Empowering the Nigerian Woman for Sustainable National Development: The Role of Critical Education (Published)
The potentials of Nigeria women are underutilized in Nigeria’s quest for sustainable development and this has resulted to the gross undermining of the Nigerian woman including subjecting her to various forms of marginalization, deprivation, domination and other forms of injustices and human right abuses. The undermining of the Nigerian woman has implications for Nigeria’s general development. Using the philosophical method, this paper makes a case for the empowerment of the Nigerian woman through critical education; which is justified on the premise that critical education can critically beam searchlight into political, economic, social, cultural and environmental variables that promote the various inhuman treatments Nigerian women receive and at the same time provide the right education and educational experiences for conscientizing Nigerian women and consequently introduce positive changes. The paper among other things challenges Nigerian women that individual actions and initiatives are critical in the empowerment of the individual and that the process of teaching learners in a critical education class should instill in learners and awareness that they have the power to create history, rewrite history and influence history in their favour through their actions. The paper is optimistic that Nigeria’s sustainable development will be assured when Nigerian women are rightly empowered through critical education.
Nigerian women, viewed from the perspective of the “Colonial mind,” were adjudged weak, oppressed and peripheral to developments in their respective societies. This rather jaundiced perception of Nigerian women was fashioned by several colonial policies and activities spanning several decades of colonial exploitation of Nigeria. This paper seeks to show that Nigerian women were not as inconsequential and marginal to the flow of history as they were portrayed. Indeed, their contributions to the growth and development of society were real, genuine, remarkable and worthy of acknowledgment. To underscore our point, the example of traditional Ejagham women in the Cross-River region of Nigeria would be highlighted with a view to providing a worthy basis for extrapolation with women in other parts of Nigeria in order to demonstrate how Nigerian women as individuals and especially as groups contributed meaningfully to the socio-political and economic development of their respective societies.