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Engendering civil society: oil, women groups and resource conflicts in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 June 2005

Augustine Ikelegbe
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science & Public Administration, University of Benin, Nigeria.

Abstract

Civil society has been an active mobilisational and agitational force in the resource conflicts of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. The paper examines the gender segment of civil society and its character, forms and roles in these conflicts. The central argument is that marginality can be a basis of gendered movements and their engagement in struggles for justice, accommodation and fair access to benefits. Utilising secondary data and primary data elicited from oral interviews, the study identifies and categorises women groupings and identifies their roles and engagements in the oil economy. It finds that community women organisations (CWOs), with the support of numerous grass-roots women organisations, are the most active and frequently engaged in the local oil economies, where they have constructed and appropriated traditional women protests as an instrument of engagement. The paper notes the implications of women protest engagements and particularly their exasperation with previous engagements, the depth of their commitments, and the extension of the struggle beyond the threshold of normal social behaviour.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

The author acknowledges the United States Institute of Peace, Washington, for grant aiding research on the Niger Delta (2001–3), and the Centre of Advanced Social Science, Port Harcourt, Nigeria for research consultation on Women and Peace Building in the Niger Delta (2003).

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