What’s it like to be a man in Nigeria?

Man trader selling cowpea at Bodija market Ibadan, Nigeria

The VOICES4CHANGE programme works to strengthen the enabling environment for gender equality in Nigeria. As part of this work it argues that understanding men’s attitudes and practices to family, community life and relationships is crucial to improving and encouraging more equitable relationships between men and women. 

VOICES4CHANGE have published a research report which it hopes will contribute to growing national and global interest for better understanding of men’s attitudes and practices. 

The report, titled ‘Being a Man in Nigeria: Perceptions and Realities’, is a synthesis of a total of five studies – four qualitative and one quantitative – exploring how the culture of masculinity shapes how men see themselves, behave and its impacts on their health/wellbeing as well as on their interpersonal and social relationship with women, girls and the society

The studies were conducted in selected states across the six geographical regions of Nigeria

The key findings:

•Traditional gender attitude and behaviour may be changing in Nigeria as evidence by responses garnered during the studies

•At the broadest level, widely held ideas about masculinity and femininity are powerful “root causes” of gender inequality and violence against women in all its forms.

•Rigid gender stereotypes of men and women create individual tensions, which find expression through negative social voices and interpersonal conflict and violence.

•Gender equitable and non-violent masculinities can bring important benefits to men and women alike, for example; better relationships, less stress, happier children, and future generations who reject violence against women and children in all forms.

•Positive, non-violent role models and education for men and boys (as well as women and girls) help ensure better gender equitable attitudes and behaviours. If these behaviours are inculcated in childhood and young adulthood, they last into adult life with family and possibly community-wide benefits.

Find out more and download the full report here at the VOICES4CHANGE website.