Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Dr. (Mrs. ) Chioma Ihebereme

Department of Educational
Foundations and Administration Alvan Ikoku Federal University of
Education, Owerri Imo State Nigeria

Girl-Child    Domestic Labour:A Barrier to Girl-child Access to Basic Education in  Nigeria

Girl-child domestic labour is a culturally accepted practice in Nigeria which depicts lending out the girl-child under the age of 5-18 years to work as domestic helper in families other than their originated families.The choice of girl-child option for domestic labour was embedded in the traditional threshold that the boy-child is superior to the girl-child since the boy-child on maturity would continue the father's linage while the girl-child on maturity  marries and changes her father's name to her husband's name. Consequently, custodians of girl-child domestic labourers engage them in  numerous household chores from which they earn meager income with which  to support their poor parents. Thus, they gradually begin to see their engagement as domestic labourers as an opportunity cost to schooling. This has interfered greatly with the right of the girl-child to have access to basic education. Against this background, this paper discussed the concept of girl-child domestic labour and basic education in Nigeria. The paper also highlighted six dimensions of girl-child domestic labour that constitutes a barrier to girl-child access to basic education. Then,some intervention strategies to stem girl-child domestic labour were proffered.


Dr Chioma  ( Ph.D; M.Ed; B.Sc) is working as a senior lecturer  in Department of Educational Foundations and administration, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri Imo State, NigeriaWERRI IMO STATE- NIGERIA.