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There are various International Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations
working on gender issues in various parts of the world today and doing many things relating
to gender issues. Various Organizations are been created to balance the gender differences in
the world today. Even as an International Organization or Non-Governmental, they have
various goals, aims and objectives and coupled with this is the fact that they are faced with
different challenges in carrying out their duties. For instance, United Nations sponsored
intergovernmental conference on women opened with much fanfare and optimum in Mexico
City, such as women discrimination, disclaiming of women‘s rights etc. Promoting gender
equality has become a globally recognized and an acceptable reality. Gender issues have also
been identified as an issue indispensable for the achievement of national development goals.
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, ‗Gender is defined
as the fact of being male or female, males or females , considered as a group :differences
between the genders‘. According to the English Dictionary, it defined gender as the
biological sexes of an individual usually male or female, the mental analogue of sex .i.e.
one‘s male (masculinity) or femaleness (femininity)‘. According to Bridget Osakwe of
WANEP she ‗defines Gender as a social and cultural construct differentiating women and
men and defining the ways in which women and men interact with each other‘. It is
undermined by the composite of shared expectations and norms within a society concerning
appropriate female and male behaviors, characteristics, and roles. Gender and gender roles
are culturally specific, learned, and changeable over time, and influenced by different
variables such as race, age, class, and ethnicity. A literature text on women and peace
building confirms that the concept of gender refers to social relationships produced by social,
cultural, economic, and historical processes and the various roles played by men and women.
In fact, the attainment of gender equality is not only seen as an end in itself it is
equally an ingredient to, and a product for the achievement of sustainable development of
countries. Nigerian government which has compounded the problem of expanding the
capacity level that is required to increase the enhancement of the opportunity of
accommodating the varying needs of both male and female, gender also contends that the
attainment of gender equality in Nigeria which is already time-barred, will be a mirage due to
many constraining factors. Globally, the growing importance of gender equality has been
recognized and accepted in various countries. The normative framework for human
development (UNDP: 2012) is reflected in the broad vision espoused in the Millennium
Development Goals, the internationally agreed set of time-bound targeted goals for ensuring
gender equality and advancing opportunities in diverse sectors of the global economy. The
convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW)
adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly which was accepted by 180 states, states the
rights and equality of women, their freedom from discrimination and equality under the law.
Also, promoting gender equality which is a sine-qua-non to the actualization of the protection
of fundamental human rights is critical to the whole concern for human development that
center on allowing people to live a life that they value and enable them to realize their
potentials as human beings. Realizing the growing need for gender equality is also germane
to the survival and development of children and the building of healthy communities,
societies as well as a nation.
The gap between the Millennium Development Goal of promoting Gender Equality
and its actualization in Nigeria, however, is the action dilemma by the Nigerian government
that is known for mis-governance, lack of political will, the prevailing patriarchal culture,
false public investment and the absence of adequate productive capacity that will create the
opportunities for women empowerment and development in the country. These problems
explain the inevitability and imperative of an action-based approach that will translate gender
equality programme into concrete reality.
Gender is a fundamental element of conflict and of peace .Gender analysis has helped
in playing important role in understanding successful peace building which helps to
illuminate and contributes to knowledge and skills in maintaining peace rather than violence
or conflicts. Gender as a term which has brought about different other terminologies such as
gender sensitivity, gender mainstreaming which is a strategic tool towards the achievement
of greater equality between men and women as endorsed in the Beijing Platform for Action
from the United Nations(4th) World Conference on Women in1995. Gender mainstreaming is,
…..the process of assessing the implications of women and men of any planned
action, including legislation, policies or programs, in all areas and at all levels. It is
strategy for making women‘s as well as men‘s concerns and experiences an integral
dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and
programs in all political, economic and society spheres so that men and women
benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve
gender equality. [WANEP Nigeria (2009) pg. 17].
Gender equality has become one of the central themes in global treaties, covenants
and declarations principally due to the understanding that it is a catalyst to clear-cut
development strategies which is targeted at poverty reduction, improved living standards,
good governance and profitably productive investments that are critical to the creation of an
enlarged capacity that provide men and women equal opportunity and unrestrained access to
decision-making and policy implementation institutions and processes. The various definition
of gender equality arises from various social sciences literature including economics, it
manifests as hierarchical gender relations, with less valuable solely by virtue of their sex.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The issue of gender inequality is a fast growing trend in all spheres of the Nigeria
system both in the public sector as well as the private sector coupled with family mentality on
issues relating gender particularly women in the society. The Nigeria government despite
been signatory to various policies still do not abide by these policies. The study on the topic
United Nations and the challenges of promoting gender equality will address the challenges
of gender inequality between the two sexes ,the role of UN in propounding solutions as well
balancing the various challenges and gender differences in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific objectives of the study are to:
i. Establish the various advocacies of promoting gender equality by the Nigerian
ii. Identify and examine the activities of the UN in promoting gender equality in Nigeria
iii. Discuss the challenges of the UN in promoting gender equality in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Secondary source of data will be utilized in carrying out this research work. This sources
includes textbooks, proceedings, journals, reports, magazines, newspapers as well as internet
materials and other library or archival materials. All data shall be interpreted and analyzed
qualitativelyusing the historical and descriptive method.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study is to know the various policies that the UN as an
international organization has put in place which Nigeria has benefited from coupled with
various policies that the Federal Ministry of women affairs has adopted and propounded in
terms of balancing gender equality as well as to know the various gender issues as they affect
women in the private and public sector of the country. Similarly the study will encourage at a
great degree the participation of women in politics as well as to make decisions that will
stand and effect the changes required.
Furthermore, the importance of the study is to look at the gender differences in
Nigeria, the role of international organizations like the United Nations in helping to curb
some of the challenges and also rendering assistance in promoting gender equality in Nigeria
thus increasing the participation and recognition of
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