Masculinity and Access to Basic Education in Nigeria

Ezegwu, Chidi (2020) Masculinity and Access to Basic Education in Nigeria. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Nigeria currently has some of the worst and persistent poor access to education, social inequality and the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. In the literature, some of the identified reasons for these include poverty, early marriage, religious and cultural values (Humphreys and Crawfurd, 2014; Save the Children, 2016; UNESCO, 2019). While there has been a multiplicity of interventions to address these and promote access to basic education in the past two decades, the number of out-of-school children has continued to escalate, having both gender and regional dimensions. In 2006, the number of out-of-school children stood at around 7.4 million, which increased to about 10.5 million in 2010 and 13.2 million in 2016. These suggest a need to look beyond the mainstream approaches to interrogate gender constructions in the dominant ethnocultural domains in Nigeria. From a postcolonial feminist perspective, the study, therefore, examined possible influences of social constructions of maleness (masculinity) on access and completion of basic education in the three dominant ethnocultural groups (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba) in Nigeria. Qualitative data were collected, using a semi-structured interview guide, from 30 (15 female and 15 male) adult respondents that had experiences of dropping out of basic education in Anambra (southeast), Sokoto (northwest) and Oyo (southwest) states in Nigeria. Findings indicate that colonialism (and its aftermaths) contributed to the shaping of the postcolonial males' character, dominant position and subordination of females in ways that affect an individual's educational development. Masculinity is directly and indirectly implicated in the state of access and completion of basic education in all the three ethnocultural zones for creating and exacerbating conditions that push and pull both females and males out of school. The study recommends exploration of homegrown initiatives and effective ways for addressing barriers to education that emanate from the social construction of masculine characters. The study also highlights the inappropriateness of the Western liberal feminist approach to the study of masculinity in a non-Western society.

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Thesis (PhD)
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26 Aug 2020 10:30
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 01:41