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Ayodele Dada

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Graduate Student Research Funding | 2022 - 2023 Academic Year

Framing Education as a Legacy to Reduce Gender Disparities In Nigeria

Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children of any African country and most of them are girls (UNICEF, 2022). Gender gaps in median years of school attendance are as large as 6 years (DHS, 2018), despite government mandates and free education through junior secondary school available for all children. Even when girls begin school, many are not able to continue and most who are withdrawn by a parent or guardian never return (British Council, 2014). 

We theorize that one source of gender inequality in Nigeria, especially in Northern Nigeria where these disparities are concentrated, is that parents perceive educational paths as competitive with the culturally appropriate gender roles for girls. For instance, our prior qualitative data from a sample of these parents indicates that they expect girls to get married early and this is often not compatible with her continuing her education. Also, education does not help (and might even hurt) girls in executing their traditional roles of wife and mother because they may get jobs outside the home which compete with their available time for domestic chores. According to the Global Education Monitoring report by UNESCO, when asked whether a university education is more important for a boy than for a girl, at least 50% of Nigerians agreed (GEM, 2019).

Ayodele Dada, Department of Psychology 

Ayodele Dada

Ayo Dada, from Lagos, Nigeria, is a PhD candidate in Psychology at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences where he is advised by Greg Walton and Carol Dweck. Ayo is also part of the 2019 cohort of Knight-Hennessy scholars at Stanford and he aspires to find solutions to the problems of gender prejudice and academic underachievement that are plaguing his homeland of Nigeria. At the University of Lagos, Ayo earned a bachelor‚ degree in psychology, graduating as valedictorian and breaking a 54-year-old academic record at the institution. He was also named one of Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria and received special recognition for academic achievement by the National Assembly of Nigeria. Dada also spends his time offering free educational counseling to high school and college students in Africa.

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