|Title||Intersectionality in Organisations: Exploring the Relationships between Gender, Ethnicity, Religion and Women’s Work in a Postcolonial African Space.|
This study focuses on academic women’s perception of organisational structures involving recruitment, selection and promotion in the Nigerian higher education system, exploring how gender, ethnicity and religious identities, important factors in the Nigeria socio-economic context, can create inequalities within academia. Four Nigerian universities are used as case studies, drawing on semi-structured in-depth interviews and an online self-administered survey to collect data. The study employs the concept of intersectionality, which investigates how identities intersect to produce multiple forms of inequalities. However, the study contends that conceptualising intersectionality with Postcolonial and African feminisms creates a theoretical framework capable of highlighting the interactions between organisational structures, sociocultural attitudes to gender and ethno-religious affiliations framed by colonial legacies and postcolonial policies, thereby developing an expanded Intersectionality which is able to adequately analyse experiences of Nigerian women working in academia. Postcolonial feminism is concerned with addressing the representation of women in formerly colonised areas, while African feminism seeks answers to gender equality issues within the contextual frame of historical and cultural realities in Africa. Both of these feminisms have criticised the perceived hegemony of Western feminist thought for what they consider its universalisation of women’s oppression. The findings reveal that while the participants view themselves as successful academics with agency, there are socio-cultural attitudes to gender which have led to a normalisation of gendered practices in academia and an absence of organisational policies to tackle these issues. Furthermore, minority ethnic and religious women are more likely to experience discrimination in their organisations. Finally, while there is evidence of inequalities in all four case studies, women’s experience of discrimination vary across different regions based on ethnic and religious affiliations, a testament to the non- homogeneity of women in their workplace experiences in Nigeria.
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