Responding to the needs of women students with caring responsibilities in Nigeria

Charlotte Ann Morris, Rachel Masika, Zibah Nwako, Chinwe Ogunji, Chinyere Nwajiuba

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This chapter shares insights into responding to the needs of women students in Nigerian higher education (HE), particularly in relation to those with parenting and other caring responsibilities. Intersecting identities as women and carers presents students with particular experiences of marginalisation and exclusion that require well-considered empowerment and inclusivity strategies that warrant further attention. The chapter indicates good practices and potential directions for university and sector leaders, focussing on this intersection. Wide ranging factors can lead to women dropping out or not achieving their full potential with implications for them and their families’ futures, for wider communities, society and broader gender equity goals.

    Our team undertook surveys of academic staff and students to gain insights into the needs of women in HE, including those with caring responsibilities, and here we draw on their voices, perspectives and concerns in making a case for change. Thematic analyses in tandem with an in-depth literature review were undertaken, attending to micro, meso and macro-level barriers to participation (Brofenbrenner, 1977). Analysis identified interlocking material, cultural, emotional and academic challenges alongside good practice suggestions for furthering equitable participation for women in HEI, particularly in relation to intersections with care and material inequalities. Implications for HE leadership in moving towards gender equality for women are shared here.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLeading Change in Gender and Diversity in Higher Education from Margins to Mainstream
    EditorsAnna Cohen-Miller, Tamsin Hinton-Smith, Fawzia Haeri Mazenderani, Nupur Samuel
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003286943
    ISBN (Print)9781032261744, 9781032261737
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2022


    • gender equality
    • higher education
    • student carers
    • participation
    • student experience

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