Reflections on Gender Studies in Nigeria : issues, perspectives and debates

Reflections on Gender Studies in Nigeria. Issues, perspectives and debates

Jeudi 10 février 2022, 15h-17h30 (heure de Paris), visioconférence sur Zoom, en langue anglaise. Séance organisée avec l’Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique (IFRA-Nigéria)

  • Welcome and introduction : Dr Vincent Hiribarren (IFRA Nigeria), Dr Marième N’Diaye (CNRS, Institut du Genre)
  • Speakers : Adebayo Adedeji (University of Ibadan), Dr Mutiat Oladejo (University of Ibadan), Dr Sharon Omotoso (Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan).
  • Chair : Sara Panata (CHS and IFRA-Nigeria)
  • Moderation : Anne Hugon (IMAF) and Dr Seun Olutayo (University of Ibadan)

Abstracts :

Dr Mutiat Titilope Oladejo, Women’s History and Historiography in Nigeria
There are scholarly debates as regards women’s authority in precolonial Africa. Studies have identified few women who were in positions of authority. However, they rarely represented the status of the majority. Beyond holding positions of authority, the factors that contribute to power status of women varied across societies and scholars have used it to debunk western-centred constructs about women. Studies on women’s history in Africa aggregate the lives of women that cuts across social, political and economic history. Hence, to what extent has the studies enabled understanding African women in their own terms. Historiography of women in Nigeria have touched on several aspects of gender studies and its intersection with other disciplines. Historiography of women and gender studies in Nigeria are categorized into four : writings by Nigerian women ; writings by non-Nigerian women ; writings by Nigerian men and writings by non-Nigerian men. The paper analyses the writings of these scholars to unravel the trends of research on Nigerian women. Furthermore, the work explains how location of scholars (Africa and diaspora) and methodologies influence their writings. The paper relies on seminar and conference papers, journals and books of the authors categorized above. Ultimately, the paper locates the lacuna for future research in women’s history and gender studies.

Adedeji Adebayo, Growth and Institutional Contexts of Semi-autonomous Gender Studies Centres in Nigeria
Gender Studies (GS) has continued to grow as an academic field globally. In many contexts, this growth has been noticed both in the expansion of traditional disciplines and as an independent academic discipline with autonomous structure – research institutes and centres – for knowledge production. Although, the process of institutionalization of Gender Studies (GS) has been extensively studied, the particularities and complexities of this area of study has been less studied in Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular. The study interrogates the activities of a Gender Studies centre in a small university located in southwestern Nigeria. It employs a qualitative research approach with samples purposively selected. It concludes that there is the need to employ the services of specialist researchers to promote research in the field of GS.

Dr Sharon Adetutu Omotoso, Gender Studies in Nigeria : Looking Back, Going Forward
With the subsistence of Women’s studies in Nigeria in the last three decades, the contributions of scholars, activists and women’s movements have improved the rate at which gender consciousness is spreading across the country. Equally progressive is the manner with which women’s studies have expanded into gender studies across the country to address masculinities and sexuality issues beyond the confines of womanhood. However, the spread of gender studies is fraught with constraints and contradictions with regards to pedagogy, activism, policy and gender consciousness. Using methods of critical analysis, deconstructive and reconstructive argumentation, this study interrogates the success stories in Nigeria are commensurate with the realities across the country and how gender studies have influenced the teeming populace across spheres. The emerging trends, dynamisms in pedagogy, activisms, policy and media engagements in Nigeria will then be deployed to present possible and plausible future of gender studies in Nigeria.