1.1. Background to the Study

Every society has a task to reconstruct and revitalize itself, build its own capabilities and educate, organize and mobilize the citizens with the view to ensuring that democratic space is expanded; democratic culture is deepened, and democracy itself is consolidated and made to become sustainable and irreversible (Akindele, 2015). Nourished by the milk of liberal constitutionalism and political imperative, indeed the comfort of human rights, a vibrant democratic structure enhanced by popular sovereignty; placing powers in the hands of the people, men and women, and their popularly elected representatives, and in doing so, creates the very conditions which civil society will blossom and flower (Akindele, 2017).

Globally, women empowerment in politics and administration has been one of continued debate. This is as a result of men attitude towards women bearing in mind the religious placement of women as men’s companion and not the head, women are therefore regarded as ‘Weaker Vessels’. Given the above, some duties which hitherto concern empowerment, development, achievements, decision making are left for men to handle, while lesser jobs like cooking, taking care of the family, typing and teaching are given to women (Ghali, 2018). Women activities have been relegated to the background acting as a supportive agent to men, fulfilling the adage, ‘that behind every successful man there is a woman’. Due to the above reasons, society still negates them in doing some jobs with the feeling that as weaker beings, they can only be reckoned with after the men (Ghali, 2018). This has greatly affected women empowerment in most developmental programmes, administration and politics in particular (Kebeer, 2016).

In Africa, it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the woman has been down trodden and will hardly be heard, due to the various existing social and cultural practices which has put women in a weaker position to the men. Women are perceived to be properties and thus have been thoroughly enmeshed in the people’s mind (Adu, 2018). Within the countries of Tunisia and Zimbabwe, women business owners worked in time intervals throughout the day. The time involved in maintaining a business with little pay was undesirably restrictive and directly conflicted with their family responsibilities. Hence, many women are not empowered in the countries (Adu, 2018).

Sadly, women in Nigeria, just like their foreign counterparts in countries like Pacific Island States, Northern Africa, Western Asia and Oceania, face discrimination that restricts their opportunities to develop their full potential on a basis of equality with men. Across the universe, women represent a critical segment of the world’s population (Adeleke, 2017). Women empowerment can be seen as an index of the level of democracy since women often represent over half of the population of most countries of the world. Over the past few years, the issues with regards to gender inequality have resulted into a universal attention with the result that the problems that restricts or affects women progress are currently being addressed concretely (Parizeau, Shillington, Hawkins, Sultana, Mountz, Mullings, &Peake, 2016), which has increased the political awareness and consciousness of women.

According to Okereke (2017)women empowerment in Nigeria is an economic process that involves empowering Nigerian females as a poverty reduction measure. Empowerment is the development of women in term of politics, social and economic strength in nation development. It is also a way of reducing women vulnerability and dependency in all sphere of life. It can be noted that the aggregate of educational, political, health and legal empowerment are key to women empowerment in Nigeria (Okemakinde, 2014). Like many African women, Nigerian women have a subordinate role to their male counterparts. There are twice as many women living below the poverty line as men, and up to 19 times as many men in executive positions as women (Okemakinde, 2014). Lasiele (2018) defined women empowerment as the provision of adequate opportunities to women to develop their potentials and contribute to the development of the nation in particular and to the world in general.

At the core of Nigeria's social imbalance is a distorted power dynamic in determining family size (Chinekezi, 2017). This male domination points to a critical population issue. Women are eliminated from the decision making process as to how many children they are going to have and when they are to have them (Hamala, 2016). There are very few population control guides that targets men to reduce the high fertility rate. In order for anything to work as far as population control, men and women must both have equal power in the household. There are imbalances within marriage, religious and government institutions and access to good health program (Chinekezi, 2017). The United Nations, as well as a majority of nations across the globe, have developed and organized programs which aim to ameliorate gender inequalities.

Gender inequality especially in the political arena is a grave challenge being encountered by women in present days. Gender inequality has been an issue for a lot of centuries, the world over (Awe, 2018). Though, history has it that fewer women have been in power even prior to colonialism. The dimensions of gender inequality include women's lower representation in decision making, leadership role, elected office and lower representation in governance and corporate appointments. Social gender inequality has several dimensions, some of which are less favorable to men while others are less favorable to women: men are more prone to violence, imprisonment, and disability, while women are more likely to be the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; in some countries men have lower educational attainment than women, while the pattern is reversed in other countries, (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010). Akpochafo (2017) reported that in Nigeria, gender inequality is a situation where cultural beliefs and structural arrangement are in favor men over women. This statement can be seen in most of the elective positions and corporate appointments, where men are seen occupying various leadership positions and women seen as deputy. Humans always perceive women as not fit to govern or rule since men are involved (Ajayi, 2017). The idea or notion that female should always be under and submissive to men have created negative influence in the life of the women folk.

In Ogun State, although women have been seen to play crucial role in leadership roles, campaigning and mobilizing support, but it is very rare to find women where power belongs. Where women are to be relegated at the back, religion, tradition and beliefs are brought into solidify the society’s ground for treating women as “second” class citizens. In spite of many female organizations that have been established for the sole purpose of fighting for women’s rights, it is still impossible for the women to acquire up to five percent (5%) position in policy making institution in Ogun State, (Okemakinde, 2014). Though, it is on record that women fight poverty in Ogun State, through the establishment of a number of cottage industries like cassava frying industry, soap making industry, pottery industry, adire, tie and dye industries and others.

Furthermore, there have been a number of experimental techniques to expand women-led businesses in Nigeria such as advocating start-ups and productivity through grants, mentoring and business technical training. A program by the name of YouWiN! gave insight to young men and women on how to carry out their business ideas and conquer certain challenges that come with starting a business. However, despite all these efforts, many women remained not empowered. Thus, this study therefore seeks to examine gender inequality and women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service,Ogun State, Command.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Recently, there has been a growing concern over the discrimination of women in governance, decision making and major positions in Nigeria. Naturally, women are seen to be the foundation upon which a country is built in all spheres for social, economic and political development. The empowerment of women should be encouraged and promoted as a result of the extensive roles women has played and will continue to play in the development of state of affairs.

However, despite the extensive and vital role of women in national development, the existence of male domination in decision-making, governance and violence has led to women not feeling free and comfortable enough to engage in political matters. According to Anifowose (2016), he stated that, the empowerment of women are affected by a number of factors which are; the gender discrimination, social or environmental norms; low level of education, lack of political orientation, male dominance and so on. Similarly, Falola and Fwatshak (2018) affirmed that, there is an underlying fear that women will no longer be under control of men. For instance, with the gender barriers broken through appointment of women to major positions in government, only eight women were voted into the Senate of 109 senators and 24 out of 360 members of the House of Representatives. No female governor has ever been elected in the history of Nigeria.

It is noteworthy that despite the challenges mentioned above, the level of women participation has been very remarkable; although, there also seems to be a palpable fear that if women were to become dominant in governance, gender relations will be ruined, thereby posing a threat to national stability (Aiyede, 2015). These and many more potential factors are the disadvantages of the empowerment of women. Therefore, it is against this backdrop that this study attempts to examine gender inequality and women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State, Command.

1.3. Objective of the Study

Fundamentally, the objective of this study is to examine gender inequality and women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State, Command. However, the specific objectives of the study will be to:

  1. Examine the effects of gender inequality on women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command.
  2. Evaluate how gender inequality can be curbed in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command.
  3. Find out the factors limiting women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command.
  4. Ascertain the strategies in place by the Ogun State government to enhance women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command.

1.4. Research Questions

To achieve the objective of the study, the research sought to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the effects of gender inequality on women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration  Service, Ogun State Command?
  2. How can gender inequality be curbed in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command?
  3. What are the factors limiting women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command?
  4. What are the strategies in place by the Ogun State Government to enhance women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command?

1.5. Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of this study would orientate women individuals on the need to empower themselves in diverse field such as leadership skills, etc so as to expand their knowledge and acquire more skills that would be useful in the political structure in Nigeria.

In addition, the findings of this study would educate government at all levels on the need to ensure gender balance in the distribution of political power and to ensure that women are empowered politically, financial, socially and culturally. This study would as well be beneficial in all sphere of the country in ensuring greater roles and involvement of women in both political and economic development of a community or state.

Besides, the findings of this study will equally provide policy makers with institutional frameworks and policy inputs in the area of policy formulation with reference to gender balance in the country, and to ensure that perpetuators of gender discrimination are punished according to the law.

Furthermore, the findings of this study would educate the mass media on the need to increase their awareness campaign on women empowerment and the significant role of women in governance.

Finally, the outcome of this study would be of immense help to other researchers on gender inequality and women empowerment as a reference point for future research.



1.6. Scope of the Study

This study will examine gender inequality and women empowerment in Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command. The reason for the choice of Ogun State Command is because there is dearth of study in this regard focusing on Ogun State, particularly the Immigration Office in Ogun State. Therefore, focusing on the Immigration Service Ogun State Command, will provide more insight into how gender inequality as affected women empowerment.

1.7. Methodology of the Study

The methodology of this study is qualitative in nature, through which data will be gathered using an interview approach. The interview will be conducted among employees of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State Command. The reason for using the interview is enable the participants explicitly express themselves in relation to the topic. The approach will make it possible for the research to gather comprehensive information from the participants and to arrive at a rich and robust conclusion for the study.

1.8. Operational Definition of Terms

Gender: refers to the socially constructed roles of and relationship between men and women. Gender concerns men and women, including conception of both femininity and masculinity.

Gender Inequality: is a scenario in which cultural beliefs and structural arrangement favour men over women.

Empowerment: is a process of giving strength, push or enablement to do something to make it perform the desired or expected task

Women: Refers to the female gender, the opposite of male gender.

Women Empowerment: is seen as the provision of conducive environment or opportunities to women to contribute their quota to the social, political and economic development of a nation

1.9. Synopsis of the Study

This study is organized into five main chapters. Chapter one entails the background, statement of problems, research objectives, research questions, and significance and scope of the study. Chapter two consists of the literature review that reveals the findings and research that already exists on the topic. Chapter three entails the Nigeria immigration Service. Chapter four entails the presentation of findings from the respondents at the Nigeria Immigration Service, Ogun State, Command. Chapter five provides a summary, conclusion and recommendations.