Gender roles are basically obligations and responsibilities assigned to or required of a particular gender. Although, it varies based on community, religion, or tribes and Nigerian culture is not any different.
In Nigeria, gender roles are not based on equality, for women are almost seen as second-class citizens. The common belief is that “women belong in the kitchen”. This particular saying has brought about arguments concerning the rights of women in the country. Women are mostly discriminated against acquiring western education and are forced into forceful marriage, prostitution, and also street hawking.
Women in Nigeria are known for roles like; being home keepers, mothers, and basically managers. The males are generally known to be the breadwinners while the women are to maintain the house, take care of the children and make sure the house is well kept.
While significant roles like political positions where decisions are being made are retained for the men. There is a hierarchy in a place where the men are placed above the women in different places like education, decision making, law, and even societal development.
WOMEN AS BREADWINNERS IN NIGERIAN FAMILIES
As earlier stated, the men’s role in most Nigerian families is to be the breadwinner. Although in a few cases, women stand up to the challenge of providing necessary needs for their families.
Cases like this result from the irresponsibility of the head of families (men) or in other cases loss of the man in the family.
From studies, women that are breadwinners in their families try their very best to make sure their obligations are fulfilled. Women are naturally known to have the potential of taking care of their families.
They have the highest potential of sacrificing their own enjoyment for their children like their Male counterparts.
GENDER ROLES IN NATIONAL UPBRINGING
The way the political structure of Nigeria is designed, it is hardly possible for a woman to be part of the main decision-making of the country.
This might be as a result of our cultures, where women are not allowed to talk while agendas are being discussed and also when decisions concerning the nation are being made.
As of today, there are just a little amount of women in Nigerian politics. Even though it is stated in the 1999 Nigerian constitution by virtue of section 40 that: Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union, or any association of his choice.
It also continues in section 42 that: a citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, sex, origin religion, or political opinion, should not be subjected to any form of discrimination.
According to figures collated by the independent national electoral commission (INEC), records show that in the 2011 elections, the number of women elected for the presidency was zero (0), for the senate was just 7.3 percent and the house of rep was only 3.33 percent.
And in any case, where women were elected in any political office, they are forced into resignation or even thrown out by their male counterparts out of frustration.
GENDER ROLES AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONAL STUDIES
Professional educational studies cover a wide range of courses that are classified as professional courses.
Ranging from engineering, architecture, law, and even medicine. The above-mentioned courses are mostly seen as a course curated just for their male counterparts.
A woman in any of those fields is usually seen as someone who is willing to waste time studying and then go back to being in the kitchen like the society deemed fit for them. Courses that the Nigerian systems deem fit for women are educational courses of some clinical science courses like nursing.
Hence, the role of genders in Nigerian culture is seen as a matter classified based on cultural, religious, and societal teachings. And the average women counterparts are given roles that are decided by the male for they are seen as weak, fragile, and indecisive.