Generally, literature review means the review of the works of several authors, thinkers, philosophers, writers, commentators, who have written books on the same problem areas. The purpose of literature review is, to provide a theoretical perspective for the research work.
For the purpose of this research work therefore, the works of several authors will be reviewed. The concepts to be reviewed in those works including concepts like gender inequality, women and development, women and education in Nigeria, women and political participation, marginalization of women in power and the theory of sexism including its major proponents and tenets.
2.2 Gender Inequality
Gender Inequality often stern from social structures that have institutionalized conceptions of gender differences. Cultural stereotypes are possible are possible explanations for gender inequality and the resulting gender disparity. According to Margaret M. (1982), in her article written on the analysis on gender and the society, women have been traditionally are designated to occupations which requires such skills. While these skills are culturally valued, they were typically associated with domesticity. Therefore, occupation requiring these skills is not economically valued. Men have been traditionally viewed as â€œbread winnersâ€ or the workers, so jobs held by men have been historically and economically value and paid higher wages.
Gender inequality can further be understood through the mechanism of sexism. Margaret M. further said in the article on society and gender argued that discrimination takes place in this manner as men and women are subjected to prejudicial treatment based on gender alone.
Evermore, she is of the opinion that, sexism occurs when men and women are subject to prejudicial treatment based on gender alone. Sexism occurs when men and women are framed with two dimension of social cognition.
Benevolent sexism takes place when women are viewed as possessing low degree of competency and high degree of warmth. Although this is the result of a more positive stereotype of women, this still contribute to gender inequality as the stereotype is only applied to women who only conform to the caring and nurturing stereotypes, with the remaining women still been discriminated against as they are not viewed in the positive light. In addition, this form of sexism has negative effects as well as these notions of women, which includes the idea that women are weak and in need of protection from the men.
Hostile Sexism takes place when women are viewed as having high level of competence but low degree of warmth. This form of sexism is framed as an antagonistic attitude towards women and occurs, as women are perceived to be attempting to control men, either through sexual seduction or through feminist ideology.
Discrimination also plays out with networking and in preferential treatment within the economic market. Men typically occupy positions of power within the job economy. Due to taste or preference for other men because they share similar characteristics, men in this position of power are more likely to have and promote other men, thus discrimination against women.
Kurts in Ebere (2003), believes that â€œgender has to do with social complex relationship between males and females in the society as well as the power and economic differential associated with them.
Inequality has to do with social factors in the society. It with deals with activities that are appropriate for males and females and what rights, resources and powers have inequality is a form of discrimination against the female folk. It is inadequate participation of women in developmental issues and decision making process.
According to Bukoye (2007), that gender discrimination is any distinction and exclusion made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, employment or exercise by women irrespective of their marital status.
According to Colemen (1987), Gender Inequality or discrimination remain pervasive in many dimensions of life worldwide. This is so, despite considerable advances in gender equality in recent decades. The nature and extent of the discrimination very considerably across countries and regions, but the patterns are striking.
In no region of the developing world are women equal to men in legal, social and economic rights. Gender gaps are widespread in access to and control of resources in economic opportunities, in power and political voice. This has dealt a deadly blow to development. Women who are intelligent are resourceful are relegated to the background simply because of age-long tradition and culture. What this means is that these women cannot contribute their own quota to development.