Sociology Project Topics

Impact Gender Discrimination on Rural Development in Lagos State, Nigeria

Impact Gender Discrimination on Rural Development in Lagos State, Nigeria

Impact Gender Discrimination on Rural Development in Lagos State, Nigeria


Objective of the study

The main aim of the study is to examine the impact  gender discrimination on rural development in Lagos State, Nigeria while the specific objectives of this study include;

  1. analyze gender discrimination in today’s economy focusing specifically on the working environment,
  2. Identify factors responsible for gender discrimination in the society
  3. identifying factors affecting rural development
  4. examine the effect of gender discrimination on rural development.



The Concept of Gender Discrimination

The Black’s Law Dictionary defined discrimination as “a practice that confers privileges on certain class or that denies privileges to a certain class because of race, age sex, nationality, religion, or handicap or differential treatment, especially a failure to treat all persons equally when no reasonable distinction can be found between those favoured and those not favoured”.

Discrimination is growing more sophisticated and the need for Nigeria to start initiating legislation that tends to incorporate all forms of discrimination not hitherto provided for in her 1999 Constitution is necessary. There is no doubt that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 under Section 42 gives every citizen the right to freedom from discrimination. Under this section, ground of discrimination relates to particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion.

Discrimination is considered as resulting from the creation, maintenance and perpetuation of structures of inequality against women as opposed to men. The process of engineering transformation involves both the manipulation of rules, norms and procedures as well as organization for political action by women to protect what rights they have enhance the quality of protection and increase the comprehensiveness of the rights to which they are entitled. Currently, the Nigerian House of Representatives‟ Committee on Human rights is holding consultations around a bill known as Discrimination Prohibition and Enforcement of Equality Act. The purport of the bill is to adopt a strategy in the fight against discrimination in Nigeria. The Anti Discrimination Bill marks the new era of a properly defined law on anti discrimination in Nigeria. This is a law meant to extend the laws covering discrimination in Nigeria particularly discrimination on grounds of: ethnic origin, sex, gender, age, religion, marital status, family status and conviction that have been pardoned etc. This Bill if passed is meant to give all Nigerians equal opportunity with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able to have and to have their needs accommodated consistent with their duties and obligations as members of the society.


Theoretical Framework

There are three (3) main theories that would be required for explanation of gender discrimination which can be related to the Nigerian society, especially as it affects labour market participation. These theories are as follows:

1) Biological Determinism

2) Dual Systems Theories

3) Marxist Perspective

Biological Determinism

The biological determinist position holds that biology is destiny and that human nature and society are dictated. There is an essential unchanging difference between the masculine and the feminine. However, the essential argument of the biological determinist position is that there are fundamental physical and psychological differences between males and females in society and this brings about male supremacy and patriarchy inevitably. The Hard view uses the biological differences between sexes to justify male supremacy in society. There is also a soft version/view of biological determinist which admits that biological differences between sexes can cause the differential role allocation and thus the subordination of women in society.

Another biological determinist is based on Evolutionary theory. Even Spencer (1873) started off believing in the doctrine of equal rights He was arguing against women‟s rights, using Darwinian and Malthusian principles as the cornerstone. Spencer asserted that evolution has fitted sexes to their different social functions hence the existing sex roles are biologically prescribed. Socio-biologists supported the view that behavior is always governed by genetic self-interest and that each sex tries to maximize the chance of the survival of their genes by promoting their welfare and those that share their genes. Trivers (1972) maintains that although the two sexes cooperate.

in the joint task of reproduction, relationship between them are essentially hostile and mutually exploitative. Another claim of socio-biology is that aggression and male dominance are the effects of biologically-given sex differences. To him (Trivers), human behavior is based on certain genetically based predisposition called human bio-grammar. Males are to dominate, women are biologically programmed to reproduce and bring up children.

In conclusion, the socio-biologist emphasize that the differences in male and female characteristics are due to male and female hormones resulting from genetic inheritance and genetic adaptation.

Dual Systems Theories

As a response to failings in other theories, dual-systems theories have evolved, which attempt to articulate and explain the subordination and exploitation of women in the labor market. According to Hartmann (1979), the position of women in labour force is the product not just of capitalist social relationships, as Marxist theory argues, but of capitalist and patriarchal relationships, which accommodate each other (Beechey, 1989). In Hartmann‟s words (1979):

“Patriarchy, far from being vanquished by capitalism, is still very virile; it shapes the form modern capitalism takes, just as the development of capitalism has transformed patriarchal institutions. The resulting mutual accommodation between patriarchy and capitalism has created a vicious circle for women”.

Walby (1989) argued that patriarchy and capitalism are analytically independent; patriarchy is not reducible to capitalism. As Abbott and Wallace (1991) argue, the advantage of this position is that it recognizes the role that both men and capitalism play in the subordination and exploitation of women. It offers an explanation for women’s participation in the labour market, and, in Walby’s writing, points to the conflict between patriarchy and capital, and to the ways in which women are dominated and exploited in both the public and private spheres


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