TGI Group Tropical General Investment Group Plot 1, TGI, Ilupeju, Oshodi- Apapa Expressway (NIGERIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 8663-8668
ISBN: 978-84-09-45476-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2022.2295
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Providing quality education to all children and ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls are, respectively, the fourth and fifth sustainable development goals (SDG) of the United Nations Development Programme. These two SDGs are interrelated, since about half of all children are girls, and if girls are not given quality education, there is no way of ending the situation of subordination of women. Nigeria ranked 139 out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report of 2021. While the UNDP claims that there have been “remarkable successes”, in Nigeria, there are still over 10,5 million children out of school. Of these, 60% are girls [1]. While the school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had adverse consequences for all Nigerian pupils, girls were one of the hardest hit groups. The school closure meant dropping out of school for many girls, especially in the countryside. Achieving gender equality is a great challenge for Nigeria, and measures must be taken now if the SDGs of the UNDP is to be achieved.

Nigeria is a country of great social inequalities. Poverty in Nigeria is particularly alarming since it has increased in an economy that has been expanding thanks to oil revenues. However, the benefits of the revenues have gone to a small minority. Poverty and gender inequality are phenomena that are intertwined and reinforce each other [2]. Nigerian women suffer discrimination in many forms that go from sexist traditions and socio-cultural practices to discrimination in the labor market. Thus, most Nigerian women have low-skill, low-pay jobs in the informal sector of the economy. Furthermore, other factors determine the subordination faced by Nigerian women, such as their ethnicity, religion, or the state they reside in. Access to education for girls varies greatly in Nigeria and is pivotal for determining not just the future of the girls, but the future of their families.

A study about the Nigerian response to the school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic conducted by the author in the spring of 2022 will serve as the basis for this article. The qualitative study was based on interviews with 25 headmasters in the states of Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Lagos, and Ekiti in southwestern Nigeria. Furthermore, document analysis of the school attrition of girls will show the socio-cultural practices that explain why girls are more affected than boys by situations of emergency in Nigerian society. In addition to document analysis, the author, having worked as a secondary school teacher in Nigeria, will provide his ethnographic insights into the disadvantages faced by girls.

One of the most important findings of the study conducted by the author was that, while the closure affected all Nigerian pupils, girls were one of the hardest hit groups, especially in the countryside. Many girls did not come back to school after the social distancing restrictions were lifted e.g., unwanted pregnancies, or the exacerbated poverty caused by the social distancing restrictions. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the situation of subjugation of Nigerian women and girls by further reproducing social inequality.

[1] Malala Fund, NIGERIA,
[2] Oxfam International, Inequality in Nigeria- Exploring the Drivers, 2017.
Nigeria gender inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria girls’ education.