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A country’s labour force consists of everyone of the working age,
typically above the age of seventeen and below the retirement age of
sixty- five. They are characterized by those who are actively employed
or seeking employment. The focus of this study is to determine the
impact of female participation in labour force on the economic growth in
Nigeria between the periods of 1980- 2010. The research also seeks to
investigate the determinants of female contribution to economic growth
in Nigeria. The objective of this study is to determine the relationship
between female labour force and economic growth in Nigeria (GDP).The
data used was sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics of various
years as well as the CBN Statistical Bulletin (volume 21) December,
2010. The ordinary least square method (OLS) was chosen as the
estimation tool because of its advantage over other estimation
techniques.The major finding was that female labour force employment
has a positive impact on the gross domestic product (GDP) of the
Nigeria economy. Based on the findings, some recommendations of
policy and suggestions have been made.
Title Page – – – – – – – – – – -i
Approval Page – – – – – – – – – -ii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – – -iii
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – -iv
Abstract – – – – – – – – – – -vi
Table of Content — – – – – – – – – -vii
Chapter One
1.1 Background of the Study – – – – – – -1
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – – -4
1.3 Objectives of the Study- – – – – – – -6
1.4 Statement of Hypothesis – – – – – – -7
1.5 Relevance of the Study- – – – – – – -7
1.6 Scope of the Study – – – – – – – -8
1.7 Limitations of the Study – – – – – – -8
Chapter Two
Literature Review
2.1 Theoretical Literature – – – – – – – -9
2.2 Empirical Literature – – – – – – – 26
2.3 Economic Analysis of Women’s Contribution To
Economic Growth in Nigeria – – – – – – – 30
2.4 Limitations of the Previous Studies – – – – – 35
Chapter Three
3.1 Methodology – – – – – – – – 36
3.2 Model Specification- – – – – – – – 37
3.2 Methods of Evaluation – – – – – – – 37
3.4 Model Justification — – – – – – – 39
3.5 Data Requirement and Sources – – – – – 40
Chapter Four
Presentation and Analysis of Results
4.1 Presentation of Regression Result – – – – – 41
4.2 Result Interpretation – – — – – – – 41
Chapter Five
Summary, Recommendationsand Conclusion
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – – – 48
5.2 Policy Recommendations – – – – – – 48
5.3 Conclusion – – – – – – – – – 50
Bibliography – – – – – – – – – 51
Gender differentiation and productivity are critical issues that are central
to the socio-economic life of any country. Women contribute half or
more of the country’s population, but they contribute much less than
men towards the value of recorded production both quantitatively in
labour force participation and qualitatively in educational achievement
and skilled manpower (Olukemi, 2008). The extent to which these
phenomena are discussed varies from country to country. While the
developed countries have practicallygraduated from endemic problems
of gender differentiation, their less developed counterparts are still
battling it. A close overview of world economies show that women have
often been looked down upon in terms of their ability to contribute to
the economic well- being of their families which invariably has some
correlation to a nation’s economic growth. The under-utilization of
female labour as well has obvious implications for economic welfare and
growth. In particular, the participation of women in labour force appears
to depend much more on the social environment than is the case for
In the light of the above, arguments have risen in favour or against
women in their roles towards economic growth and development.
Traditional African Gender Theory suggests that women are less
important such that they are relegated to the upkeep of domestic
chores. It is therefore not surprising that the clamors for more birth
were and are still being emphasized till date. The theory holds that
women should in no way be found rubbing minds with their husbands in
family meetings, and community gatherings. Traditionally, women were
regarded as homemakers, who oversee and coordinate the affairs and
activities at home. Previously, in Africa, women remained at home while
their husbands and sons went out to the farm to work. However, women
are never idle at home. They are engaged in manual processing of food
crops and other farm produce in addition to their housekeeping duties.
The neo-classical are in support of this idea as they failed to
acknowledge society induced differences between men and women in
the face of economic growth. Thus, they remarked that markets clear
automatically given pareto efficiency and that what is economically
rational at the individual level is also economically rational for the society
as a whole.
Despite these extreme views, there exists a clarion call all over the world
for increased women participation in the socio- economic development
of nations. This is because of the roles that women play in economic
growth and development. Danish (2001) notes that women
opportunities to contribute to the development of societies need should
be improved.Otherwise, economic growth in developing countries will be
constraint and the ability to care for the environment in these countries
reduced. One of the studies conducted by World Bank in 2003, shows
that investments in women yield large social and economic returns,
adding that young girls and boys should have the same opportunities to
lead full and productive lives.
With the advent of Western education, industrialization and paid
employment, men as well as women drifted into the modern sector of
the economy. And today, there are visible changes in the perception of
women, principally because they have greater opportunities for
education than before. It is therefore not in doubt that economically
empowered women play veritable role in household decision- making,
with greater bargaining power to increase spending on education, health
and other areas of family needs. Such women especially the
economically sound ones, have better opportunities for entrepreneurship
and to earn higher wages, lifting themselves and their families out of
In the view of the above, scholars have made enormous enquiry in how
women have fairedvis- a-vis contributions to economic growth. This
work therefore, is a follow- up research work that establishes the role
women play in Nigeria’s economic growth.
Gender biasness in the face of socio- economic strata of the world
seems to be no respecter of any economy. As a result, Nigeria has its
own share of the incidence. Right from the pre- colonial traditional
Nigeria society to its modern state, women have often being
discriminated upon in affairs that led to deplete their contribution to
economic growth. Such discrimination is often perceived in grounds that
they are the weaker sex.
In Nigeria today, women are excluded from certain occupational
categories due to formal barriers as well as informal barriers to entry.
The formal barriers which continue to hinder the entry of women in such
occupational categories include; lack of educational or technical training,
labour laws and training customs. The informal barriers include; customs
and religious practices, difficulties in combining domestic and labour
market activities, management and worker attitudes etc. few Nigerian
women are engaged in top management cadre of formal sector
establishments simply because majority of them lack the educational
qualifications necessary for such positions or due to gender
discrimination. For instance, only about 6.2 percent of those who were
employed as either General Managers or Managing Directors in 1986
were women (Ojo, 1997), while 32.6 percent of those who participated
in the 1995/1996 National Youth Service Corps Programme were
females (Ojo, 1997).
Onyejekwe, J.C (2001) states that about half the Nigerian population are
women and have always played important economic roles. He however
asserts that these roles were negatively affected by earlier development
schemes, particularly community development programmes, which to a
large extent ignored the potential of local knowledge systems for coping
with change. Similarly, the historical pattern of development in Nigeria is
one in which investment is skewed in favour of industrialization in urban
areas resulting in rural areas lagging behind in development. Mijiudadi
(1993) cited in Fabiyi et al (2007) estimates that women are responsible
for 70% of actual framework and constitutes up to 60% of the farming
population in rural areas.
In other to boost women’s participation in economic affairs, a number of
women progrmmes have been launched in the country including; “the
famous better life for rural women of (1987)”, “Gender action Plan of
the World Bank of (2007), “Millennium Development Goals”, “Women for
Change Initiative founded by the First Lady, Patience Jonathan”,
“Women’s Pride Restored through Unilever empowerment Programme of
(2011)”, and “Empowering the Nigerian Women by the Jonathan
Presidency” etc.
Despite these efforts, the contribution of women towards economic
prosperity is still seen as grossly beyond expected capacity.
The questions now are;
1. In what ways does female labour participation contribute to
economic growth in Nigeria?
2. What are the hinderances to the impact of female labour force
participation on economic growth of Nigeria?
It is the aim of this study to:
1. Examine the impact of female labour force on the economic
growth of Nigeria.
2. Suggest ways of combating the hindrances that still prevent
women from actively participating in the labour force.
3. Find out the various ways in which women have contributed to
Nigeria’s economic growth.
We have the following hypotheses:
H0: Female labour force participation has no significant impact on
economic growth in Nigeria.
H1: Female labour force participation has a significant impact on
economic growth in Nigeria.
This study will serve various purposes which include:
1. It shall reveal the various ways in which female productive
activities contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.
2. It shall study the various factors that influence women productivity
in Nigeria.
3. It therefore shall be of usefulness to subsequent researchers as a
reference material.
4. It shall spur further research effort in this regard.
This study is designed to have a general view of female and labour
output in Nigeria and shall make use of data spanning from 1980- 2010
to make empirical assessment.
This work has a number of challenges which include inadequate finance,
lack of sufficient materials and secondary data. This may affect the
quality of this work.


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