Key gender issues in the military education in Nigeria and a call for gender-sensitive security sector reforms

  • Paul Akpomuje
  • Mejiuni Olutoyin
Keywords: Adult EducationContinuing Professional EducationGenderMilitary-EducationGender-Sensitive Security Reforms


This paper is based on a study that investigated key gender issues that impact access to and participation of female naval personnel in the continuing professional education (CPE) of the Nigerian Navy. It also draws on a published report on sex-role socialisation of female personnel of the Nigerian Navy. The central argument of the paper is that women personnel are not adequately represented in all specialisations of the Nigerian navy. Consequently, they are not able to easily ascend to senior positions that could enhance their opportunities to participate in national decision-making processes on security and other matters of the state. The nature of continuing professional education in military education in Nigeria has a significant role to play in this. However, this has not been adequately explored in the literature on continuing adult education in Nigeria. To bridge this gap, the study explored the lived experiences of female personnel of the Nigerian Navy, concerning how and why they are (un)able to access and participate in the CPE of the military; the challenges that the experiences present; and the policies and institutional frameworks that guide and support the CPE of the Nigerian Navy. This was a qualitative e case study design and was framed within critical theory. In-depth interviews and document reviews were used to collect the data; Phenomenological content analysis was used as the method for data analysis. The findings of the study revealed that women personnel of the Nigerian Navy experience gender-based discriminations and participation in CPE. Besides, the study revealed that the Nigerian Navy did not have any CPE policy nor internal gender policies. Furthermore, the institutional frameworks that guide and support the CPE of the Nigerian Navy were not gender-sensitive. The paper concludes that there are gender issues in the Nigerian Navy that impact female personnel’s participation in CPE and that these issues call for gender-sensitive reforms in the navy.


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