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Women Empowerment in Nigeria: Progress, Barriers, and Solutions

Women Empowerment in Nigeria: Progress, Barriers, and Solutions.
By Sulaimon Nasirudeen.

Economic policies are not the only area where Nigeria faces challenges. Another critical area is women’s empowerment. Despite progress in recent years, women in Nigeria still face significant barriers to accessing education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. In this article, we will discuss the progress made in women’s empowerment in Nigeria, the barriers that still exist, and potential solutions to address these challenges.

In recent years, Nigeria has made some progress in advancing women’s empowerment. For example, in 2015, the Nigerian government implemented a National Gender Policy, which aimed to promote gender equality and empower women. The policy has since helped to increase women’s participation in politics and decision-making processes.

Furthermore, the country has also developed several programs and initiatives to address specific issues affecting women. The Women’s Fund for Economic Empowerment (WOFEE) provides financial support to women entrepreneurs, while the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project helps to strengthen the advocacy efforts of women’s organizations.

Despite these efforts, Nigeria still faces significant challenges in advancing women’s empowerment. One of the main barriers is cultural beliefs and traditional practices that limit women’s access to education and employment opportunities. For example, early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) remain prevalent in some parts of the country, limiting girls’ ability to pursue education and enter the workforce.

Additionally, women in Nigeria are also subjected to gender-based violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault. These incidents are often underreported and not adequately addressed, creating a culture of impunity that perpetuates such abuses.

To address these barriers, Nigeria needs to take a multidimensional approach to women’s empowerment. This approach should include legal and policy frameworks, education and awareness programs, and support for women’s organizations.

The government needs to strengthen its legal and policy frameworks to protect women’s rights and ensure gender equality. For example, Nigeria could pass and enforce laws banning FGM, child marriage, and gender-based violence. Additionally, the government should provide incentives for companies to promote women’s employment, including implementing affirmative action policies and providing tax incentives for companies that hire and promote women.

Education and awareness campaigns are also crucial to address cultural barriers that limit women’s access to education and employment. These campaigns could include community engagements that promote the benefits of educating and empowering women, particularly in rural areas where rates of early marriage and FGM are highest.

Finally, supporting women’s organizations is critical for advancing gender equality in Nigeria. These organizations play a vital role in advocating for gender equality and providing support for women who experience gender-based violence. The government could provide funding and technical support for these organizations to ensure their continued success.

Women’s empowerment is an essential issue in Nigeria, and the country has made some progress toward addressing gender inequalities. However, barriers to women’s education, employment, and health still exist, requiring a multifaceted approach that includes legal and policy frameworks, education and awareness campaigns, and support for women’s organizations. With a strong commitment and continued effort, Nigeria can continue to make progress toward gender equality and the empowerment of women.


This work is published under the free legal awareness project of Sabi Law Foundation ( funded by the law firm of Bezaleel Chambers International ( The writer was not paid or charged any publishing fee. You too can support the legal awareness projects and programs of Sabi Law Foundation by donating to us. Donate here and get our unique appreciation certificate or memento.


This publication is not a piece of legal advice. The opinion expressed in this publication is that of the author(s) and not necessarily the opinion of our organisation, staff and partners.


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This publication is the initiative of the Sabi Law Foundation ( funded by the law firm of Bezaleel Chambers International ( Sabi Law Foundation is a Not-For-Profit and Non-Governmental Legal Awareness Organization based in Nigeria. It is the first of its kind and has been promoting free legal awareness since 2010.


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