration Service and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in which the Federal Court in Port Harcourt held that there was discrimination and violation of Section 42(1)(a) of 1999 Constitution and Article 18(3) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights for Immigration to insist on the written consent of the husband before an international passport can be issued to the wife (woman) when no similar condition applies to men .

v. A provision in the police law that prohibits a police officer from marrying a man of her choosing without permission from the police commissioner she serves was found illegal and unconstitutional by a federal court. The judge ruled that Order 124 was illegal, null and void because of its inconsistency with Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution and declared it void pursuant to Section 1(3) of the Constitution.

2.13 With these judgments, many more women will stand up boldly and challenge situations of injustice and, as this is a decision of the Supreme Court, no court can decide otherwise.

Judicial Cases Adopted in Support of Marital Equality

14.6 The Bank of Nigeria is not left out as activists speak out and dismantle the customs that have repressed women. The Supreme Court of Nigeria has recognized violations of women's rights as a special project, as evidenced by the number of decisions that reduce abhorrent customary practices against women.

14.7 Judge Bode Rhodes Vivor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in April 2014 in the case ofLois Chituru Ukeje vs. Sra. Gladys Ada Ukeje, wife and daughter of Mr. Lazarus Ukeje explained it like this:

“…regardless of the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance of her deceased father's estate. Consequently, Igbo customary law, which denies a child the right to share in his deceased father's estate, violates Section 42(1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a fundamental right guaranteed to every Nigerian. . This discriminatory law is void because it conflicts with Section 42(1)(2) of the said Constitution. In view of the foregoing, I dismiss the appeal.”

14.8 In April 2014, the Supreme Court struck down a custom that disowned women as contrary to natural justice, fairness and good conscienceWomen. Maria Nweke vs Onyibor Anekwe and Anor. The action concerned the declaration of the right of residence of a property in which the plaintiff resided with her husband until his death. The defendants disowned the plaintiff because she had only female children by her late husband. Judge Ogunbiyi did not hesitate to make this statement:CEDAW/C/NGA/7-8


“I hasten to add that the customs and customs of the Awka to which the plaintiffs relied are rightly condemned in the strongest possible terms. Such a custom on the social scene of the 21st century will tend only to represent the absence of the kin of human civilization. It is punitive, uncivilized and intended only to protect the selfish exercise of male dominance that seeks to suppress women's rights in the society in question. One would expect that the days of such blatant differential discrimination would be over. Any custom that dispossesses a daughter from her father's property or a woman from her husband's property because of the gender difference established by God must be punished with punishment. Punishment should serve as a deterrent measure and be imposed on violators of culture and customs. That a man's widow should be thrown out of her marital home, in which she lived all her life with her late husband and children, by her late husband's brother, on the grounds that she had no male child, is indeed very barbaric, troubling. and carnal -smiting”.

14.10 Also the Court of Appeal inAsika vs. Atuanya (2008) 17 NWLR (part 1117) at 484struck down the custom that suggests humiliating a woman simply because she is a female person and declared such practices unconstitutional.

14.11 Deplorable situations observed inShodipo gegen Shodipo (1990) WRN 98where the court refused to consider the wife's contribution to the 43-year marriage and simply awarded her a lump sum of N$200,000 (US$1,800), which was considered exceptionally discriminatory, now gives way to a wider interpretation of 50-50 fair distribution of marital property in divorce. The visible and invisible contributions of spouses must be considered before such decisions are made. This also extends to child maintenance and custody decisions, which must be based on the best interests of the child. The following cases decided in Nigerian courts during this reporting period will significantly strengthen the judiciary's focus.

14.12 inchesLT. Adeyinka A Bible gegen Ngozika B Aneke Bible– (2011) 13 NWLR (PT 1264) p. 207 intolerable behavior was condemned by the courts. also inMotoh x Motoh(2011) 16 NWLR (Pt 1274) 431-631, the court distinguished between forms of marriage in Nigeria and the rights inherent in them, ruling that photographs are clear evidence of marriage.

14.13 The Matrimonial Causes Act clearly did not make cruelty a ground for divorce, but by extension Section 15(2)(c), which authorizes an injured spouse to file for divorce because the defendant's conduct is reprehensible, allows that such cruelty is a cause of Divorce. Such atrocities can be physical, emotional (psychological) and economic. At theBibilari against Bibilari(2011)(above), the court held that while cruelty was not an express ground for divorce under Section 15(2) MCA, a court may conclude that a marriage was irretrievably broken because one spouse was cruel to the other.

14.14 Marital rape, which is not a crime in Nigerian jurisprudence under Section 6 of the Penal Code, is now fully interpreted by the courts that a rapist must also be declared as such within marriage

Judicial actions

2.12 The role of judges in promoting women's human rights is systematically divided into two parts – namely, the ideologies of judicial restraint and judicial activism (Nweze, 2003). Recently, several decided gender cases have used legal activism to radically deviate from abhorrent customs that impede women's progress and fulfillment. The following landmark decisions strengthen the legal environment that protects the rights of women and girls in Nigeria:

EU.Asika gegen Atuanya (2008) 17 NWLR (Pkt. 1117) S. 286:In this case, the Court of Appeal ruled that any custom contrary to natural justice, justice and good conscience must be abolished and not rear its ugly head. A custom that discriminates against women by denying them the right to own land belonging to their fathers was seen as an offense against natural justice, justice and good conscience. The Court also ruled that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria re-emphasized the right of every citizen of Nigeria to acquire and own real estate anywhere in Nigeria, as such women should not be deprived of ownership and the right to inherit real estate. .

ii.Lois Chituru Ukeje vs. Sra. Gladys Ada UkejeIn April 2014, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled in this case that, irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance of her deceased father's estate. Consequently, Igbo customary law denying a child the right to share in his deceased father's inheritance violates Section 42(1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to all Nigerians. This discriminatory law is void because it conflicts with Section 42(1)(2) of the said Constitution.

(Video) A new model of microfinance for Africa, and beyond | Viola Llewellyn | TED Institute

iii.Onyibor Anekwe & Anor v. Onyibor Anekwe Frau. Maria Nweke (2014) LPELR 22697 (SC),The Supreme Court ruled that Nigerian customs which disinherit women are contrary to natural justice, fairness and good conscience and therefore should not stand. The court therefore found the Awka custom in Anambra State to be repugnant, whereby married women can be disinherited upon the death of their husband because they have had no children by the deceased husband.

4. dr Priye Iyalla-Amadi v Director General of the Nigerian Immigration Service and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in which the Federal Court in Port Harcourt held that there was discrimination and violation of Section 42(1)(a) of 1999 Constitution and Article 18(3) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights for Immigration to insist on the written consent of the husband before an international passport can be issued to the wife (woman) when no similar condition applies to men .

v. A provision in the police law that prohibits a police officer from marrying a man of her choosing without permission from the police commissioner she serves was found illegal and unconstitutional by a federal court. The judge ruled that Order 124 was illegal, null and void because of its inconsistency with Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution and declared it void pursuant to Section 1(3) of the Constitution.

2.13 With these judgments, many more women will stand up boldly and challenge situations of injustice and, as this is a decision of the Supreme Court, no court can decide otherwise.

chapter Three

development strategy

Investing in women and girls is one of the most powerful ways to promote development.

It has long been recognized that investing in women's human development – ​​and girls' education in particular – pays double dividends. It improves the quality of life for the women involved and empowers them to be more productive members of society. It also allows them to become human development advocates for their families and communities. The resulting improvement in their children's well-being and life chances has multiplier effects that increase with each new generation. On the other hand, social problems that disproportionately affect women, such as high maternal mortality and violence against women, destroy human capital. When women are illiterate, with poor health and little control over their fertility, their children also pay the price. These aren't just women's issues; they retard Africa's development.


Over the past decade, access to essential health services has improved dramatically across Africa, leading to real advances in the fight against preventable disease. For example, deaths from measles, a leading killer of children, have dropped by 80% in sub-Saharan Africa.

between 2000 and 2011.10 Across Africa, the under-five mortality rate has fallen by 37% and maternal mortality by 42% since 1990.11

Women have benefited from better access to health services, but they still face many health risks.The expansion of health services has led to many improvements in health care for African women. Currently, in sub-Saharan Africa, about half of all births are attended by skilled midwives.12 Some countries, such as Ghana, Ethiopia and Rwanda, have reduced maternal mortality by improving access to skilled midwives and midwives and educating communities to be healthier ​​in the use of the services. But Africa as a whole will fall short of its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on maternal mortality and its rate of progress is lagging behind other developing regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, women are at greater risk of dying in childbirth than in any other region of the world. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth remain the leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 19.13

African women also face a variety of other health challenges. They are less likely than men to take steps to avoid infecting their sexual partners with HIV. They are more at risk of burns from kitchen accidents and lung disease from indoor air pollution. Women in poor communities are at risk for unsafe abortions. Overall, a woman's health is closely linked to her position in society. Where women are discriminated against, economically excluded or exposed to violence, their health also suffers.

Women have the right to control their fertility. When women are able to make informed decisions about the number of children they have – with access to information and safe contraceptive methods – they are better able to ensure the well-being of their families. In many African countries, less than 10% of women have access to contraception. The unmet need for reliable contraception (that is, the proportion of women who do not want to become pregnant but are not using birth control) is greater than 35% in countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Liberia.

Africa's population is expected to increase from 831 million in 2010 to 2.1 billion in 2050. If the fertility rate does not fall, it is estimated that it could reach 4 billion by 21001

The driving force behind this approach is based on the assumption that sustainable development is the most effective means of eradicating poverty. Sustainable development in the context of international development refers to initiatives that have the potential for communities to be self-reliant, now and in future generations, to meet the needs of their residents without outside help (Kirsop, Arunachalam, & Chan, 2007).

One initiative that promotes sustainable development is microcredit. Microcredit is an economic initiative that Dr. Mohammed Yunus in Bangladesh in the 1970s (Adams & Raymond, 2008) as a means of providing financial services, particularly credit, to people with little or no secured source of income. Yunus has developed a group-based money lending system that relies heavily on social security and social dynamics at the community level. The success of Yunus's microcredit institution, Grameen Bank, has sparked global interest in microcredit as an effective poverty reduction strategy. In the three decades since its inception, microfinance has successfully stimulated economic activity to improve the living standards of poor citizens. This has contributed to its rapid growth in the field of international development. According to Moyo (2009), there are currently at least 43 countries on 5 continents that provide financial services to millions of poor people.

Microfinance is now recognized as a key factor in trying to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty by 50% by 2015 (United Nations, 2008).

Theoretical and conceptual framework

Support the NGO strategy for women's rights

Action and Changes

Report and Recommendation of the UN Special Rapporteur

Recommend a legal and development strategy to address these issues


access for women

change job

changes in your economic situation


Some commendable efforts have been made in Nigeria to establish the necessary mechanisms to eliminate gender discrimination in order to ensure gender equality and human dignity. The National Gender Policy, which replaced and reinforced the previous National Women's Policy, specifically addresses the issue of gender inequality in Nigeria. In a way, given the above, the history of development policy in Nigeria has been one of a neglectful attitude towards the gender variable. For example, the first two decades of development planning in Nigeria, starting in 1963 when it became a republic, were largely characterized by gender-blind and insensitive development policies. Likewise, Nigeria, particularly since the 1980s, has pursued gendered economic policies in which women's interests have been subsumed under the national interest and gender sensitivity has been almost irrelevant, infinitesimal and non-relevant.

With the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations in September 2000, more interest was aroused and greater attention was given to the pursuit of gender-responsive policies at both global and national levels. In particular, the third objective, which aims to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment, is of intrinsic value and, at the same time, central to the achievement of all other objectives. This is because, essentially, the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations states that, by giving women their place of honor in history, the gesture and development will support the process of effectively combating poverty, hunger, disease and the promotion of sustainable development . At a minimum, it will be impossible to build the knowledge needed to eradicate poverty and hunger, fight disease and ensure environmental sustainability until equal numbers of girls and boys are in school at all grade levels. Measures of the level of achievement of gender equality and women's empowerment include enrollment in primary, secondary and higher education, employment and political decision-making. The issue of gender parity or equality in Nigeria is therefore analyzed in the context of the indicators listed below.

Assessment of the strategic framework


1. The Strategic Results Framework (Implementation Plan) of the National Gender Policy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was developed at a turning point where the government commits to implement national and international conventions and laws in support of equality, empowerment of women and women's human rights. The Strategic Results Framework was developed based on the priorities of the National Policy on Gender Equality. Additional prioritization was carried out based on the challenges that could be faced in the next 5 years, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs and Social Development.

2. Within the scope of the National Gender Policy, 16 thematic priorities1 were appointed for a detailed description of the analysis of the situation of the national gender status, which continues to pose major challenges for the overall development of the country. Key policy areas focus on 5 critical areas – (i) Cultural reorientation and awareness of changing gender perceptions and stereotypes; (ii) promote women's human rights and, in particular, focus on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and support new laws and women's legal rights; (iii) Promote women's empowerment and gender mainstreaming in key sectors, as highlighted in the NGP - (Agriculture/rural development; environment/natural resources; gender and HIV/AIDS; health and reproductive health/rights; education/ training; work/occupation); (iv) women's political participation and governance generated, including gender and conflict management, and (v) support for institutional development, including the use of ICT and building strategic partnerships, including identifying new partnerships with men's organizations, organizations traditional religions and institutions.

1 See Nigeria's National Gender Policy for the articulation of the 16 thematic areas.

3. The Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs and Social Development, has developed this Strategic Results Framework which enables it to successfully implement the core principles of the National Policy on Gender Equality.The guiding principles stated in the National Policy on Gender Equality are as follows:

 Make gender analysis an integral part of all policy formulation, implementation and evaluation carried out not only by government at all levels and in all sectors, but also by all stakeholders.

 All stakeholders, including government, the private sector, civil and community organizations, development partners, and individual women and men, have a role to play in achieving gender justice and equality.

 Adopt a gender culture that promotes cooperative interactions between women and men that recognizes the human rights of all people, a culture that respects the abilities of women and men, and welcomes cooperation and interdependence.

 A cultural reorientation supported not only by legislation, but by policies and programs on gender education, awareness, dialogue, incentives, motivation and responsiveness.

 Changing the political environment in which gender equality programs will be implemented, supported by financial and technical resources that demonstrate political will.


 Reform existing structures of the national gender management system with a view to strengthening its capacity for a more robust mandate.

 Promoting women's empowerment through closing existing gender gaps is seen as an integral part of achieving gender equality and the use of affirmative action policies and legislation where necessary would in no way be seen as discriminatory.

 The policy builds on existing frameworks and practices and builds on international experiences and practices.

Specifically, the Strategic Development Results Framework will focus on:

– Creating an institutional framework to promote the status of women and achieve gender equality;

– defend the promotion of new attitudes, values ​​and behaviors and a culture of respect for all people;

– Strengthen the voice and leadership of women to continue organizing, advocating and ensuring that gender equality issues remain at the top of the national agenda.

3. The Strategic Results Framework has as its starting points:

an. It builds on the fact that the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs and Social Development has primary responsibility for coordinating the implementation of the National Equality Policy based on its mandate as the central national equality mechanism for the Federal Government of Nigeria, and that the Federal Government of Nigeria demonstrates the political will for the implementation of the policy through the allocation of resources.

B. Overall implementation will be the responsibility of all critical stakeholders. Ministries for women's affairs at state level, local government departments/staff/women's development structures coordinate implementation at state or local level. Critical actors in implementation are sectors such as agriculture, labor, health, education, national (government) AIDS control agencies (NACA/SACAs), environment, trade/industry; and institutions such as national and state legislatures, the judiciary, public sector institutions such as banks and microcredit organizations. Funding is expected to be secured within the national budget system, through equity mechanisms and structures, and across different sectors. This would require more partnerships and coordination within all government institutions and particularly between the country's main gender equality mechanisms, national planning institutions and finance ministries at all levels.

ç. It builds on the critical points of the National Gender Policy, which was developed in an extensive consultation process and therefore represents feedback from all critical interest groups in Nigeria on how to proceed.

ie It is an ambitious framework focused on deepening Nigeria's existing knowledge on gender equality and women's empowerment and promoting strategic partnerships between federal, state and local government and the women's organizations created. Civil society, the United Nations and multi/bilateral donors to ensure accountability for the implementation of national equality policies.



A. The implementation and accountability for gender equality and women's empowerment in Nigeria has fallen short of the normative commitments and agreements that the Federal Government of Nigeria has signed at the national and international level.

 The Millennium Development Goals, signed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, which aim to significantly reduce poverty, inequality and disease, are to be achieved by 2015 and the Strategic Results Framework provides an opportunity to help achieve these goals. The Strategic Results Framework shows how these commitments can be translated into concrete actions and investments and hopefully lead to positive changes in the lives of women in Nigeria.

B. Strategic partnerships and leadership involvement are critical to the success of the National Equality Policy Strategic Results Framework.

 Implementing the Strategic Results Framework would require strategic partnerships – within government (executive power) and between different levels of government (federal, state and municipal) and with other key levels – legislative and judiciary. Partnerships would also need to be expanded to include women's organizations within civil society, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors that support the Government of Nigeria in implementing its gender equality commitments. There are already many indicators of the progress of these partnerships – working together to promote women's political participation, collective support for critical legislation in state legislatures, girls' education initiatives, advocacy for harmful traditional practices, and emerging partnerships to address gender-based issues. in violence and sexualized.

 The Paris Declaration and Principles for New Aid Modalities are reshaping development partnerships. In Nigeria, governments and donor partners, including the United Nations, must support national priorities with an emphasis on national ownership, harmonization and alignment, mutual accountability and results. This means that the Nigerian federal government would need to deepen its findings so that partners can support implementation. The Strategic Results Framework is therefore one of the frameworks that would shape the partnership between Nigeria and its development partners in realizing gender equality and women's empowerment, to which development partners are also committed.

 While recognizing the need for partnerships with new constituencies, including work with men on women's human rights and particularly gender and sexual violence etc. in federal states and municipalities.

C. The implementation of national gender equality policies will lead to the need for technical and policy advice from national technical institutions, such as the National Center for Women in Development, the Bureau of Statistics, and major research institutions, including universities, to promote gender equality of gender.

 Recognition of the diversity and variety of actions required across a range of stakeholders and the lack of experience needed to conduct the process systematically. The unavailability of tools, data and information to encourage evidence-based planning, advocacy and programming are additional challenges constraining gender relations


Integration at different levels and levels of leadership and in different sectors and situations.

 The Strategic Results Framework focuses on restructuring and strengthening the National Center for Women in Development as the lead institution responsible for providing critical analysis, baseline indicators, and progress status reporting to guide implementation of the National Development Policy. Gender Equality and, more importantly, to ensure that Nigeria becomes a just society. The center would be vital to the Federal Ministry of Women's Affairs as an engine for gender equality and women's empowerment in Nigeria. These two institutions need to be strengthened and resources invested to meet the challenges of implementing the Strategic Results Framework. Strengthening includes adequate resource allocation, placement within government, placement of highly technical personnel, etc.

 Other critical research institutions, such as statistical institutes, universities, etc., need to develop equality policies and management systems to develop their processes (recruitment, training, etc.) the objectives of the National Policy on Gender Equality in relation to changing perceptions, analyzing gender trends in critical areas such as poverty, agriculture, HIV/AIDS, etc.

 The Strategic Results Framework sends a clear message – the two institutions and their counterparts in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory must be powerful drivers and voices for gender equality and the empowerment of women in government. That within these institutions there are incentives and accountability for the necessary performance to translate the visionary commitments identified in the National Equality Policy into concrete actions. The Strategic Results Framework is based on the premise that there is political will to respond to the challenges identified in the National Policy on Gender Equality and to redirect national resources, strengthen national gender mainstreaming institutions and support coordination mechanisms for women's empowerment .

Development NGO Strategy for women's human rights

Report and Recommendation of the UN Special Rapporteur

chapter four


What is empowerment?

Understanding gender equality and women's empowerment

Gender equality implies a society in which women and men enjoy equal opportunities, outcomes, rights and responsibilities in all areas of life. Equality between men and women exists when both sexes can participate equally in the distribution of power and influence; have equal opportunity financial independence through work or starting a business; have equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions.

A crucial aspect of promoting gender equality is women's empowerment, with a focus on recognizing and addressing power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their own lives.

Women's empowerment is crucial to sustainable development and the realization of human rights for all. Where women are of low status, family size tends to be large, making it harder for families to prosper. Population and development programs and reproductive health programs are most effective when they address women's educational opportunities, status, and empowerment. When women are empowered, entire families benefit, and these benefits often pass on to future generations.

The roles that men and women play in society are not biologically determined - they are socially determined, changeable and mutable. While they may be justified by cultural or religious requirements, these roles vary greatly from place to place and change over time.

What is empowerment?

A review of definitions of empowerment reveals diversity and similarities. Most definitions focus on issues of gaining power and control over decisions and resources that determine one's well-being in life. It is inherently an ideology with the potential to support developmental growth, particularly for women in developing countries. For example, according to DAWN, empowerment represents the transformation of power relations throughout society, increased well-being, community development, self-reliance, expansion of individual choices and self-reliance capabilities. The description above appears to support one of the few specific definitions of empowerment that focus on women's development. Similarly, Keller and Mbwewe (1991:45) describe empowerment as a process whereby women are empowered to organize themselves in order to increase their self-reliance, assert their independent right to make decisions and control resources, which helps to challenge its independence and eliminate its own "sociopolitical" subordination

As mentioned above, the abstract nature of empowerment means that there is no monocausal explanation or application of the concept. Some of these explanations and uses are outside the scope of this study, while others provide an overview of the concept. For example, Friedmann, a sociologist who studied the concept of empowerment (based on his theory of “alternative development”), identified three types of empowerment: social, political, and psychological. Information, knowledge, skills, financial resources and participation in social organizations constitute social power, while political power involves access to decision-making processes that affect the future, including participation in voting and collective action (1992). McWhirter (1991) defines empowerment as the process by which people, organizations or groups who are powerless become aware of the dynamics of power at work in their lives, develop the skills and capacity to exercise appropriate control over their lives, gain and exercise that control without infringing on the rights of others.

Following McWhirter's (1991) definition of empowerment, it is clear that empowerment has a specific focus on women's development in developing countries. According to McWhirter, a process whereby women are empowered to self-organize to increase their own autonomy, assert their independent right to decision-making and control of resources will help to challenge and increase their own subordination in the home (p.222). ).

Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, empowerment is the process of increasing the ability of individuals or groups to make decisions and converting those decisions into actions and desired outcomes. At the heart of this process are policies that build the individual and collective wealth of the poor and improve the efficiency and fairness of the organizational and institutional context that governs the use of that wealth (World Bank

Poverty Analysis 2003). Furthermore, since the early 1990s, the World Bank Annual Report 2003 and other World Bank reports have recognized that empowerment is very important for overall development progress because it “ensures that all people have the capacity to manage their own lives, offering opportunities and security and promoting effective participation and social inclusion” (p. 13). However, some commentators in the late 1980s and early 1990s noted that the World Bank was moving slightly towards a revised neoliberal model, emphasizing pro-market government intervention and good governance (Peet and Hartwick 1999). Gradually, the concept of empowerment, particularly through microcredit programs, became the watchword for all women's development programs initiated by the World Bank in the developing world. In its written statement, the World Bank maintained its commitment to a gender mainstreaming strategy, but evidence from developing countries suggests that its policies are not achieving this. The World Bank has been criticized from many quarters for paying lip service to women's issues, particularly by feminist organizations who claim that the World Bank's development programs primarily support men's interests. As Marina Lazreg (2002:125) observed: “The World Bank subsumes the concrete under the abstract, practice under theory, leading to a blurring, if not obliteration, of the distinction, or the often noted lack of agreement between theories and development practices. ”. This raises the question of how the World Bank, in pursuing the “efficiency approach”, intends to challenge existing socio-cultural practices or patriarchal structures that are at the root of women's disempowerment. And how empowering are the World Bank's policies and programs when implemented in the form of a “seizure of power”?

With the growing dominance of the 'financial sustainability paradigm' by institutions such as the World Bank, UN and other international donors, definitions of empowerment have been watered down to mean insignificant increases in individual income and 'self-confidence'. Therefore, to relate the concept of empowerment to this study, I examined the different views and explanations of this concept by different feminist authors in relation to gender and development and from the understanding of the market and rural women in Oyo and Imo. It is a logic that flows from different understandings of women's well-being, growth and sustainability. In addition to the fact that profound - but unidentified - efficiency aims to increase women's productivity to improve their quality of life, differences in understandings of power may explain why people and organizations are as far apart politically as feminists, politicians and the World Bank. assumed developed the concept with great interest (see also Rowlands 1999).

Proposal that empowerment is one of the strategies to promote equality

Theory and practice of empowerment

According to Cheston and Kuhn (2002), empowerment involves both choice and power. For them, it means having options to choose from and being able to choose from the available options. In the context of microfinance, adhering to a finance-based empowerment paradigm is problematic because it reflects the choice component of empowerment but not the power component. For example, a woman who has more economic resources as a result of participating in a microcredit program may have more options than before, but this does not necessarily mean that she is empowered to make more or different choices than before. Daley-Harris (2000) explains that women's power to make decisions is largely determined by the values ​​of the society in which they live. Thus, when women as a group are generally disempowered within their culture, changes in income may not affect a woman's perception of empowerment. Therefore, causal beliefs that assume an automatic direct relationship between change in income and change in empowerment are based on naive assumptions.

Conceptualize empowerment: resources, agency and performance.

One way to think about power is thisThe ability to make decisions is alsobeing disempowered implies, therefore, being denied choice1. My understanding of the notion of empowerment is that it is inescapably linked to the condition of disempowerment and refers to the processes by which those denied the capacity to make decisions acquire such capacity. In other words, empowerment involves a process of change.

People who make a lot of choices in their lives can be like thisVery powerful, but they are notempoweredin the sense that I am using the word because they were never disempowered. However, to become relevant to power analysis, the notion of choice must be qualified in several ways. First Cchoose absolutelyimplies alternatives, the ability to have chosen differently. There is a logical link between poverty and powerlessness, as the inadequacy of means to meet basic needs often impedes the ability to make meaningful choices. But even if survival imperatives hold sway for longer, the problem remains that not all decisions are equally relevant to the definition of power. Some decisions are more important than others in terms of their impact on people's lives. We must, therefore, distinguish between first-order decisions and second-order decisions, where first-order decisions are those strategic life decisions, such as choosing a livelihood, where to live, to marry, whom to marry, whether to have children, how many children, freedom of movement and choice of friends, which is crucial for people to live the life they want. These strategic life choices help to make other secondary and less consequential choices that may be important for quality of life, but are not its defining parameters.

Empowerment, therefore, refers to expanding people's capacity to make strategic life decisions in a context where this capacity was previously denied. Changes in decision-making ability can be seen as changes in three interconnected dimensions that make up decisions: resources, which create the conditions under which decisions are made; Agency, which is at the center of the process by which decisions are made; and achievements that are the result of choices. These dimensions are interdependent, as changes in each contribute to and benefit from changes in the others. Thus, at a later time, the achievements of a given moment translate into better resources or capacity for action and, consequently, in decision-making capacity.

Dimensions of Empowerment

(Video) Asian Impact 20: New Ways to Measure Women’s Work and Empowerment




Resourcesthey can be material, social or human. In other words, they refer not only to traditional economic resources such as land, equipment, finance, working capital, etc., but also to the various human and social resources that serve to increase the capacity for choice. Human resources are embedded in the individual and include their knowledge, skills, creativity, imagination, and so on. Social resources, on the other hand, are the demands, obligations and expectations that are inherent in relationships, networks and connections in various areas of life and that allow people to improve their lives and their life chances beyond measure, simply through their individual commitment.

Resources are distributed across a variety of different institutions and processes, and access to resources is determined by the rules, norms and practices that prevail in different institutional contexts (eg public sector claims). These rules, norms and practices give some actors authority over others in determining the principles of distribution and exchange within that sphere. Consequently, the distribution of "allocable" resources tends to be embedded in the distribution of "authoritative resources" (Giddens), the ability to set priorities and enforce claims. Household heads, tribal chiefs, company directors, organizational managers, elites within a community are vested with decision-making powers in particular institutional contexts because of their position within those institutions. The conditions under which people gain access to resources are as important as the resources themselves when it comes to the issue of empowerment.

Access can be linked to highly clientelistic forms of dependency or extremely exploitative working conditions, or it can be achieved in a way that offers dignity and self-esteem. Empowerment means changing the conditions under which resources are acquired and improving access to resources.

The second dimension of power concernsAgency, the ability to set your own goals and act accordingly. Agency is more than an observable action; also encompasses the meaning, motivation and purpose that individuals bring to their work, theirsinof agency or "the power within". While agency is often operationalized as “individual decision-making,” particularly in the mainstream economics literature, it actually encompasses a much broader range of goal-directed actions, including negotiation, bargaining, deceit, manipulation, subversion, resistance, and protest. than the more intangible, cognitive processes of reflection and analysis. The ability to act also includes collective and individual reflection and action.

Agency has positive and negative connotations related to power2. In the positive sense of "power to", it refers to people's ability to make their own life choices and pursue their own goals, even in the face of opposition from others. Agency can also be exercised in the more negative sense of 'power over', in other words the ability of one actor or category of actors to override the agency of others, for example through the use of force, coercion and threats. However, power can also function without explicit agency. Norms and rules governing social behavior tend to ensure that certain outcomes are reproduced without the explicit exercise of agency. Where these findings affect the previously mentioned strategic life choices, they testify to the exercise of power as “non-decision-making” (Lucas). Marriage norms in South Asia, for example, give parents authority to choose their children's spouses, but this is unlikely to be experienced as a form of power unless that authority is challenged.

Together, resources and agency constitute what Sen calls abilities, the potential people have to live the lives they want, to achieve valuable ways of "being and doing." Sen uses the idea of ​​"functioning" to refer to all possible ways of "being and doing" that are valued by people in a given context, and of "functional achievements" to refer to particular ways of being and actions related that are performed by them different individuals. I realized thatsuccesses, or failing to do so, constitute our third dimension of power. Where failure to achieve cherished ways of "being and acting" can be attributed to laziness, incompetence or some other individual reason, the issue of power is clearly not relevant. However, when performance failure reflects asymmetries in the underlying distribution of abilities, it can be interpreted as an expression of disempowerment.

Impact and Effective Type of Training

Various empowerment strategies

political participation

3.7 Since 2007, increased efforts have been made to ensure greater representation and participation of women in elected and appointed positions in the country through:

I. Greater emphasis on implementing provisions of the National Equality Policy in all areas of governmental and non-governmental action;

ii. Insist on the goal of 35% of Affirmative Actions of the National Equality Policy in all mandates and elected positions.

iii. Massive civic awareness of the negative impact of harmful traditional practices that prevent women from participating in politics.

4. Intentional plans and programs aimed at economic empowerment.

3.8 Furthermore, political parties are promoting strategies aimed at bringing women into political decision-making positions at the highest level. Most political parties now allow women candidates for political office to receive nomination forms for free, while their male counterparts pay top dollar for them. FMWASD, together with UN Women and other development partners, created a trust fund to support women politicians running for elected office.

3.9 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a strategic institution, has developed its internal equality policy to positively influence favorable legislationCEDAW/C/NGA/7-8


General conditions of electoral processes. It will also facilitate the adoption of relevant institutional policies and mechanisms related to the achievement of impartiality and equality and help to close the gender gap in political representation at all electoral levels, particularly in elected and appointed positions.

women and politics

Women's political roles in pre-state and local politics are diverse and broadly representative across sub-Saharan Africa.NoIn southeastern Nigeria, women's authority structures functioned in parallel with men's to function as women's courts, market authorities and overseers of village welfare. Women tended to their own affairs in kinship institutions, age groups, secret and titular societies. In markets, women set prices, settled disputes between merchants, and imposed fines to get what they wanted. Ibo villages have women's councils at various territorial levels.9 Among the Mende in Sierra Leone, women's secret societies called Bundu, which protect women's rights, serve as bases of political support and training grounds for female chiefs, such as Madame Yoko of the Kpa Mende Confederation. In Cameroon, Bamileke peasant women can be accepted into the Mensu, a women's society made up of the best cultivators. The Mandjon were a group of important women who did village work done by women, such as clearing paths. Among the Kikuyu of Kenya, women's organizations, segregated by age, paralleled those of men and performed a variety of functions, including discernment, mutual aid, initiation into womanhood, cooperative agricultural work, religious ceremonies, and disciplinary measures against women.

The kingdoms of the Central Lakes region, Southeast Africa and West Africa officially defined female authorities as QJeen Motheri QJeen or other royal positions, some of which still exist today. The ohemaa, or female ruler, among the Akan of Ghana occupied the more senior of the two pews, a visible repository of political authority. She advised the chief and had jurisdiction over domestic affairs and those of the royal family. Elsewhere, women represented women's interests in the political system. Among the Yoruba, the Iyalode, the chief's wife chosen for her achievements (rather than her birth), served as a spokesperson for women, representing their interests in opening new markets and prosecuting violations.

As the Omu among the Igbo, she presided over a council and advisor of her choosing. Bamileke Fong's mother, considered the equivalent of a chief, presided over women's secret societies.16 In modern times, women's rotating credit societies, agricultural community work groups, and religious and cultural associations are still common.

Despite the predominant participation of women, African societies are not stratified by gender, class or status.Although all societies had women's associations or authority structures, and in highly stratified societies with titled female leaders, the masses of ordinary women were not always included.

of politics. Regardless of stratification patterns, the pre-capitalist character of most pre-colonial African societies limited the extent of available resources, which were unevenly (or evenly) distributed by gender, class and status. The colonial state accelerated and exacerbated this stratification and set the stage for an expansion of the totality of unevenly distributed resources, with men disproportionately accumulating

Sharing opportunities, paid employment, mobility and credit.

Micro Finance as a Training Tool

Microfinance theory and practice

Training programs and microcredit

Challenges for empowerment through microcredit


Not everyone in Bangladesh and beyond is satisfied with the microfinance paradigm. In some cases, the whole microcredit approach to poverty alleviation has been criticized, often from a neo-Marxist perspective, for its market and pro-poor focus. s financial liquidity rather than the socioeconomic structures underlying poverty (see Mayoux 1995). Others note that the true success of microfinance as an industry lies in its failure to challenge the very foundations of class structure and patriarchy, and that self-employment at home, often emphasized by MFIs, limits the potential for people to experience poverty and the deletion to escape . A handful of Bangladeshi NGOs, such as Nijera Kori, have maintained their commitment to promoting radical social movements by raising awareness and mobilizing against instances of injustice and barriers to accessing public rights.whichRecourse to microcredit (Kabeer 2002).

However, most criticism today focuses on advancing the models rather than discrediting the approach in general. For example, the degree to which the oft-cited goals of reducing and increasing poverty are being achieved, and the extent to which different groups benefit from them, have become important topics of research and debate. Hulme and Moseley (1996) highlighted the general lack of knowledge about those for whom microcredit is just microdebt: defaulters and program dropouts. A better understanding of these groups has facilitated innovations in financial services for the poorest that emphasize flexibility, savings and asset centrality (Matin and Hulme 2003). Furthermore, the perceived trade-offs between achieving poverty reduction and empowerment goals, developing financially sustainable MFIs, and providing a broader range of financial and non-financial services to a more diverse clientele are under increased scrutiny by practitioners and scholars like her. . ways to cut costs both for MFIs and their donors and for the poor themselves, and the role of technology in this struggle.

It is also important to note that there have been failures among Bangladeshi MFIs, including the collapse of Gano Shahajyo Sangstha (GSS), a leading NGO-MFI, in 1999 over allegations of misuse of donor funds and gender discrimination. reveals that an unknown number of poor people have suffered because of fake NGOs. In such cases, scammers create credit premise savings groups after people create a savings fund. But before the loans begin, the organizers leave with the group's savings.

Evaluation of three microcredit projects providing microcredit to women in Nigeria

Empowering women through microcredit in other parts of the world relevant to Nigeria (Bangladesh as a case study)

Bangladesh is known internationally, not for its cultural heritage or natural beauty that its citizens are so proud of, but for poverty, floods, famine, disease, war, overpopulation, oppressed women, corruption, ferry disasters, arsenic-tainted water. Bengali Nobel Prizes. Rabindranath Tagore and Amartya Sr. are claimed. from India, the Royal Bengal Tiger is endangered and we probably shouldn't mention cricket. But Bangladesh has also become famous for invention. microfinance; by appointment and

Information about Muhammed Yunus and other NGO leaders; to the vast cadre of competent and honest NGO field workers who put the microcredit model of poverty reduction into practice every day; and even to reduce previously large gender disparities in economic participation, education and health11 (probably largely through microfinance and other NGO-MFI activities).

Job creation by the MFIs themselves. In addition, the impact on customers was huge. We estimate that there are at least 50,000 loan officer jobs across the country, and looking at their own households, that number often derives their livelihood from providing microfinance services. Below, we discuss the crucial role played by early social entrepreneurs. as creators and developers of MFIs and the microfinance industry in Bangladesh, but an important, often overlooked, effect of the industry today is its role in creating theNextgeneration of social entrepreneurs.Palli Karma-Sahayak-Stiftung (PKSF)

. Anyone who thinks that a state organization is always doomed to failure is wrong. You better look at the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation... (Shahiduzzaman 1999) The Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (Rural Employment Support Foundation) is a GoB and .apex organization. ADB and IFAD) to their partner organizations (POs) for further transmission as microcredit. When the PKSF was established by the government of Bangladesh in 1990, it was a sign that microfinance was maturing as public policy. Although the organization took a few years to establish itself, it is now a major vehicle through which MFIs in Bangladesh access funds and is arguably the largest and most successful such organization in the world. At the end of the 2003-04 fiscal year, cumulative farm-level loan disbursements by PKSF producer organizations exceeded $2.2 billion (PKSF 2004). These funds have been passed on to 5.1 million borrowers, 90% of whom are women. In the 2003-04 fiscal year, PKSF provided over $58 million in loan funds to 206 POs: three large ones. organizations (ASA, BRAC and Proshika); 195 small and medium-sized; and, for the first time, eight .pre-PKSF. organizations. PKSF POs operate in all districts of Bangladesh.

This is an exceptionally large number of MFIs in the context of major institutions in other countries, yet there are still over 1,000 small MFIs in Bangladesh that are not funded by the PKSF.13 In 2002, PKSF funds represented only about 15% of the total industry microcredit in Bangladesh, compared to 37% of Grameen Bank funds (Levy 2002; calculated from PKSF 2002). At the same time, PKSF funds accounted for 24% of the funding available to NGO-MFIs, of which 25% came from members' (largely mandatory) savings and 17% from service fees. (interest) and only 16% directly from foreign donors. In 2003-2004, PKSF producer organizations managed to maintain a field-level loan recovery rate of over 98%. In turn, the POs were able to repay PKSF, including interest (.service fees.), on time, which also allowed PKSF to maintain a loan recovery rate in excess of 98%.

Most of the PKSF loans were made under the Rural Microcredit Program. 74% and 71% of all conventional funds and 69% and 62% of all funds in 2002-3 and 2003-4, respectively. However, both urban microcredit and microenterprise loans are growing in importance in the PKSF portfolio. PKSF also supports producer organizations in strengthening their institutional capacity to improve their sustainability and ability to repay loans. While the PKSF claims not to favor any particular model of microfinance, but to encourage innovation and different experience-based approaches, Matin saidand others(2000) find that their partners actually prefer to use the dominant product. . in this case, the Grameen-style group credit approach.

Many commentators point out that the PKSF's comparative success is due to the fact that its development was preceded by that of a large and stable microfinance industry, as well as the strong and independent decision-making that its administration is able to pursue, which is attributed to its prominence and the engagement of individuals on its board of directors and its general body (Levy 2002). In May 2005, PKSF Managing Director Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed, appointed ninth Governor of the Bank of Bangladesh. He promised to transform the central bank from a mere regulator into a “people's bank” dedicated to alleviating poverty in the country, with a focus on microcredit for small and medium-sized enterprises (Independent 2005). If the emergence of the PKSF in 1990 was a sign that microfinance was maturing as public policy, the appointment of Dr. Ahmed can be read as an indication that he has become part of general public policy.

export and replication

Bangladeshi microfinance models have been exported around the world, both formally and informally. Grameen Bank Replication Program from the Grameen FoundationUSAwas founded in 1999 to support institutions and social entrepreneurs around the world looking to replicate Grameen Bank's approach or expand existing programs to provide financial services to the poor. Through 52 partners in 22 countries (including the US), the Grameen FoundationUSAit currently affects nearly 1.2 million of the world's poorest households (Grameen Foundation USA, 2004).

BRAC is unique as .southern. NGO that has already exported. move to two other countries. BRAC Afghanistan was established in June 2002 and registered as an NGO in Sri Lanka in May 2005 after BRAC arrived in the country after the tsunami with a relief and rehabilitation programme. Of course, BRAC is not just known worldwide as a microcredit success. its non-formal elementary education program is particularly prestigious. and BRAC Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, like their parents, do health, education and social development and microcredit.

However, in September 2003, BRAC Afghanistan lent almost US$1 million to more than 10,000 borrowers with a 100% repayment rate. The Situation of Microfinance. particularly the form developed in Bangladesh. like a panacea. in the development industry has also been illustrated by various international bodies. In 1996, the World Bank created the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) and provided $200 million to MFI programs around the world. Dr Fasle Abed, founder of BRAC, was a member of the first board and when CGAP decided to focus on poverty alleviation, it hired two Bangladeshi officials to carry out this role.

• The February 1997 Microcredit Summit successfully raised donor and commercial funds in a concerted effort to reach 100 million of the poorest households by 2005 (now extended to 2015). It is headed by Professor Yunus of Grameen Bank. Also in February 1997, UNDP and UNCDF launched MicroStart to promote transparency and good institutional and financial performance among MFIs. Since its inception, MicroStart has been implemented or developed in 20 countries and grants have been approved for 68 MFIs. ASA is a MicroStart International Technical Services Provider and has been instrumental in the development of MFIs in Nigeria and the Philippines, as well as in India. Jain and Moore (2003:2) give several reasons for the .Grameen model. became more important in terms of replication. Some of these have to do with Grameen Bank itself. its relatively early development and, as discussed below, its leadership, which has been particularly active and effective in promoting the virtues of the Grameen model. and in terms of that feature. donors. The other reasons are two that have to do with the characteristics of the two largest global microfinance competitors. The sol bank approach, it is argued, does not seem to offer an alternativeruralmodel, and its history is deeply rooted in recent Bolivian history. The BRI's success depends heavily on the unusual ability of Indonesian authorities at the village level to monitor and influence individual households. For many design and implementation reasons discussed below, the Bangladeshi experience, or at least the portrayal of its pioneers, is critical. seems to have caught the attention of practitioners and policy makers around the world as it is simple and flexible enough to be applied to different contexts.

Explaining the success of microfinance in Bangladesh

How to explain the success of microcredit in Bangladesh? Here we apply McCourt and Bebbington's framework to try to identify and examine key factors.

The guideline: innovation, design and specification

As we saw in the previous section, the early stages of microcredit development in Bangladesh began as an experiment. Mohammad Yunus conducted a small action research project that produced a series of lessons that he and others later applied to microfinance. Both the applied process (small-scale experiments, improving the efficiency of the service once operational and gradually expanding over several years) and the design. selected features (see below) contributed to success. The process seems to resemble what David Korten (1980) described in a seminal article as a learning process. Approximation.

There are many overlapping explanations for how the Grameen model works. They explain how it produced a product that met the customer's needs, developed relatively inexpensive delivery mechanisms, and generated resources that allowed it to survive and expand. Here we draw insights from Hulme and Mosley (1996). Jain and Moore (2003) offer a critical approach to many of these explanations.

Alignment:In order to reach those most in need and/or those most able to use credit effectively to alleviate their own poverty, MFIs in Bangladesh adapted direct targeting combinations using an effective indicator-based means test (for example, a combination landless and engaging in physical labor combined with being female) and indirect targeting through self and peer selection. Bangladeshi MFIs allow for self-selection through a combination of initially small loans at market interest rates and strict repayment terms, as well as time-consuming and potentially stigmatizing obligations such as mandatory meeting attendance.

sifting out of .bad. (non-poor and very poor/unviable customers): Calculation of market-related interest rates and customer participation in group selection.

Secure the refund:Intensive borrower support by field staff; peer group monitoring; employee incentives; ever-increasing loan amounts; and forced saving.

Reduce costs:access to interest-free or subsidized donor loans; Create low-cost referral customer savings; Coverage of costs by charging interest rates in line with the market.

Management efficiency:working with groups; remittance of transaction costs to customers; standardized products and processes. This is the perceived financial strength of microfinance services targeting different subgroups of the poor. Women, landless, small entrepreneurs, etc. it is not based solely on replacing subsidized loans with commercial loans (indeed, most MFIs in Bangladesh still rely on subsidized donor loans and few are sustainable). Equally important is increasing the capacity of innovative targeting, triage and surveillance mechanisms. As Besley and Kanbur (1991:70) point out, policymakers can have their cake and eat it too. Better targeting means more poverty reduction can be achieved with less spending!

For a longer period (1985-1995) other MFIs in Bangladesh (particularly BRAC and Proshika) copied this specification. with modifications and improvements. After 1995, there was a proliferation of MFIs joining the Grameen Bank story. the poor are bankable and sustainable institutions can be created to meet their microcredit needs. but very different models adopted. Among them are above all the ASA; BURO, Tangail; and SafeSave.

An important feature related to major innovations in Bangladesh and elsewhere is the central role of public and non-governmental organizations (Hulme and Mosley 1996). Yet much of MFI performance must be understood in terms of taking over from the private sector.

practice methods exercises . Assignment of interest rates according to the market, treatment of individual branches as cost centres, outsourcing of administrative costs. The for-profit sector has played only a small role in effective experimentation and innovation.


Pilot projects around the world have shown that a high level of motivation and resources can lead to success. on a small scale in virtually every field. Once the innovation has been identified, the challenge is how to move to full-scale service delivery (see Rondinelli 1993 for a discussion of scaling up pilot projects). In Bangladesh, this process consisted of three main components.

First, it was the expansion of Grameen Bank itself, which required the standardization of its model. (cells of 5, groups of 30, 12 month loans, standard repayments, etc.) the creation of a governance structure that could be steadily expanded with only limited losses in effectiveness and efficiency and access to finance. Fuglesang and Chandler (1987) describe the model and processes that allowed Grameen Bank to expand without overdoing it. until.

In particular, Grameen Bank was able to create a human resources system that could produce large numbers of effective sales representatives and field managers. Key elements of this selection included selection (they only accept recent graduates who have not learned government or business malpractices), on-the-job training, a competitive compensation package, merit-based promotion, and active promotion of an organizational myth, among others. Professor Yunus perfectly understood the invisible managerial benefits that come from employees feeling part of a high-performing organization. Jain and Moore (2003) also point to the importance of a relatively non-hierarchical campus-style life. sponsored by Grameen Bank and many other MFIs that insulate field workers from many of the pressures of the people they work with and their own families, allowing them to focus on working as an effective team.

As Grameen Bank expanded and developed its management information systems, which in the late 1990s were paper-based rather than disk-based, they were sufficient to sustain its operations. Access to financial resources for continuity and expansion was made possible through customer surveys

Interest rates almost double those of state loans in the country. programs and through access to donor funds. In the 1980s and 1990s, there were so many donors wanting to fund poverty alleviation in Bangladesh and so few good projects. to fund that Professor Yunus was able to select donors from whom he would accept donations.

The second way in which the microfinance industry has expanded is that competing organizations have copied the Grameen model (often with some modifications). This is most evident in the case of BRAC, which operates a microcredit program that is now similar in size to Grameen Bank in terms of the number of active borrowers. While BRAC officials like to argue that they invented their own model, it is clear that in the 1980s BRAC found it difficult to compete with Grameen Bank and adopted the Grameen model in its integrated bank. Rural development approach to create a .credit plus. Model offering group microcredit and technical assistance to clients.

Even more notable, Proshika. an NGO of peasant awareness and mobilization with roots in radical socialism. began incorporating the Grameen model into its programs in the early 1990s. This set the stage for rapid expansion (its clients seemed to prefer microcredit over awareness), and by the late 1990s, microcredit was its main activity. Numerous smaller NGOs have followed BRAC and Proshika to such an extent that many observers are concerned that microcredit has overtaken other functions that NGOs should play.

The third avenue for expansion was through non-Grameen microfinance innovation. Organizations such as ASA, BURO, Tangail and SafeSave are convinced that the poor are bankable. however, they tried to offer them products that better suited their needs than the Grameen model. This has led to a greater emphasis on savings, individual rather than group-based approaches, and greater flexibility in terms of loan size, repayment schedules, and access to savings. To a large extent, .Success. Grameen Bank encouraged these organizations (or, more accurately, their leaders) to strive to improve through experimentation.

learning and adaptation

In the mid-1990s, the Grameen Bank was sometimes accused of not learning, locking itself into a one-size-fits-all model and discouraging other organizations from moving away from the Grameen model. We can say this with confidence because we were among the promoters. There were some reasons for such an argument at the time, but it must be admitted that Grameen Bank and Professor Yunus learned and innovated in the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2001-2002, Grameen Bank launched Grameen II with the promise of transform your services to customers. This includes flexible lending, voluntary savings and micropensions. The latter are particularly popular. Grameen has also introduced innovations in other areas, including mobile telecommunications, which have been reported to be particularly successful (Sachs 2005).

Big man, big men. Big (small) women

Organizational and political success is often explained in terms of the exceptional ability and achievement of leaders (Leonard 1991). This was common at Grameen Bank (there is a vast body of deity literature about Mohammad Yunus). Likewise, both BRAC with Fazle Hasan Abed and Proshika with Dr. Qazi Faruque Ahmed internationally recognized as great results on a large scale. There is no doubt that the microfinance industry in Bangladesh was inspired by Yunus and developed by other successful leaders. However, the contribution of Grameen Bank clients (and other MFIs) must also be acknowledged. For many observers of the country's MFIs, there is recognition of the heroic contribution of clients. million .little. Women (in terms of social status and height and body mass index) have demonstrated exceptional agency and ability to use MFI services, improve their family's well-being, and repay their loans. What then can be said about practice? the female bias to which the Bangladeshi MFI community shifted in the 1980s? In many ways, the success of microfinance in Bangladesh is predicated on the empowerment or lack of empowerment of poor women.

chapter five


Economic growth in Nigeria has been quite robust lately, with rates among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Remarkable progress has been made in restoring macroeconomic stability in the country. The context of development in Nigeria shows that the economy has grown over time. Nigeria's rebased GDP shows that Nigeria's economy grew by 7.41 percent in real terms in 2013. According to the World Bank, the country's GDP growth rate in 2012 was 6.5 percent. Nigeria's per capita income has also increased by more than 60%, from US$1,091 in 2009 to US$1,700 in 2013. Gross National Product (GNP) has increased from around US$195 billion in 2007 to US$353.2 billion in 2009. The estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in 2010 is US$1,324. Based on this growth trajectory, the projected real GDP rate for 2015 is 7.25% and it is expected that this growth will continue to attract foreign investment to the country. It will create better long-term livelihoods and economic empowerment opportunities for its citizens, half of whom are women.

Democracy continued to produce results, including increasing the right to free speech, human dignity, a fair hearing, freedom of movement, freedom from discrimination, and all other related rights. government policy,CEDAW/C/NGA/7-8


Programs and activities continued to thrive, reflected in the expansion of educational, legal, and legislative advocacy/propaganda. These were accompanied by training courses, workshops and seminars aimed at broadening and widening the legal horizon on gender mainstreaming issues.

2.15 NGOs, in turn, have increased their efforts as government observers and whistleblowers when they detect inappropriate behavior on the part of governments. This has led to greater collaboration and networking between NGOs and the judiciary, the legislature and other key stakeholders, including other civil society groups. Attempts are aimed at deliberate strategic litigation and alternative dispute resolution that offer a more lasting equitable settlement.


2.16 Nigeria's low literacy rate has consistently slowed progress in advancing women's rights and has had a negative impact on perceptions of rights.

2.17 Patriarchy is also a very important obstacle in this quest, reflected in the slowness of legislative reforms related to laws that affect women, poor enforcement mechanism, trivialization of relevant laws due to lack of understanding, especially among legislators.

2.18 Ingrained habits, acceptance of discrimination as a measure of divide and rule, use of force to maintain patriarchal hegemony, influence of religion as the opium of the masses, illiteracy, poverty and selective acceptance to conform to international standards represent major obstacles to achieving the gender equality

2.19 Weak budget allocation.



cultural relativism


But has microcredit been a public policy success? As mentioned earlier, it depends on what you mean by audience. In the broader concept of public action, it was certainly a success. that Amartya Sen floated (and then seemed to fold) in the early 1990s. It started as a public action project. Professor Yunus and his colleagues were members of a civil organization (a university) but also civil servants. They were funded by public money and NGOs. Grameen Bank became a public corporation, but the replicators/adapters. well-developed microfinance were primarily NGOs and therefore part of civil society. Subsequently, the PKSF, a public-private partnership, has been an important vehicle for expansion. Behind much of this activity, both innovation and replication, are donor resources. of the public sector in richer countries. All of this is embedded in a regulatory and macroeconomic framework that has been supportive (or at least not too disruptive) and part of the public sector. We can call it networking, co-production or whatever, but two things need to be kept in mind.

First, the main actors are the State and/or civil society. this is public action. Second, the for-profit private sector played only a minor role in this success. Private Sector Concepts. Profit/loss, unit cost, performance-based compensation, market-based interest rates, competition were an important part of the story, but for-profit organizations played only a minor role.

The case of Hulme and Mosley (1996) ten years ago. that commercial corporations do not invest in creating pro-poor innovations, that they are followers, not leaders, in providing services to the poor. still seems to hold up.

(Video) Economic Empowerment as a Tool for Social and Political Empowerment of Women in Africa

After all, why was microcredit such a political success in Bangladesh? We agree with Zaman (2004) that visionary leadership, a supportive (or more specifically, unsupportive) political/regulatory environment, effective donor action, an appropriate physical and social environment, and recently the PKSF, scaling funding and enabling the improvement Industry standards were key factors. We also add that visionary leadership must not only be technically competent, but must also have the skills and social resources to manage the national and international political economy, and that institutional processes allow for learning and allow effective delivery systems to operate. It should also be noted that millions of little. The women (see above), the clients, made microcredit a success.

But is there an overarching explanatory framework or is it .success. primarily over a list of attributes? The best we can find is Uphoff's (1992) concept of "social energy". This assumes a process by which dynamic leaders and the ideas and ideals they promote spread throughout society, gaining traction and persuading individuals and organizations to adopt different values ​​and do things differently. The spark of social entrepreneurship created by Yunus has inspired literally dozens of other leading social activists in Bangladesh and thousands more to try to provide microcredit and other services to the poor. The diffusion process has shifted to the public sector through the PKSF, and with the appointment of the director of the PKSF as central bank governor, this social energy seems to seep even further into the financial sector. Maybe stop here. But maybe not. Providing services to the poor used to be monotonous. or .sexy. Task . Microfinance in Bangladesh has helped make it attractive. That's a big achievement! And a political success. in the .failed field. of poverty reduction, in a basket case. Country like Bangladesh shows the empowerment of the poor and remains inspiring.


1. [WEBINAR] Breaking the tax bias: Promoting gender equality in taxation
(OECD Tax)
2. Assessing Nigeria's revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy
3. Policy Seminar: Gender Equality in Rural Africa: From Commitments to Outcomes
4. Globalization & its Impact on Women | Webinar Series | HANDS Pakistan
(HANDS Pakistan)
5. Microfinance in Nigeria - Are We There Yet ? Produced by Emmanuel Tyavyar, 2012
(Steffen Ulrich)
6. Jemimah Njuki: Reimagining solutions to gender inequality
(SciencexMedia at Global Development)


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