Gender, politics, and industrial development in Nigeria
The interplay between gender, politics and industry in Nigeria over the last few decades has undermined the role and participation of women in industrial development in Nigeria. That is the argument put forth in this chapter of the book Trajectory to industrial development in Nigeria, which aims to interrogate this nexus, and ask how gender politics has contributed to the years of marginalisation, exclusion and underachievement of Nigerian women. Gender-blind and gender-insensitive government policy initiatives aimed at industrial development over the years has played its part, producing ugly and unexpected policy outcomes which have only made the situation worse. The authors also discuss sociocultural traditions and gender norms as playing a major role in women’s exclusion from industry
The authors of this chapter then examine the consequences of such exclusion, including some that are to the direct detriment of industry itself such as wasted productivity, the inequitable distribution of resources and access to funding and education, increasing poverty, and slower economic growth. The answer, the authors contend, is to engage a “politics of paradise” built on the fundamentals of social transformation, women empowerment, gender-sensitive industrial development and gender equality. Through this politics of paradise, age-long sociocultural barriers in the path of women can be removed, while repositioning women for a more positive and greater participation in industrial development in Nigeria.