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Chapter one

Introduction

1.1Background of the study

The marginalization of women exists in all human societies, although the degree differs across states (Lawal and Ojo, 2006). Most societies are seen as male dominated in almost all spheres of human endeavour (Evans, 2014; Spinelli-de-sá et al., 2017) This is in spite of the existence of several international instruments such as the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that affirm faith in fundamental human rights, the dignity of and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women (Alfreðsson and Eide, 1999; Edwards, 2010). Much effort has however been made at ensuring that the gender inequality gap continues to close up. One of such efforts at the global level is the Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which was ratified by states in 1985. This Convention sought to promote the equal right of men and women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, as well as encouraging states to “condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women” (CEDAW, 1985). However, it was at the fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995 that the need for more advocacy and actions in achieving gender equality was brought to the fore

Today the connection of gender is being untidily used to denote the different and unequal perceptions, views, roles, relevance or rewards that a society assigns to the two sex categories, discrimination happens to both male and female in individual situations, particularly the female, or women group. The act of subjugating women is an inherent tradition, which has consistently been kept in an active state and coupled with its debilitating ability. As society has been grappling with the problem of creating a fair, just and equitable arrangement among different people, the mainstream agenda of development is challenged through; how to enhance the role of women in politics and governance. There is no human society where women are not discriminated or marginalized. Women are an entrenched, global pandemic. Udegbe (2004) specifically explained that male and female goes along with a number of stereo-type that virtually imposes both role performances, possibilities of different kinds. That is why Margaret (1982) confirms that women have been traditionally designated to occupations, which require such skills with cultural values. To Agbalajobi (2010) the key point that lead to discrimination against women has its roots in the nature of our societies which celebrate men as being unique, stronger and fit for the public space while women are feeble and weak meant to stay within the confluence of the private space

The 5th goal of the sustainable development goal (SDG) is focused on gender equality. Global attention is on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. Aside from agriculture, women in paid employment account for 41% against 35% as of 1990. The 5th SDG aim to empower all women and girls to ensure gender equity and ultimately end all acts of discrimination against the female gender. The argument for or against gender inequality is a conversation that has remained in the corridor of global debate. In the past, some literature was of the opinion that gender inequality might actually lead to an increase in economic growth (Mayoux, 1995; Klasen, 2002; Dorius and Firebaugh, 2010; Kleven and Landais, 2017; Worsdale and Wright, 2020). However, other authors (Essien et al., 2016; Kleven and Landais, 2017; Falk and Hermle, 2018) have revealed that gender inequality negatively impacts the economy. Gender inequality is a problematic issue as it lowers wellbeing and is regarded as a form of injustice in the very conception of equity (Klasen, 2008; UNDP, 2015; Rewhorn, 2020).

There has been a lot of advocacy by both the government and civil societies making a case for training the girl child and providing equal opportunities over the years (Abendroth et al., 2017; Connell et al., 2020). Over time, with the advent of western education, exposure and enlightenment, there is a need to see how the gap caused by inequality and discrimination against women has been bridged and to what degree. In Nigeria, women dominate the unpaid job sector, twice the figure for men. The economic value of females was projected to be about 30% of the gross national product (UNDP, 2015). Like other parts of the world, women in Nigeria face several discriminations that limit their full capacity. Gender refers to the roles, behaviors, activities, attributes and opportunities that any society considers appropriate for girls and boys, and women and men. Gender interacts with, but is different from, the binary categories of biological sex (World Health Organization, 2020). Gender can also be the state of being male or female. Inequality, on the other hand, can be defined as a state of being unequal or unfair. Gender inequality is seen as the disparity between the male and female gender. The concept of inequality is broad; it is expressed over the entire population and captures those below a certain poverty line (World Bank, 2011; UNDP, 2013). Inequality is associated with segregation, economically or socially. The presence of barriers mostly drives inequality. These barriers hinder upward movement in social classes through income and wealth crystallization. These barriers give certain highclass people access to a better stake of societal resources, hence make them better off than those in the lower class (Anyalebechi, 2016; Kleven and Landais, 2017; Matthew et al., 2020). Several factors account for the gap in gender-based earning, such as segregation by occupation and industry, differences in physical structure, education and skill acquisition, contributing to differences in earning (Akinbi and Akinbi, 2015; Para-Mallam, 2017). However, the recent discovery shows that some of this gap is being closed gradually, such as the gap regarding educational attainment and horizontal occupational segregation is further reduced. These events have contributed to the reduction of gender gaps in wages and earnings. (Klasen and Santos-Silva, 2018) The economy of Nigeria is a mixed economy with emerging markets and is of middle income. With key sectors such as manufacturing, communications, technology, financial services, entertainment on the increase each year, it is ranked as the 27th largest economy globally considering nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the 23rd largest when considering purchasing power parity (IMF, 2020). It is the largest economy in Africa, with its growing manufacturing sector becoming the biggest in Africa in 2013 (Fantom and Serajuddin, 2016; Lawal et al., 2018). Among West African countries, Nigeria is the largest producer of goods and services. (Manufacturing sector report 2015; Isiksal and Chimezie 2016; Ovadia and Wolf, 2018). Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio has been on the increase though well below many developing nations like her. In 2008, the debt to GDP ratio was 7.2%; however, as of 2019, the figure stood at 16.2% (Onafowora and Owoye, 2019; CEIC, 2019). Based on this background the researcher wants to investigate public perception of Abeokuta South Local government residents on gender equality bill in Nigeria

 

Statement of the problem

Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, with an estimated population of about 200 million. As of 2019, the Nigeria Bureau Statistics estimated that about 40% of Nigerian population live below the poverty line. Furthermore, Nigeria’s outlook in the Human Capital Development Index (0.539) as of 2019 is nothing to be proud of, ranking 158 among nations of the world (UNDP, 2019). Going by the above knowledge, a nation as populous as Nigeria cannot take with levity the problem of gender inequality if she wants her economy to grow. Therefore the problem of gender inequality must be reduced to the minimum that she can attain. Over the years, research works have shown clearly that there is an imbalance in gender allocation in society and sectors of the economy at large (Ndubuisi, 2017). Inspite of several strategies put in place by the United Nations, the government of nations, and various private institutions to reduce gender inequality to the bare minimum, gender inequality continues to be a menace to society. In light of this imbalance across gender, this study seeks to critically evaluate its impact on income across gender in Nigeria, emphasizing the critical sector of the Nigerian economy and the geographical distribution of Nigeria. This study raises a major concern and the need to carefully outline the determinants of gender inequality in the country and practically see if there has been improvement upon comparison with previous studies as the research work looks at new data sets to show the current state of gender inequality in income in the Nigerian economy

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To find out the perception of people of Abeokuta South Local Government on gender equality bill in Nigeria
  2. To find out the effect of gender discrimination in Nigeria

Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses are formulated to guide the study;

H1: there is no perception of people of Abeokuta South Local Government on gender equality bill in Nigeria

H2: there is no effect of gender discrimination in Nigeria

Significance of the study

The study will be very significant to students, lecturers and the people of Abeokuta South local government. The study will give a clear insight on the public perception of Abeokuta South local government residents on gender equality bill in Nigeria. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on the related topic

Scope of the study

Scope of the study covers public perception of Abeokuta South local government residents on gender equality bill in Nigeria. The study will be limited to people of Abeokuta South Local government

Definition of terms

Perception: Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information or environment. All perception involves signals that go through the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of the sensory system

Gender equality: Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender.

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