Women and the State in Nigeria: the Case of the Federal Military Government 1984–85

  • Carolyne Dennis


The present Federal Military Government in Nigeria came to power on 31 December 1983.1 The circumstances surrounding the cou. were an immediate political crisis largely caused by the impotence of the Shagari Government in the face of an economic crisis which it had not created but had certainly exacerbated. Confronted by such a cruel dashing of Nigerian hopes for a better future, the Federal Military Government (FMG) sought to explain the causes of the crisis and thus provide an agenda for resolving it. The explanation offered which, of course, also provided the rationale for the cou. itself, operated on many levels. However, the dominant theme of the internal causes of the crisis which were diagnosed, centred around the notion of ‘indiscipline’. ‘Indiscipline’ ranged from those smuggling large quantities of petroleum and currency out of the country to market traders who profited from scarcity, to unconscientious salaried workers. Among the other groups guilty of anti-social behaviour of this kind, three categories of women were identified as contributing to the breakdown of social discipline: wives and mothers who failed to devote their time to the upbringing of their children; single women who provided a source of temptation to men; and petty traders who hoarded essential goods and created congested urban centres.


Single Woman Capital Budget National Development Plan Colonial Administration Domestic Responsibility 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Haleh Afshar 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyne Dennis

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