Developmental Strategies and Cultural Dynamics in Rural Nigeria
Within the context of globalization, policies anchored on liberalization, privatization and deregulation are seen as credible paths to development. Proponents of globalization argue that a free market regime will help the rural economy to grow, will improve the bargaining position of women and will eventually transform gender relations in a positive way. This position ignores the fact that market-based policies are implemented within distinctive cultural milieus. The chapter examines how cultural practices shape the outcomes of privatization of land as it concerns women, using a case study of rural communities of Delta and Kano states, Nigeria. Based on evidence emerging from the study, the chapter highlights how cultural practices were major determinants of the level of success of land privatization in these communities.
This chapter is part of my research thesis titled “Impact of Contemporary Globalisation Policies on Women in Rural Communities of Delta, Kano and Kwara States, Nigeria.” Its publication was made possible by support from the Social Science Research Council’s Next Generation of Social Sciences in Africa Fellowship, with a fund provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York. I also acknowledge my supervisors, Dr. E.V. Clark and Prof. Etemike Laz. I am grateful to all who responded to the interviews and participated in the focus group discussions, research key informants, research assistants and the various scholars whose work were most useful for the study.