United Nations and the Challenges of Promoting Gender Equality in Nigeria


United Nations and the Challenges of Promoting Gender Equality in Nigeria


Women in Nigeria are faced with various challenges both at the private and public sector. As a result of this, there are gender imbalance that tends to take place among both sexes. There are various gender inequalities that preoccupies the system which ranges from violence to abuses, discriminations as well as denial to political offices. Even though the attainment of gender equality is not only seen as an end in itself, it is equally an end in ingredients to and a product for the achievement of sustainable development of countries.The method of the research work is based on the secondary source of analysis which is done through the use of journals, internet materials and other archival sources of information which is going to be relevant.

Though Nigeria as a country with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Nigeria has been a signatory to various international treaties and policies as well. Various discoveries has revealed that gender inequality is a great challenge to Nigeria even as a developing country, such as discriminations that women are faced with including abuses. Although, the UN been an International Organization having established various policies such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) etc.

Despite all these policies that have been established for the purpose of nullifying the distinction, exclusion made on the basis of sex, UN itself still encounters various problems, such is the fact that women work more than women but are still been paid low. With this policies, UN still have its challenges such that lack of women to improper education, cultural and social beliefs of the women, poor recognition of women issues etc are still some of the challenges the United Nations is facing.

In conclusion, if all the policies that the United Nation has established coupled with the treaties that Nigeria has signed are put into effect, it will thus increase the knowledge of women as well as curb barriers that are been placed against women, such as vying for political positions, for instance, in Brazil and Germany; they have females as their Presidents known as Chancellor, Nigeria also can get to that position.


AFA- Alliance for Africa

AIDS- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

AWU- Abeokuta Women‘s Union

BUDFOW-Business and Development Fund for Women

CEDAW –Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

CPP- Convention People‘s Party

CRC- Convention on the Rights of Child

ECOWAS- Economic Community of West African States

EU- European Union

FGM- Female Genital Mutilation

HIV- Human Immune Virus

ICPD- International Conference on Population and Development

INTL ORG- International Organization

MDG‘S- Millennium Development Goals

NACA- National Agency for the Control of AIDS

NCW- National Council of Women

NCWS- National Council of Women‘s Societies

NDHS- National Demographic Health Survey

NDWPD- Niger Delta Women‘s Movement for Peace and Development

NEEDS- National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy

NEPAD- New Partnership for Africa‘s Development

NFF- Nigeria Feminist Forum

NWU- National Women‘s Union

PFA- Platform for Action

POA- Programme of Action

SDGEA- Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa

SNA- Sole Native Authority

UN- United Nations

UNDP- United Nations Development Programme

VAW- Violence Against Women

WANEP – West African Network for Peace building

WARDC- Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center

WARSHE- Women Against Rape, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation

WIN- Women in Nigeria

WISCORD- Widening Scope for Rights and Development

WOCON- Women‘s Consortium of Nigeria

WOPED- Women Center for Peace and Development

WRAPA- Women‘s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative


Title page i

Certification ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgment iv

Abstract vi

Acronyms viii


1.1 Background to the Study 3

1.2 Statement of the problem 6

1.3 Objective of the study 6

1.4 Research Methodology 6

1.6 5Significance of the study 7

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the study 7

1.7 Definitions of terms 8

1.8 Literature review 8

1.10 Chapterization 16

Reference 17


2.1 Institutional\laws and treaties and laws 18

2.2 Regional instruments 26

Reference 32


3.1 Introduction 33

3.2 Development of Feminism and Women Organizations 34

3.3 Women‘s Empowerment and National Integration 41

3.4 Women‘s Participation in Political Process in Nigeria 44

Reference 49


4.1 Issues of Discrimination against Women in Nigeria 50

4.2 Issues of Violence and Abuses against Women in Nigeria 51

Reference 56


5.1 U.N and Women Issues in Nigeria 57

5.2 Challenges of the U.N on Women Rights in Nigeria 63

Reference 67


6.1 Summary 68

6.2 Conclusion 69

6.3 Recommendation 72

Bibliography 73



1.1 Background

There are various International Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations working on gender issues in various parts of the world today and doing many things relating to gender issues. Various Organizations are been created to balance the gender differences in the world today. Even as an International Organization or Non-Governmental, they have various goals, aims and objectives and coupled with this is the fact that they are faced with different challenges in carrying out their duties.

For instance, United Nations sponsored intergovernmental conference on women opened with much fanfare and optimum in Mexico City, such as women discrimination, disclaiming of women‘s rights etc. Promoting gender equality has become a globally recognized and an acceptable reality. Gender issues have also been identified as an issue indispensable for the achievement of national development goals.

According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Gender is defined as the fact of being male or female, males or females , considered as a group :differences between the genders‘. According to the English Dictionary, it defined gender as the biological sexes of an individual usually male or female, the mental analogue of sex .i.e. one‘s male (masculinity) or femaleness (femininity)‘. According to Bridget Osakwe of WANEP she defines Gender as a social and cultural construct differentiating women and men and defining the ways in which women and men interact with each other‘.

It is undermined by the composite of shared expectations and norms within a society concerning appropriate female and male behaviors, characteristics, and roles. Gender and gender roles are culturally specific, learned, and changeable over time, and influenced by different variables such as race, age, class, and ethnicity. A literature text on women and peace building confirms that the concept of gender refers to social relationships produced by social, cultural, economic, and historical processes and the various roles played by men and women.

In fact, the attainment of gender equality is not only seen as an end in itself it is equally an ingredient to, and a product for the achievement of sustainable development of countries. Nigerian government which has compounded the problem of expanding the capacity level that is required to increase the enhancement of the opportunity of accommodating the varying needs of both male and female, gender also contends that the attainment of gender equality in Nigeria which is already time-barred, will be a mirage due to many constraining factors. Globally, the growing importance of gender equality has been recognized and accepted in various countries.

The normative framework for human development (UNDP: 2012) is reflected in the broad vision espoused in the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed set of time-bound targeted goals for ensuring gender equality and advancing opportunities in diverse sectors of the global economy. The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly which was accepted by 180 states, states the rights and equality of women, their freedom from discrimination and equality under the law.

Also, promoting gender equality which is a sine-qua-non to the actualization of the protection of fundamental human rights is critical to the whole concern for human development that center on allowing people to live a life that they value and enable them to realize their potentials as human beings. Realizing the growing need for gender equality is also germane to the survival and development of children and the building of healthy communities, societies as well as a nation.

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