The Synergy between Gender Socialization and Women Unpaid Care Work in Nigeria: Implication for the Sustainable Development Goals

Document Type : Research Paper


General Studies Unit, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria


Gender socialization fans the embers of gender inequality by their practice which is a serious obstacle to the achievement of most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly for the female gender. This paper used the empirical data from Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) over the last fifteen years (2003-2018) to investigate fuel use and water sources among Nigerian households. Findings revealed that about 80% Nigerian households relied on firewood as cooking energy throughout the fifteen years under study. Sources of water for the households were mainly outside household dwelling places. The burden of collecting both fuel and water is placed more on women and girls through gender socialization which makes it natural for women and the girl child to be involved in these duties classified as women unpaid care work. This has implication for her time, energy use, vulnerabilities to unsafe situations and even negative health outcome. Attaining the SDGs is highly impassable except something drastic is done to address issues that bother on such practices especially in the developing nations including Nigeria. The paper recommended that the government should make the provision and accessibility to both potable water and clean energy a priority for all citizens so as to reduce women hazardous work and improve their work standard. Policies that captures domestic and unpaid care work as social works that can be remunerated should be adopted and the girl child should be valued and protected as much as possible.