GENDER AND LIVELIHOOD CHALLENGES AND FISHING SLUMS IN NIGERIA
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Generally the female gender in slum settlements has a poor quality of life. The lack of basic services affects them the most. They have to
spend considerable time collecting potable water and getting rid of wastewater. Women are most disadvantaged in fishing slums in Nigeria.
Combined with a traditional bias or subtle discrimination against the female genders; they are often not sent to school or dropouts in these
fishing slums in Nigeria. Most slum dwellers especially the female gender in these riverside slums do not have the exposure to everyday city
life situations which their counterparts have in the cities. As a result they are ofy
ten anxiety prone and stressed. The unhealthy and polluted
environment, lack of immunization, malnutrition and absence of educational exposure effects children in fishing slums. Sadly, their
physical, emotional and intellectual growth is stunted from a very tender age. The situation with respect to women’s health in the fishing
slums is no different; rather their health is neglected the most. Insecurity related to regular income, food, shelter, access to portable
drinking water, health care and other essential services, along with poverty and difficult physical and social environments, such as
exploitation and abuse in the treatment of women, have an adverse impact on the health of the slum dwelling poor women. There is a
consensus among the leading international organizations like the UN, WHO, World Bank, and ILO and development scholars that to achieve
an effective change for better health and quality of life for women, a dual approach is needed (UNDP, 1999; Kar and Acalay, 2000). These are:
(1) Reforming health and welfare systems that meet the specific and urgent needs of women (e.g. health care, day care), and
(2) Reforming socio-cultural systems that perpetuate gender inequalities which are the source of all day-to-day problems (e.g. equal
opportunities for education, income, cultural practices and devaluation of women).
These two approaches address what Moser (2002) identifies as two types of women’s needs- practical needs’ and strategic needs’
respectively. The first approach focuses on day-to-day needs that are akin to the proverb, giving a fish to a starving person; while the second
approach is giving a fishing rod and opportunities to fish. There is synergy between health systems, human development systems, and
broader social reform. While slum dwelling Nigerian men and women in large numbers and in many nations have benefited from various
forms of social and technological developments, women continue to suffer from persistent inequalities in both poor and rich societies. In
general, women carry most of the burden of caring for their children and domestic work. Research show that women also suffer most of the
brunt of poverty and abuses due to persistent inequalities and relative powerlessness in Nigerian slums (Sen 2000). Both in rich and poor
nations, women suffer various forms of institutionalized injustice and abuse including: denial of basic needs (education and health care),
feminization of poverty, unfair opportunities for employment, income, and leadership; sexual harassment and exploitation; physical
mutilations and deaths, domestic violence; insufficient interest in gender-related issues in policy and research; and culturally conditioned
practices that endanger women’s health and quality of life in Nigeria’s fishing slums.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The poor living standards of slum dwellers in Nigerian slums have been a reoccurring problem despite government eorts in improving
their living standard. These spoor living standards have exposed slum dwellers to all kind of diseases and thus increased the level of crime
recorded in these areas. Fishing slums have overtime in Nigeria had a major problem of portable water as most of theses slum dwellers end
up with water borne diseases. This poor living standard as a result of the challenges being faced by them has taken its toll on the female
gender as they have been grossly aected by the level of crime and poor environment in these fishing slums.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to assess gender and livelihood and the challenges of fishing slums in Nigeria. Other objectives of the study
- To examine the major challenges of slum dwellers in Nigeria.
- To examine the impact of challenges of fishing slums in Nigeria on gender.
- To assess the major means of livelihood of fishing slum dwellers in Nigeria.
- To examine the effort of government in eradicating challenges of fishing slum dwellers in Nigeria.
- To examine the impact of gender on means of livelihood in fishing slums in Nigeria
- To recommend ways of eradicating the challenges of fishing slums dwellers in Nigeria
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would greatly benefit the Nigerian government at all levels, the slum dwellers and all related stakeholders as it would reveal the
impact of gender on livelihood in fishing slums while preferring solutions to the challenges of fishing slum dwellers in Nigeria. This study
would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is on gender, livelihood and the challenges of fishing slums in Nigeria using the Makoko fishing slum in Lagos state as the case
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or
information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- I simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. This consequently cut down on the time devoted for
the research work.