GENDER MAINSTREAMING AND ATTAINMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: DOES NIGERIA HAVE THE POLITICAL WILL TO SUCCESSFULLY WORK THE TALK?
Since the 1995 Beijing conference, gender mainstreaming has become a topical issue internationally. The philosophy entails bringing gender issues at the centre of societal endeavors to ensure gender equality. Nigeria, among other nations, ratified the convention that gave rise to gender mainstreaming as a veritable strategy in societal development. At the end of 2015, the UN scored Nigeria low in the attainment of the eight core Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Attainment of gender equality was one of the core goals of the MDG which supposed to make women beneficiaries of the policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the same extent as men. Successive governments in Nigeria have articulated excellent programmes such as Better Life for Rural Women and Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) to drive the process, yet none has significantly addressed the yawning gap of inequality between men and women in every sphere of life in the country. Women, compared to men, are significantly underrepresented in decision-making positions, access to education and economic resources. The paper is concerned that no sustainable development stride can be achieved in the face of the enormous gender challenge in the country. Using secondary data, the authors observe that strong political will, monitoring and evaluation, among other factors, are lacking in the implementation of gender mainstreaming in Nigeria.
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