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Gender, household headship and children's educational performance in Nigeria: Implications for development

Olufunlayo O. Bammeke, University of Lagos

This paper examines how gender interacts with household headship to influence children’s educational performance. Examining data from a study of selected households in Nigeria, the paper compares the structure of male and female–headed households; the characteristics of heads and the educational performance of their children. It examines the implications for development. The paper shows no significant statistical difference in the performance of children in male and female-headed households, but shows that parents’ educational level influences their children’s educational performance. Women’s formal education in particular influences children’s educational performance. The paper shows that children’s educational performance is dependent on support factors in the household. It argues that children in female-headed households that are often without partners and are often poorer could experience more constraint in terms of resources. It concludes on the need to empower household heads if their children must access knowledge, an important measure of human development.

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Presented in Session 65: Gender inequities and inequalities