The Role of Educated Nigeria Women in the Social and Economic Development


This chapter  reviews  different  write ups and opinions  expressed by the   researchers and writes  of text books, journals,  magazines. Newspapers and  other academic books of interested on  the  topic  under  the  following headings.

  1. Roles of educated Nigerian women
  2. contribution of education Nigerian  women  towards social economic development of Nigeria.
  3. problem confronted  by educated Nigerian women.
  4. sources of help to the educated women.


       Traditionally African women like  women in other   parts  of  the   world carry the women  universal  role  of house   making.  Many  distinguishers  scholars   of  observation of  the  roles of educated  women.

The Abuja declaration  on  participatory development. The  role of women  in the (1990s)  noted that sustainable development  only  can  be achieved with the  full  participation  of   educated   women  who  constitute  appropriately   50 percent  of the  population and yet  their  role in   development has only gained   serious attention only  in  the  last few years.  In their unrelated effort in  handling  the affairs of government.

Igunbor  June (2005)   said that during the pre-colonial  period to our present  time that educated Nigerian  women have  featured    prominently  in the  Nigerian traditional  societies  and  politics  most  Nigerian women have exercised  great  power and influenced society in  mater relating to  the  economy and political reforms.

In west  African women   participation  in  the  trade has developed and through it  women   have  gained  for  themselves  more recognition    in  the  social  fields. In   Nigeria   women are  in   position to decide on the   price of  goods sold  in  the market as they control the day to day sales   and  have a  very strong  economic   influence  in the country.

National counsel  of women’s association  play a great role  during the IMF  loan debate which was  published  in   the  daily star   Wednesday October  (23 1985)  captioned  “we should  forget   it” by  Mrs. Nnalim D.A   president  Anambra  state   branch say every  body is bound to feel  impact  of the deteriorating  economic  condition  so  let  us forget the IMF loan  and  guard our lions  today  for   the  struggle to rescue  our country.


Recently  in women world   of August (1985) another article was  published under winding p  the  undecade  for  title.  Nigeria   women and  national  development by  chison  who  was  of the  seminar  says over 50 papers  were presented  ranged from  the socio-economic contributions of  Nigerian  women  to  national development women  and  agriculture,  women’s  participation in  the  labour   force integrity   of national  development and  women’s  participation  in decision  making such   participation include P. E Adebusoye of university of  Benin. Molara .O.  of the Ogun  state  university  Ayo Iwoye Stella B Williams  the first women  vice chancellor   in  university  of Benin  and some   others.

In  the  public  sectors, a  lot  of success have been recorded by women  according to  the  later head  of  state of Nigeria Brigadior  .M.   Mohamed on the occasion   of  the  visit  of  members  of  the national  council  for women  society  in the Nigerian o  his office says my government intends carrying women among in its administration  an attempt  to  live  this country a new  life   this attest to  the fact   that  whenever  women are  infursted  with  any responsibilities   they exhibits    maturity efficiency and  hard work.

Nigeria  women did  not   just  sit down and  allow themselves to  be  relegated to  the background. They rose up  to  the  challenge  and  began to seek for  the advancement of women.  Various  women  organization were formed by women   to  include amongst others the  Lagos women   leagues   which campaigned for  more  employment opportunity  for women.  Vocational  training for girls and  better working conditions  for    nurses from  (1932-1944) the  women  party  also  ion (1944)   campaigned for  the expansion  or  opportunities for  women   more  government employment  for women   more government  employment  for  women  equal pay equal work   and   more training  opportunities  for   women. The federal  of   Nigerian women  society  in 1959  initiated the action  against the British System  at  indirect rule  encourage  women to  take part  n   the   political, social  and  economic    life   of  the   country   like   they used o (Oyebade  Zool)  said  towards  the  end of  the  colonial era. The  women’s   pressure groups emerged to articulate women’s   interests  with more  women  becoming   leaders of women’s  wings of  political  parties they  worked together  with  the  men  to fight   pre  Nigerian  interdependence  but  were dropped when it came to power  sharing  because the  constitution did  not  approve  the  participation   of women in  public  life. With  pressure mounting  from  united  nation,  women’s  in (1975-1985)  during this  period   the  military began   the tradition   of including women into  leadership positions and  identifying  the leadership potential  of women  by beginning to give  their  wife  leadership  opportunities (First lady Syndrome as well as giving  women’s  token appointments. Women again teamed together  under an organization  called the Nigeria women’s association  under the  umbrella  of  the national council  for   women society (N.C.W.S)   to condemn the policy of  token  apportionment   for women  there have been various   organization  under   the leadership  of women especially   the various  first  ladies in  the  country and other  women   organization  that  have worked  for  the  development  of women. Today Nigeria  can boast  of  female   university Chancellors, Vice  Chancellors, registrars, Rectors Chief executive   officers  of   banks and other financial institutions and compared.  Female  members of  the  legislative   houses as well as ministers  in  key  positions such as  ministry  of finance   minister of  education,  minister of  women  affairs ,  lawyers,  doctors, engineers and  directors generally.

Recent research (world  bank 2001) indicates that gender inequalities   in   developing  countries inhibit  economic growth  . there is a  correlation  between gender  discrimination  and greater poverty,  slower economic  growth, weaker  governance  and a  lower standard  of living  of the people.

A UNDP  analysis  similarly  confirmed   a  very strong correction between   its  (UNDP) gender  empowerment  measure  and  gender  related development indices and its   human development  index “He  report  also   billion   people  living on  les than 1$ a days are women. Also in their  investigation  in  Nigeria, Oramah and  Ogbu   Eloquently orgned  that at  the  center  of this  inequity insure  should  be  a gender  consolidation .

Women participation in development in  African has been rated  as  low.  This low  participation]  has also been  blamed  for  the  les than  satisfactory  impact  of public  investment in development.

Irokita (1980) wrote” I  want to   make  it  clear  that  what a  man can do  a women  can do it as well. Apart from  bringing  p  children  in  the  right manner so  that they have the chance  as  encouragement and  have  the ability to contribute their skill  in  the task  of  our national  economic   development. This they can so  as  professionals or experts in their  own field or as house  wives.

Agbeka (October  2 1980) say “educated  Nigerian women  have not been  fund  wanting in  their  call  to  national  duties during the  beginning of  president  Shehu Shagari assumption   in  the   office. They are and there  holding  important  post   and  achieving a  lot  for the  women  folk  as well as the  country  at  large. Even  though.  Not  many women   have been appointed  into  most  of  the  cabinet   posts in  this federal and state government, t he  few so  far  appointed  have been performing   wonders   to  the  surprise   of many  doubting Thomas as regards the   ability and height  of responsibilities   of  women” the success  of women’s  involvement  in    leadership  has not  been achieved  a  hundred percent as  it  used to  be before  colonialism   nut there as been  huge  progress  for women in the country and world  at large. As  the saying  goes it takes a second  to destroy  but years to build.

The  important  of women education has  been put quite succinctly  in  the  statement   if you  educate a  man, you are educating an individual,  but educate a  woman   and you are educating a nation. According  to Omolalu  and Jimbu (1985)  the   united nation universal declaration of human  rights a crusade against illiteracy and women’s education.

In  Anambra  state Agbo was some times a female   permanent  secretary and  was  noticed   for her  hard  work. Anambra state  also  can boast  of first woman governor  in  Nigerian Dame  Virge Etiaba.

In  Imo  state, for example   they  have a  women pilot Onyenaucheya,  the first  woman pilot in  Nigeria if  not  in Africa .  these  categories at  woman have succeeded in  combining   their roles as wives,  mother and  civil servants, I want to  make  it  clear   that what a man can do  a woman can  do it as well.


Well  I will say that women in  Nigeria  have been at  the bottom   rung   of  activities inspite  of  their efforts.  Things  are  not  rosy with them as all, they   constituted the  bottom poor  of   Nigerian. It is taken   that  70 percent of  Nigerians are  poor, I  must say  that  30 – 4- percent  of  this number  are a woman. Their situation has  been  worsened   by  the fact  that  they are  also  wives  of  poor men. Women’s   has been  handicapped by certain factors. First, rural women  are faced with  very  high illiteracy rate.  These  women are  either dropped  out  of school  or are denied education due  to  preference for male education by   most families.

Another  obstacles s  lack of  aces to credit facilities. With  all  these  obstacles   their productive capacity   has been  seriously  weakened.  This has resulted  in t he  involvement    of women  in menial and  unprofitable   Jobs  in  private  and government offices  only few women are  today  in positions   of authority with the present state of  Nigerian  women, there is  no cause for all out celebration  on international  women’s  day.

Women need to be empowered  to   contribute  their quota to national  development.

Another very  important issue that should   be   looked  into  towards  poverty  alleviation   amongst  rural women  it that  at  education.  Lack  of education   in rural  women,   abnotions  traditional   belief system,  must be   addressed heading  . move importantly , there s the need to  provide   and  allow  rural  women access  to  credit  facilities.

The alleviation of  rural women’s  predicament  has to  be  a  multi-sectorial  approach.  Government  should  come up  with  result  oriented   policies that focus  on rural women  empowerment.

(Ezumah  2002) women  Chiefs  ceased  to have  recognition  and input in decision   making processes.  while the man were sent to  school  women were  left  out. This  limited  to  a  great extent  the opportunities  available  to  women.  Thus  the   complementary  contribution  of  both the  man and the  woman was destroyed.

For over  thirty years,  Nigerian was  under  military  rule,  the  military  government which by tradition is a  male  dominated one  excluded women  completely from governance and did not   recognize   their impact in   leadership  in  other sectors  of the economy.

Women   lacked access to resources  including  credit  and  technology   because of  the  deteriorating  of the  economic situation  in  the  1980s, the  condition  of  women has been  affected  adversely   it  has   constrained   governments   from  allocating  the  necessary  resources to  the  multiple  roles  of women and their aces to  development.

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