82% Nigerians see discrimination against women

A visual presentation of gender Inequality poll result in Nigeria
A visual presentation of gender Inequality poll result in Nigeria

A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that there is discrimination against women in Nigeria as stated by 82 percent of adult Nigerians.

Additionally, analysis by geographical locations indicates that the North-East zone had more respondents (89 percent) who made this assertion.

Similarly, there are more female (86 percent) than male (78 percent) respondents in this category.

This is not particularly surprising given that women have continued to fight for the protection of their rights in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill which seeks gender equality in the country recently suffered another setback at the National Assembly.

On March 1st, 2022, despite extensive lobbying, sensitization, consultation, and advocacy, the 9th National Assembly joined previous ones to legislate over and legitimize the discrimination of women.

The bill was to allow for the domestication and prohibition of all forms of discrimination against Women, with the aim to create gender parity and end negative gender stereotypes.

To mark the 2022 International Day of Women, NOIPolls goes to the street to ask what Nigerians think about gender inequality in support of an existing survey

It is remarkably worrisome that this happened on the first day of the International Women’s month, and on the Zero Discrimination Day when the world commemorates and celebrates the right of everyone to live a full and productive life, and live it with dignity, free from discrimination.

Subsequently, despite the rejection of this Bill by the 9th National Assembly, the poll further revealed that most adult Nigerians believe that women, if given the opportunity as men, will do well in academics (95 percent), economy (93 percent), science & technology (90 percent), innovation (89 percent) as well as political leadership (84 percent).

With regards to challenges faced by women in Nigeria, the three top challenges singled out by adult Nigerians includes gender inequality (36 percent), gender-based violence (35 percent) and limited opportunity which affects women in the country.

Contrary to the rejection of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill by the 9th National Assembly, 30 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide advocated for the execution of women’s right, 25 percent suggested that gender discrimination should be banned while 13 percent recommended that the Gender Equality Bill should be sponsored again.

Finally, it is imperative that the Ministry of Women affairs and Social Development, policy makers, civil society organizations and all relevant stakeholders synergize to address the issue raised in this survey to ultimately improve gender parity in the country. These are some of the key findings from the Gender Equality Poll conducted in the week commencing February 28th, 2022.

Survey Background

The international women’s day is celebrated every year on the 8th of March. It is a time of stock taking on the struggle against gender inequality and what has been achieved so far. It is also a time of engaging stakeholders and everyone in the pursuit of a world free of gender inequality and encouraging gender inclusiveness.

The day also seeks to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and also to take action against equality. Creating a world that has gender equality, free of bias, stereotype and discrimination, a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive is the target of this year’s day.

This year’s theme is Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow and will also be observed under a sub-theme Break the bias[1].

Premier polling organisation in Africa, NOIPolls, joins the world to help #BreakTheBias against women and engender a more inclusive workplace, family and society.

United Nations statistics show that 70 percent of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty are women. Also in urban areas, 40 percent of the poorest households are headed by women.

Additionally, 50-80 percent of women predominate in food production but they own less than 10 percent of the land. Interestingly, 80 percent of the displaced by climate related disasters and changes around the world are women and girls[2]

Whether deliberate or unconscious, the bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.

Until the necessary action is taken and all hands-on deck to fight the bias, gender inequality will continue to be a bane to sustainable progress in the world at large.

Against this backdrop, NOIPolls conducted a perception survey on gender inequality to commemorate this day.

Survey Finding

The first question was to gauge the opinion of Nigerians regarding gender inequality and the poll result revealed that majority of the respondents (82 percent) stated that there is gender inequality in the country.

Analysis by geographical locations indicates that the North-East zone had more respondents (89 percent) who made this assertion.

Similarly, there are more female (86 percent) than male (78 percent) respondents in this category.

Question 1: In your opinion, do you think there is gender inequality in Nigeria

Additionally, 82 percent of the respondents who stated that there is gender inequality were further probed and 30 percent mentioned that the reason for gender inequality is due to limited chances of women in political leadership while 14 percent stated that women are not given the opportunity to be heard in the society, amongst other reasons.

On the other hand, out of the 18 percent who stated that there is gender equality, 28 percent stated that everybody is treated equally while 21 percent stated that there is no discrimination against both genders and 16 percent stated that there is nothing as gender inequality amongst others. 

Reasons for gender equality and inequality in Nigeria

To find solution to the problem of gender inequality, respondents were asked for recommendation and the poll result revealed that 33 percent stated that they should mobilize community-based awareness programmes, 25 percent stated that they should encourage female participation in leadership positions and 15 percent further mentioned that they should discourage gender-based violence amongst other suggestions.

What should be done to overcome gender inequality in NIgeria?

Subsequently, the poll revealed that most adult Nigerians believe that women if given the opportunity as men will do well in academics (95 percent), economy (93 percent), science & technology (90 percent), innovation (89 percent) and political leadership (84 percent).

How well would women do, if given the same opportunity as men, in these areas?

Respondents were further asked to mention some of the challenges women face in the society and the poll result revealed gender inequality (36 percent) is the main challenge women in Nigeria are faced with in the society.

This is closely followed by respondents who mentioned gender-based violence (35 percent) while 32 percent believe that limited opportunity affects women in the society.

What challenges do women face in our society today?

Respondents were asked about the role of men in achieving gender equality and the poll result revealed that 30 percent of the respondents advocated for the execution of women’s right.

While 25 percent stated that gender discrimination should be banned, 13 percent recommended that gender equality bill be sponsored amongst other suggestions.

What is the role of men in achieving gender equality?

Finally, the poll revealed that 40 percent of the respondents are of the view that women should be encouraged to take on science related professions while 28 percent of the respondents suggested that incentives should be given to women as a form of encouraging them to take on science related disciplines.

Also, 23 percent advocated for the sponsorship of the girl child as a way of encouraging to take on science related professions.

What should be done to encourage women to take on science and technology-related profession?

Conclusion

Having gauged the perception of Nigerians on gender equality, it is evident as revealed by this study that there is a huge gender disparity in Nigeria.

This was further worsened by the rejection of the Gender Equality Bill by 9th National Assembly on the 1st of March 2022.

It is particularly worrisome that this happened on the first day of international women’s month, and on the Zero Discrimination Day when the world commemorates and celebrates the right of everyone to live a full and productive life and live it with dignity and free from discrimination.

Despite the rejection of this Bill, the poll further revealed that most adult Nigerians believe that women if given the opportunity as men will do well in academics (95 percent), economy (93 percent), science & technology (90 percent), innovation (89 percent) as well as political leadership (84 percent).  

Therefore, it is imperative that all relevant stakeholders synergize to addresses the issue raised in this survey to ultimately improve gender parity in the country.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week commencing February 28th 2022.

It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country.

Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English, and English.

Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians.

Nonetheless, with the country’s tele density put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate.

Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach.