If you are a woman living in Nigeria, your life is among the most difficult for women all over the world – and that was before the senators threw out the gender equal opportunity bill in March.


Nigerian women have it tough living in terms of indexes as economic, educational, health and political opportunities, a World Economic Forum (WEF) research has shown. 

The global gender gap report, first published in 2006, ranks 145 countries in terms of access to basic rights and opportunities for females.

Out of 145 countries ranked, Nigeria is 125, making it one of the worst places for women to live fulfilling lives.


In all sub-indexes, Nigeria showed a decrease since the establishment of the ranking.

According to the report, the country fell seven places from 2014 to land on the 125th position in 2015.

Overall, the result shows that the global struggle for gender parity has been slow and has closed by only 4 per cent since 2006.


This pace of growth, especially in terms economic opportunities, means that women are now earning what men earned in 2006. In 2006, global average annual earnings for women was $6000 while men earned $11, 000. In 2015, women earned $11,000 and men earned $21,000.

If nothing is done about this pace, WEF says “it will take the world another 118 years – or until 2133 – to close the economic gap entirely”.

“Progress in the economic and political worlds has been proven to be self-reinforcing, so interventions such as quotas – which have been demonstrated to have wider positive effects – offer insight into how the gap could be closed further in future,” WEF said in its report.

But there is no guarantee that the future will see Nigeria’s ranking improve as the country’s legislative arm, in March, shut down a bill to promote gender equality in marriage, education and economic opportunities.


The legislators cited cultural and religious reasons.

Their stance is reflected in Nigeria’s low standing in all indexes. Nigerian is part of the 22% of countries where educational opportunities have decreased.

Even when there are more educated women, it does not translate to women participating in skilled jobs or leadership positions, the research showed.

“There is also a marked lack of correlation between getting more women in education and their ability to earn a living particularly through skilled or leadership roles. While women make up the majority of enrolled university students in 97 countries, they comprise the majority of skilled roles in only 68, and in far fewer – four countries – do they hold the majority of leadership positions,” WEF said.


Sub-Saharan Africa

Only three countries in this region made it to the top 20 of the general ranking. Rwanda at 6th position, Namibia at 16th position and South Africa at 17th position.  Finally, the lowest performing countries from the region are Nigeria (125) Côte d’Ivoire (133), Mali (137) and Chad (142).

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