Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Jacqueline Thomas


Researchers have demonstrated that the Nigerian government has failed to protect women's rights and advance gender equality in political leadership; consequently, women's political participation in Nigeria remains low. Although international laws grant women political participation rights, little is known about the struggles and experiences Nigerian women face in their quest to participate in the political life of Nigeria. The purpose of this basic interpretative qualitative study was to explore and describe the perceptions and experiences of Nigerian women on gender equality and other issues affecting their political leadership. The theoretical framework used was Eagly's social role theory and Ayman and Korabik's leadership categorization theory. The research questions focused on how women describe their participation in the political sector and their obstacles. Ten purposefully selected Nigerian women in Nigerian political leadership were interviewed. Data analysis included coding, categorizing, and analyzing themes. The resulting 7 themes were underrepresentation, gender inequality, male dominance, women's empowerment, spousal support/approval, financial support, and legislation reform. The findings indicated that women were still underrepresented in the political sector of government and lacked full political power as they strived for equality to become political leaders. The implications for positive social change are to educate the public, inform policy makers, and create legislative initiatives to support an equitable society in Nigeria in which women can participate fully in the political process.