FACTORS AFFECTING SUSTAINABLE WOMEN EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
IHEANYI N. OKWAKPAM
Department of Adult and Continuing Education,
Faculty of Education,
University of Calabar, Cross River State,
This paper attempts to establish the factors that affect sustainable women education in Nigeria. The paper found out that non-participation of women in education programmes was as a result of some limiting factors and proffers solutions to such.
It is not that there are no studies or recommendations on how to resolve women’s educational problems; it is rather than the recommendation for the provision of women education have usually been unrealistic either because of wrong assumptions or unreasonable expectations and therefore far from the target some observers have argued that few among the Nigerian Policymakers seem to take their educational problems seriously. It is more likely that they have taken them seriously but have become disillusioned by poor results realised from previous mass education policies in Nigeria. It appears that national development has been hampered by too much dependence on formal education as a model of development, which is ineffective in promoting the desired levels of development and change.
Examining the achievements of those who have participated in the women education programme, the study found that they are involved in the economic and productive circles and have increased their income-earning capacity which has drastically serve as in effective sustenance of their family needs and ensuring higher participation on equal footing with men in the labour market which in turn did benefit their families and the societies in general. Also, these developments in knowledge, skills and attitudes of the women have affected the quantity of their socio-economic, cultural and political lives. With sustainable education, women now can resist negative effects on their life and discredit any belief that they have no mental ability and capability for science and technology subjects that they were created to be inferior to men and for the gratification and satisfaction of men’s desire and fancies.
Lack of sustainable women education in Nigeria has depleted their potentialities and ability to organise a group that could exert political pressure, as well as seek for elective or leadership roles. The non-participation of the women in educational programme has not benefited them as to disabuse most biases and discriminations institutionalised through gender stereotype which were based on ignorance and lack of scientific information. Those of them that never participated in any form of educational programme have also not been able to make significant changes in their well being and family size.
Women constitute a large and important segment of any nation (Obasanjo and Mabogunje, 1991). And they are the bedrock of the development of any nation (Ucheagu, 1999). This is in consonant with the United Nations’ declaration of 1975-85 as the decade for women. Because of marginalization, women have been segregated from crucial economic and political resources that are directed at development endeavours (Buvinic, 1983). In order to make women contribute to the development of a nation, education is used as a social vehicle, with which women move from the periphery to the centre of political leadership where her voice is heard at the highest decision-making level of the society. Since women make a larger segment of most nations, educational neglect of women is disastrous and retrogressive. Obasanjo and Mabogunje (1991) warned that significant strides in development are unrealistic for any country that marginalizes women who constitute a large and important segment of that society. Women had been marginalized and disempowered through malignant sexism, which results in complete economic and political manipulation as well as sexual exploitations.
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