michael ross in stears business: nigeria’s oil curse perpetuates patriarchy

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Michael Ross in Stears Business: Nigeria’s oil curse perpetuates patriarchy

It is well known that oil can be a curse rather than a blessing to resource-rich countries. However, one key aspect omitted from the discussion is how it affects gender rights and opportunities. One of the many tentacles of the natural resource curse is that it hinders female empowerment. Achieving gender parity is a tremendous challenge for many nations; but, it is even more tasking for an oil producing country like Nigeria.

As far-fetched as this correlation may seem, a study carried out by UCLA professor, Michael Ross proffers a novel explanation as to why women in Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia still struggle with gender rights. Ross argued that Islam has a minute role to play in the backward gender policies in these nations.

Instead, he suggests that the main problem is oil wealth. It would seem that the same issue is applicable to resource-rich Nigeria. Culture and tradition have been labelled as the main reasons why women have limited opportunities in the country’s struggling economy. But, oil might be the real culprit here.