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Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria

Epistemic Violence against Female Academics in Nigerian Federal Universities

Janet P. Plang, Sahmicit Kumswa, Godwin Etta Odok

Keywords: Silencing, Epistemic violence, Gender, Academic freedom,Intersectionality

Abstract

Within Nigerian federal universities, thereis acollapseof gender equity into chauvinism as the dignity of female academics is no longer guaranteed in the interests of scholarship. This is entrenched in institutional structures and processes that distort female academics from recognizing the loss of their autonomy, self-confidence, agency and intellectual courage as credible producers of knowledge. Drawing data from eight (8) key female informants, who share their life stories at Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Federal University Wukari, University of Ibadan and University of Jos, this paper engages intersectionality theory to expound how gender inequality in both the Nigerian university system and the Nigerian society is rooted and expressed in systemic and institutional structures and processes that complicate the autonomy, self-confidence, agency and intellectual courage of female academics. Findings established a reversion to silencing scholarship where female academics in Nigerian federal universities are silenced and marginalized as producers of credible knowledge and the female academics themselves are saddled with the burden of proofing this violence without knowing where to turn for help. The paper concludes that a focus on sexual harassment alone as violenceagainst femaleacademicsin Nigerian federaluniversitiesonly addresses micro-dynamics without revealing layers of human interactions that hold precious possibilities for creating institutional structures and processes truly responsive to principles of democratic citizenship and academic freedom. The paper recommends gender sensitization within the Nigerian university system which should extend to Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Trust Fund and NationalUniversitiesCommission.

Author Biography

Janet P. Plang

Departmentof Sociology

Universityof Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Sahmicit Kumswa

Departmentof Sociology

Universityof Jos, PlateauState, Nigeria

Godwin Etta Odok

Departmentof Sociology

Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria

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