In Nigeria, men and women have their own role to play for the benefit of the society. Men are said to be the head of the family, while the women took care of the children and house. This practice has been on for generations, it thereby stands as a draw-back to girls in many fields especially education.
Education of boys is considered more important because they are made to look after their parents and family, while the girls would be married out. These attitudes of parents toward the girl-child’s education was very common in native parts of nigeria. Some parents still believed that secondary school education is the highest they can offer their female children because they see them not to be permanent members of the family. All efforts made by parents is to ensure their male children (boys) attend school to place them in better position than girls in the society.
Training of girls in the past was regarded as a waste to the family in the sense that the money spent on their education can never be regained, they are unlike the boys who will in return care for the family and also continue with the family name. Most African countries believed that women are in the home for domestic chooses, therefore the girls are seen to be future home carers. When they get married, they tend to forget their parents and focus on their new home.
In the year (1973-74) research showed that the number of male students compared to female is 5:3/5.
In communities, males are valued and respected by their family members. A home without a male child is considered as unfruitful and brings unhappiness. Females are not expected to be the breadwinner of the family but are only regarded as wives and others to be, some are given education but not as much as the males, they are also not expected to challenge the males or to be as independent as them. In most parts of nigeria, girls are forced into an arranged marriage at young age without their concent, whereby they are expected to please and satisfy their husbands by bearing many childrens especially males and will be dis-owned if she refuses or opposed the idea. But in some case whereby the woman is unable to bear a child, she will be cast aside and replaced with another who can, leaving the woman utterlly heartbroken and feeling worthless.
Parents, especially fathers are often concerned about the continuation of their name, because in cases where a wealthy man dies his properties and assets are only shared among his male offsprings. The females are not recognized even in cases where there are no male child, which in the event where the wives or the children are not educated can cause the female both children and wives to be homeless and the child forced into a lovelless marriage, where they will be treated as garbage and mal-treated.
Recent studies has showed that the backwardness of female education in nigeria are mostly caused by the inability of the parents to fund the education due to financial problems. But thanks to the new system of Government which has enforced free education on primary and secondary schools on some areas enabling both male and females to attend a formal education. Females should not be denied the opportunity of education but should be considered as a positive step in building Nigeria as a nation.