This consignment of women’s role to the domestic negligence while the public space is seen at the traditional place for men, tend to perpetuate gender inequality, discrimination and distinctions on the basis of sex, Hence this study “Gender inequality and gender imbalance in allotment of political offices”. Although there is growing emphasis on gender equality, which is a central component of the process of democratization. The low level of women bing; as this hampers women from contribution their quota to the development of Nigeria system. A case for promoting gender equality in governance in simple; the increased involvement of women in the democratic process of any country is essential to broadening and deepening its commitment to democratic governance. Thus canvassing for support for gender equality is part of a broad cultural change that is transforming industrialized and developed societies and bringing growing mass demand for increased democratic institutions. Empirical observations have shown that women in position of responsibilities are noted to be hard working and firm in their decision. The aim of this study is to examine gender inequality suffered by women, reason for low representation of women in politics, identify problems women face in their quest to participate in politics and lastly suggest possible measures to increase women’s political representation by curbing gender inequality.




Title page                                                                                                                              i

Certification                                                                                                                         ii

Dedication                                                                                                                            iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                                        iv

Abstract                                                                                                                                vi

Table of Contents                                                                                                               vii

Chapter One

Introduction                                                                                                                                    1

Background to the study                                                                                                 3

1.2      Statement of problem                                                                                          5

1.3      Purpose of the study                                                                                             7

1.4      Research questions                                                                                                7

1.5      Research hypothesis                                                                                             8

1.6      Significance of the study                                                                                      8

1.7      Scope of the study                                                                                                 11

Chapter Two

Literature review                                                                                                               12

2.1      Introduction                                                                                                                        12

2.2      Women in Nigeria politics before independence                                          16

  • A perspective on Nigerian women                                                             18
  • Women’s participation in Nigeria fourth republic 20
  • Obstacles to women’s participation in politics. 32

2.6      Factors promoting women participation in politics                                     42

2.7      Activities of international organization                                                            43

2.8      Quotas and proportional representation                                                        44

Chapter Three                                                                               

3.1      Research design and methodology                                                                   45

3.3      Population of the study                                                                                        46

3.4      Sample and sampling method                                                                            46

3.5      Instrumentation                                                                                                     47

3.6      Administration of research instruments                                                          47

3.7      Validity of the instrument                                                                                    48

3.8      Method of data analysis                                                                                       48

Chapter Four                     

Data presentation and analysis                                                                                      49

4.1      Introduction                                                                                                                        49

Chapter Five

5.0      Introduction                                                                                                                        65

5.1      Discussion                                                                                                                65

5.2.     Summary                                                                                                                  67

5.3      Recommendations                                                                                                 68

5.4      Conclusion                                                                                                               72

Reference                                                                                                                             75

Appendix                                                                                                                              77




Gender inequality is a term that is often used to describe discrimination on women based on the fact that they are female. Gender inequality is experienced by women and is manifested in almost all aspects of human endeavour especially in politics.

Nigeria, cultural and religious beliefs tend to contribute largely to gender inequality experienced by women as some of these belief have been practiced for so long that they have been embedded in the societal perception almost as legal norms.

According to Afolabi et al (2003), women constitute over half of the worlds population and contribute in vital ways to social development generally. Yet over the year, the history of Nigeria has not adequately captured women’s contribution to politics and governance in spite of the fact that they constitute a large part of Nigerians’ population; and their consistent contribution to changing the development and political architecture of Nigeria women are perceived as foot soldiers who often dominate the political arena despite their unflinching contribution to the political, economical and social development their presence is yet to reflect in leadership process or position.

Women are known to play vital role in the society as mothers, producers, time manager, and community organizers, social and political activist. But despite these major roles played by them and their large population the society has not given recognition to them, rather they are victims of discriminating practices and gender inequality.

This is due to some traditional and cultural stereotype, abuse of religion, ethnic practices and patriarchal society structures. And as a country, Nigeria is deeply rooted in cultural believe, values and norms. These value systems have assigned roles to both sexes; with the productive gender roles associate with the male sex and their reproductive gender roles associated with the female counterparts. “Some area of activity is always seen as exclusively or predominately male and therefore overwhelm, and morally important” (Rosaldo and Hampher, 2004; 20-22).

Hence women had for along time suffered various forms of gender inequality and exclusion especially in the area of politics. These societal beliefs, as well as ethnic and most times religious doctrines and norms have turned into self fulfilling prophesier.

Gender inequality is a concept that is central to the Nigeria political systems where sexes are assigned to different complementary tasks now inherent in the political scene.


Several years after Nigeria attained her independence from the British colonial rule, the statistics of women’s representation in politics and decision making remains abysmally poor as a result of gender inequality and political discrimination. No woman has never occupied the position of president or vice-president neither has any been elected governor in any of the thirty six states. Except for Dame Virgy Etiba who was sworn in as a governor was impeached in Anambra State. Fifty two years down the line Nigeria has had only seven female deputy governors. The highest representation women have had in the federal executive is 20% in th e2007-2011 cabinet. The highest number women have attained in the senate is nine out of one hundred and in-members. Worse still in the house of representatives of three hundred and sixty members, there are only twenty seven women. Out of about sixty three (63) political parties in Nigeria, in 2010 only one, the United National Party for Development (UNDP) has a Female chairperson.

From the above, it is obvious that gender inequality is responsible for the poor representation of Nigerian women in politics and decision making. This is in spite of the fact that women constitute roughly half of the current population projection of over 140million based on 2000 census.

While the global average representation of women in parliament is 19-2%, the same for sub Sahara Africa, in Nigeria it is still at an all time low of 7% at the national level and 5.5% at the state level.

From Pre-colonial, to colonial and post colonial periods there have been various degrees of gender inequality and participation that has hampered women’s participation in politics and governance. No doubt gender inequality is to some extent tied to the political development of the country. For example the colonial period saw the dismantling of extant local traditional structures; 29 out of the 52 year past colonial era being considered here were under different military regimes which are globally acknowledge as male dominated, women unfriendly and gender insensitive.

The rest of the 23 years saw Nigeria struggling with an ascent democracy with little or no recognition or respect for women’s right to political participation thereby widening the gap of political equality.


            Over the years, there has been raging debates over gender inequality, women’s participation in Nigeria politics and the desire of women in Nigerian political system., some argue that ; woman are weaker sexes and social constructs owing to social value, norms and beliefs, which have neglected their meaningful contribution, have placed them in a subordinate position in the nation’s political system. This sexual division of labour is often traced to the onset of colonialism in Nigeria. Their western cultural notion of male superiority reflected in their relations with Nigerians.

The 1922, Sur Hugh Clifford constitution disfranchised women and limited the participation of adult male to the wealthy. This is not to say there was no existing element of gender inequality in the traditional state and stateless society in Nigeria but that the colonial order made gender discrimination more pronounced. In traditional Yoruba States, for example, Women held high political offices like the Iyalode, Iyaloja, Iyalaje and even the offices of the Oba

But at the establishment of the colonial order women become estranged to these rights politically, but in Yoruba kingdoms they could still perform their traditional roles.

The political enfranchisement of women in Nigeria politics seems to have maintained on the surface a level of gender equality politically because it is assumed that constitutionally there are no barriers to women’s participation, but what exactly are the problems and prospects women encounter in the quest to participate in politics? What are the important variables responsible for the increased of women’s participation in Nigerian politics? How can the present order of gender inequality be reversed?


            The study is aimed at evaluating women’s participation in polities, factors militating against women in politics, factors responsible for gender inequality and under representation in politics.


  1. Do women find it difficult to participate in politics because their main concern is family and survival?
  2. Do the domestic roles performed by women inhibit their performance in politics?
  3. Does the culture of money politics and godfatherism evade the essence of gender polities and equal playing field?
  4. Have cultural and religious practices in some part of Nigeria undermine women’s representation in governance and politics?
  5. Does lack of internal democracy in political parties hinder women’s emergence as party candidates for elective position?
  6. Will gender inequality be reduced when Nigeria government adopts quota for women’s participation in politics?


1          Women find it difficult to participate in politics because their main concern is family and survival

2          The domestic roles performed by women inhibit their performance in politics.

3          The culture of money politics and godfatherism erode the essences of gender politics and equal playing field

4          Cultural and religious practices in some part of Nigeria undermine women’s representation in governance and politics

5          Lack of internal democracy in political parties hinder women’s emergence as party candidates for elective position.

6          Gender inequality be reduced when Nigeria government adopt quota for women’s participation in politics


            The active involvement of women in politics in most African countries will go a long way to develop African politics considering the nature of women as mothers, wife, care givers etc which they are fully committed to discharge these nature endowed responsibilities. It is believed that such vigor will be used when given the opportunity to participate actively I politics.

According to Senanyake (1993) assistant secretary general of the International Planed Parented federation, if the world is to succeed and develop, women must be actively involved

If half of the worlds’ population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal and social marginalization, our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity will remain in serious jeopardy. We still have a long ways to go and the United State must remain an unambiguous and unequivocal voice in support of women’s’ right in every country, every regions on every ancient’ Hillary Clinton.

Undertaking an academic exercise such as a discussion on gender inequality in Nigeria politics will induce and create new or agreeing to existing conceptual frame works on gender and politics Gender inequality here entails various variables of gender inequality and participation and under representation of women in politics.

This is quite different form representation-Representation basically entails elective public officers help in relation to other representation. For instance, the increase of votes cast by women in elections from ten to forty percent of total votes cast in twelve years signifies a form on increase in participation But when the number of women holding political offices, when compared to men is relatively low there is under representation. Which means that an increase in participation of women doesn’t translate to maximum representation of women in politics.

Within the last few years, women’s voices have become very strident in their quest for power. Yet there are so many socio-cultural and educational obstacles that hinder the realization of their objective. Hence there is need to change and to develop strategies to remove these obstacles and barriers. And women must be prepared to deal with them.

The major significance of this study is to help develop strategies that will help increase women’s representation in politics and reduce gender inequality within Nigerian political terrain. It will look at the best method s of empowering women politically in order for them to complete favorable with their male counterpart


This research will focus on gender inequality in Nigerian politics especially on the fourth republic. However the earlier works of important researchers in the field and studies written on women political development will be included.

The active involvement of women in politics in most African countries will go a long way to develop African politics the nature of women as a mother wife caregiver etc, make them fully committed to discharge these nature endowed responsibilities. It is believe that such vigor will be used when given the opportunity in politics

Get The Complete Material

Are You in Need of Help? Call us or WhatsApp us via +234-809-323-9919 or Email us via


Disclaimer: The copyright owner created this PDF Content to serve as a RESEARCH GUIDE for students to conduct academic research.

The original PDF Research Material Guide that you receive can be used in the following ways.
  1. To provide additional information about the topic of the project.
  2. You can use them as a resource for your research (if you properly reference them).
  3. Proper paraphrasing is required (consult your school’s definition of plagiarism and acceptable paraphrase).
  4. If properly referenced, direct citation.
We are grateful for your consideration of the copyright of the authors. Thank you so much for respecting the author's copyright.