GENDER ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENT (RESEARCH GROUP)
1.0 Group Memebrs
– Prof. (Mrs) R.G. Okafor: Department of Accountancy, University of Nigeria (UNEC)
– Prof. J. U. J. Onwumere (Banking and Finance UNEC)
– Dr. (Mrs) N. J. Modebe (Banking and Finance UNEC)
– Dr. (Mrs) Obiamaka Egbo (Banking and Finance UNEC)
– Barr. (Mrs) Nkechi Ene (Institute for Development Studies UNEC)
– Dr (Mrs) G. N. Ofoegbu (Department of Accountancy UNEC)
– Dr. (Mrs) Ifeoma Nwakoby (Department of Banking and Finance UNEC)
– Dr (Mrs) Regina. Okoyeuzu (Department of Banking and Finance UNEC)
– Dr. (Mrs) Edith O. Onyeanu (Department of Accountancy UNEC)
– Mr. Onyekachi David Akwu (Department of Accountancy UNEC)
Development is a process of economic, social and political transformation directed at raising the general standard of living. Issues of development were initially focused on men, when men occupied almost every significant productive sector of the economy. That may be the reason many authors on gender issues and development focus on the issues in which economic, social, human and political issues are affecting women differently from men.
Men as well as women are equally important in the process of development because both contribute significantly in terms of their involvement in providing family necessities, and labour market resources. Both contribute to institutional and social change empowerment strategies and economic restructuring. Despite all these, women representation in development tends to be smaller than their men counterpart. In order words women are marginalized, subordinated, discriminated against, which creates disparity in most aspects of economic transformation.
The issue of gender in development process requires special consideration and indeed needs to be an integral part of all aspects of development process. It is recognized that if economic growth is to bring a higher standard of living to the most disadvantaged groups in developing economies, it has to be deliberately directed towards supplying essential goods and services and towards the generation of mass purchasing power through employment in order to create the effective demand.
In a developing economy like Nigeria, women rather than men produce and deliver most of the essential goods and services required to sustain life and to eliminate poverty. Therefore, women’s access to resources, their powers of appropriation, the returns to their labour, the level of their political and social empowerment, their access to credit, the proportion of their household labour, their per capita output as well as their general status in the process of economic development must be of major concern to anyone propounding sustainable economic development strategies.
Considering the importance gender has taken in an analytical issue in development work, focusing on women issues alone would result in partial visions of gender differences and division, and may lead to a relegation of women’s issues to a separate sphere of analysis and action.
3.0 Statement of Intent
In discussing gender issues and development, the primary focus is to identify whether there is gender discrimination, and if gender has any role to play in development processes. Arguments advanced by researchers from many parts of the world, indicate that there is gender- induced bias in many aspects of economic, social and political development like production of goods and services, access and control of resources, gender planning, empowerment, gender induced bottlenecks in access to credit, household division of labour, form and type of businesses to establish etc.
The conclusion to be drawn is that the issue of gender bias or discrimination and gender involvement in development has not been concluded. It remains an integral part in the process of development plan. There is need for further conceptual review, theoretical review, empirical and practical assessment of approaches to gender issues in economic, social, political and human development.
4.0 Research Focus
This study will focus on African countries that still seem to be afflicted by gender bias in all issues of economic development. The current force fall of oil prices posses a huge threat to most developing countries that depend largely on oil revenue generation, need transition to non-oil products that give economic opportunity to many people. We need development strategy to subdue the fall in oil price, the debt crisis and then integrate non-oil products in international trade.
Our studies will examine strategies for integration of gender in economic, social, political and human development planning strategies, evaluating cost benefit analysis as a tool for gender planning, accounting for women’s works, economics and household planning, access to and control of resources, access to credits, projects implementation and empowerment strategies, gender employment, gender and markets, institutional and social change.