Gender Transformation in Children’s Literature in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Consequences to Gender Equality

Abstract:

Literature plays a major role in constructing gender roles and in presenting the image of the girl and the boy as having different roles, which are transmitted as part of cultural anthropology and methodology. In most children’s literature in Nigeria, the female child is seen as helping her mother in the kitchen whereas the male child is seen playing with friends or viewing television. The objective of the study is to portray the significance of the representations of gender in children’s literature because studies have shown that most readers tend to identify with the characters of their own sex in books. Therefore, the relative presence of active and strong female characters in children’s literature increases the opportunity for girls to transcend the imposed gender roles or to validate another desired place in society. The research attempted a holistic study of issues, challenges and consequences involved in the transformation of perceived roles of boys/girls in children’s literature in Nigeria. The research consisted of analyses of the content and context of selected children’s literature, their language and illustrations, in Nigeria. Primary data was collected through interview of a number of teachers in nursery, primary and junior secondary schools, in Nigeria.