Economic Crisis and the Coping Strategies of Women in the Informal Sector of Western, Nigeria.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:00
Oral Presentation
Idowu CHIAZOR, Covenant University, Nigeria
Mercy ADEBAYO, Covenant University, Nigeria
This study took a look at how women in the informal sector in the Western part of Nigeria cope with the economic crisis currently going on in the country. Quantitative and secondary data from relevant literature were used in measuring the impact of the crisis on women’s financial, human, and social lives. These women employed both negative and positive ways of coping with the crisis. Borrowing increased, and most of it went into financing household expenditure rather than in productive activities. The effects of the economic crisis on families revealed that women became increasingly, the main income earners within their families. Children’s education and feeding were adversely affected. Some were withdrawn from school to assist with their family’s income-generating activities, by engaging in street hawking. Some women have had to sell their belongings, in some instances, their children in exchange for money or bags of food stuffs. They also engage in other risky activities that have long-term effects on their lives and families. Since economic activities in the informal sector are very sensitive to change, the crisis that Nigeria is going through currently has had very severe effects on the living standards of families. This has exacerbated the poverty among them. In order to ensure a more inclusive social and economic recovery for these most vulnerable ones, deliberate policies must be planned and provided for, to cushion the effects of the economic crisis they are going through. This is critical in preventing the crisis from causing permanent harm to children (by harming their future capabilities), and pushing families deeper into poverty and weakening their resilience.