Bridging the gender inequality gap: concretizing the millennium development goals

Ethelbert Nwokocha, University of Ibadan

Gender inequality remains one of the most facilitating factors of poverty; the latter phenomenon feminized in most societies. Disparities against females in access to formal education, credit facilities, and involvement in decision processes making have led to over-arching consequences on development especially in societies where women constitute about 50% of the entire population. This paper argues that development can only be meaningful when gender inequities are eliminated. By situating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within this framework, the components of underdevelopment such as poverty and hunger; illiteracy; female powerlessness; high rate of maternal and infant mortality; high incidence of diseases; environmental depletion among others which affect females more, are genuinely tackled. The present analysis indicates that although MDGs have universal relevance, eliminating gender inequities should be undertaken within the prescribed socio-cultural norms and values of any community.

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Presented in Session 97: Gender inequities and MDGs