Poverty among Women in Nigeria–Psychological and Economic Perspective: A Study Based On South West, Nigeria

  •  Onwuka Ifeanyi    
  •  Nwadiubu Anthony    
  •  Isiwu Prisca    


The aim of this study is to provide an evidenced-based psychological and economic perspective on the rising level of poverty among women in Nigeria. The rationale for the study is anchored on the latest reports by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that Nigeria is now home to the largest number of poorest people in the world. Women constitute over 60% of the poorest people in Nigeria and going by the IMF statistics that Nigeria has over 87 million people in extreme poverty translates to approximately 52 million women on the clutches of extreme poverty. Although there have been efforts by successive governments in Nigeria to improve the livelihood of women in Nigeria and lift them out from poverty, the facts on the ground are not encouraging as a large number of women continues to wallow in extreme poverty. With the benefits of inter-disciplinary research that intersects at the boundaries of finance and psychology, this study investigated possible psychological factors such as job involvement, self-efficacy and goal orientation that could be implicated in this scenario. The study used survey design in two states in South Western Nigeria namely: Lagos and Ogun. 600 women (400 in Lagos and 200 in Ogun) were sampled. The sampling was cross-sectional and respondents were selected through a multi-stage purposive sampling technique. The instrument for data collection was scaled and a step-wise multiple regression was used for testing the hypothesis. Results of the analysis showed that all the explanatory variables namely: self-efficacy, goal orientation and job involvement were significant predictors of women pre-disposition to engaging in productive activities. The result showed that women who are cognitively goal oriented strives to develop skills and are more disposed to take up productive investments (job oriented). Based on these findings, the study recommended, amongst others, that efforts should be made to re-tool the approach to women development in Nigeria through skill acquisition and value reorientation.

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