Nigeria

A participant at the UN Women-assisted second chance education initiative in Sokoto State, Nigeria. Photo: UN Women/Anthony Abu
One of the beneficiaries at the Cosmetics Class and her baby at the Second Chance Education - NEEM Foundation - UN Women_AnthonyAbu_Oct2022..

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country globally, covering about 924,000 square kilometres. With over 206 million population as of 2021, women constitute 49.95%. Nigeria is a federal republic comprising 36 states bordering Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Benin.

About 1 out of 3 women aged 15-49 have experienced physical or sexual violence in the country. In addition, women face all other forms of gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation, which continues to be prevalent in many parts of Nigeria due to deeply entrenched cultural and religious beliefs.

Since the early 1980s, HIV/AIDS has been a critical health issue for women and men in Nigeria. The epidemic continues to undermine development efforts worldwide and primarily afflict populations already beset by extreme poverty. Recent statistics indicate that approximately half of the projected population of HIV patients are women at 56.03% in 2019, and the prevalence rate continues to rise each year. 

Since its independence in 1960, Nigeria has not had a woman as President or the Vice President, despite women comprising almost half of the electorate. Despite all efforts to promote the contribution of women in the domain of politics and decision making, women have continued to record low representation at all levels of governance. As of 2023, female representation in the National Parliament stands at 4.4%, with only 8 women among the 46 appointed Ministers. In the same year, there were 4 women out of 109 members in the Senate, and only 16 out of 360 members in the House of Representatives were women.

Women have continued to be left out in political and leadership roles, despite recognizing the importance of women’s political empowerment towards the attainment of the SDGs. To address these and other issues facing women and girls in the country, UN Women in Nigeria is working with its government and civil society partners in the following areas:

We are grateful for the generous support and partnership of our donor partners.

VIDEOS

EU/UN Spotlight Initiative is working with the Nigerian government, development partners and civil society organisations to promote the development and implementation of policies to curb the prevalence of violence against women and girls. The initiative i
A Call to Action for the private sector companies to sign up for WEPs and mainstream gender equality and women's empowerment in their policies and operations in Nigeria.
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