Gender Equality in Skills Development: How to find a balance
One of the goals of education in Nigeria is to empower its citizens to acquire appropriate skills, abilities and competences, both mental and physical, as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the National building. To this end, the Nigeria Development Plan is committed to the development of a just and egalitarian Society where there should be no form of discrimination against women but equal opportunities and accessibility of education. However theories have had little relation to the realities and gender inequalities have persisted especially in the legal profession. Until the female incursion in 1935, legal education and the legal profession had been exclusively male profession. Even today it has remained male –dominated. Women still face debilitating barriers of prejudice, stereotype, skewed and other inhibitive structures and these challenges may persist unless something is done. This appears to be a general phenomenon, though in varying proportions. The peculiarity of the legal profession lies in the rippling effects the low participation of women in law has on the general awareness and knowledge and enforcement of the civil and socio-economic rights of women, given the background of socio-cultural marginalization of women in Africa. This paper examines the challenges facing women in the attainment of skills development in the legal profession, particularly in penetrating into the legal specialties, practice settings and higher echelons. It highlights the causes of the gender disparity and the roles of the ODL opportunities and support sub-systems in eliminating gender barriers and limitation in Legal Education. In the process there would emerge the moral and legal imperatives for bringing about an enduring gender balance in the Legal Education and Legal Profession in Nigeria. // Paper ID: 208
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