Current Policies of Progression

Currently Nigerian women are making many advancements within their society. In recent years, three male dominated professions, the Nigerian Medical Association, the Nigerian Bar Association and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, have been led by female presidents. The subsequent creation of the National Commission for Women and a ministerial portfolio for Women Affairs provide additional avenues for the promotion of women's educational issues and the enhancement of the role of women in national development by way of a statutory body and a Ministry. Today, more children go to school and learn to read and write than in previous decades. As a result, younger persons are much more likely to be literate than older persons. In a survey done by the International Education Statistics measured Nigerian literacy across different 5-year age groups. Among persons aged 15 to 19 years - those who were of primary school age in the 1990s - the literacy rate is 70%. Among persons 80 years or older, only 13% are literate. Additionally, the gap between boys and girls aged 15 to 19 is only 11%.

Nigerian women's access to formal education is still being constrained due to their unfair workload within the household division of labour. Consequently, the realization of the MDG3's 'gender equality and women empowerment' targets is being impeded harshly. Moreover, according to Bhavani, such unequal social and gender relations needs to be transformed in order to take women out of want and poverty. A 2007 UNESCO and UNICEF report addressed the issue of education from a rights-based approach. Three interrelated rights were specified and must be addressed in concert in order to provide education for all:

The right of access to education - Education must be available for, accessible to and inclusive of all children weather male or female gender.
The right to quality education - Education needs to be child-centered, relevant and embrace a broad curriculum, and be appropriately resourced and monitored.
The right to respect within the learning environment - Education must be provided in a way that is consistent with human rights, equal respect for culture, religion and language and free from all forms of violence.

UNESCO estimates that an estimated $11 billion per year is necessary to reach the 2015 EFA goals. The disparity between need and aid is apparent: aid sent to low-income countries to provide basic education in 2004 and 2005 was at an average of $3.1 billion per year. The Fast Track Initiative (FTI) provides one of the most promising paths to universal primary education by 2015. Set up as a partnership between donors and developing countries and non-governmental organizations, the FTI endorses developing countries that put primary education at the forefront of their domestic efforts and develop sound national education plans. Nigeria is already maximizing these resources for the advancement of the younger generation.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and acceded to by 180 States, sets down rights for women, of freedom from discrimination and equality under the law. CEDAW has realized the rights and equality of woman is also the key to the survival and development of children and to building healthy families, communities and nations. Article 10 pinpoints nine changes that must be changed in order to help Nigerian women and other women suffering from gender disparity. It first states, their must be the same conditions for careers, vocational guidance, and for the achievement of diplomas in educational establishments of all categories in rural as well as in urban areas. This equality shall be ensured in pre-school, general, technical, professional and higher technical education, as well as in all types of vocational training. Second, is access to the same curricula, the same examinations, teaching staff with qualifications of the same standard and school premises and equipment of the same quality. Third, is the elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education. This is encouraged by coeducation and other types of education which will help to achieve this aim and, in particular, by the revision of textbooks and school programs and the adaptation of teaching methods. Fourth, the same opportunities to benefit from scholarships and other study grants. Similarly, fifth is the same opportunities of access to programs of continuing education, including adult and functional literacy programs, particularly those aimed at reducing, at the earliest possible time, any gap in education existing between men and women. Sixth, is the reduction of female student drop-out rates and the organization of programs for girls and women who have left school prematurely. Seventh concern listed is the same opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education. Lastly, is access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families, including information and advice on family planning.

Government policies that affect girl-child education since 1985 include:
1986: Blueprint on Women's Education. An outreach and awareness campaign to promote the importance of equal education, increase the available educational resources for females and reduce drop out rates among female students.
1986: Nomadic Education Programme. Increase the access to education for children of Nomads without jeopardizing pastoralism.
1991: National Commission for Mass Literacy and Non-formal Education. A policy to motivate parents and families to send their school-age children to school and to establish training facilities that concentrate on domestic science, home economics and crafts.
1994: Family Support Basic Education Programme. A programme to encourage families living in rural areas to send girls to go to school as a means of promoting youth development.
1999: Universal Basic Education. Reduction in geographic and gender disparity in school enrolment.
2001: National Policy on Women
2002: Education For-all Fast Track Initiative.
2003: Strategy for Acceleration of Girls Education in Nigeria.
2004: National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS).
2004:Universal Basic Education Act.