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The Impact of Petroleum Refinery on the Economic Livelihoods of Women in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Francisca Isi Omorodion


Based on the premise that globalization infringes on the sovereignty of nation-states through promoting free movement of capital and labor, this paper seeks to delineate the impact of petroleum refinery on the economic livelihoods of women in Africa, using Niger Delta region of Nigeria as a case study. Indigenous communities are characterized by economy in which women are active and bear the primary responsibility of feeding members of their homesteads. However, globalization capitalizes on cultural factors through its he gender segregation and inequality in African society to attain its goal of profit maximization through practice of male inclusiveness in the activities of petroleum refinery to support the supremacy of male economic livelihoods over that of female. Oil companies provide the male population with alternative employment in the oil industry, and/or pay the men standby, referring to payment of stipend for no job done. Yet, a majority of women bear the burden for the survival of their household unit, either as the primary breadwinner of female-headed households or of their unit within a polygamous homestead. The paper argues that patriarchy and globalization subjugate women by neglecting and making female economic activities invisible and insignificant. Ultimately, by focusing attention on the operations of oil companies in Nigeria, the fundamental argument based on globalization, patriarchy, and gendering has a wider and global relevance as we peruse the impact of petroleum refinery on womens involvement in development.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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