Barriers to the Inclusion of Women and Marginalized Groups in Nigeria’s ID System: Findings and solutions from an in-depth qualitative study

Published: 21/Apr/2021
Source: World Bank


Importance of Addressing Gender Gaps and Exclusion in ID Systems

An estimated 1 billion people around the world do not have an officially recognized means of identification (ID).The majority live in low-income countries (LICs), particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Women and the poor are less likely to have an ID than other people: the 2017 Global Findex survey found that 44 percent of adult women in LICs do not have an ID compared to 28 percent of adult men.1 Due to its foundational role in ensuring access to rights and services, “providing legal identity for all” is an explicit target (SDG 16.9) under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and an enabler of many other SDGs, such as SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and SDG 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere).

This study contributes to an overarching goal of building global knowledge about increasing women’s and marginalized groups’ access to and use of IDs to promote development. There is little systematic evidence about the causes of gender gaps or the exclusion of particular groups from possession of government-recognized IDs. The study aims to analyze gaps in access to the national ID issued by Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and provide evidence-based advice to policy makers on how to lift the constraints that create high barriers for women and marginalized groups.

Most immediately, our results provide an evidence base that can help Nigeria’s NIMC achieve its goal of issuing IDs to the majority of Nigerians. The information generated by the study can be used in the following ways:ƒ

  • To identify particular social groups or regions where registration incentives are especially low for women and key marginalized groups.ƒ
  • To inform the design of communication campaigns targeting different social groups to provide relevant information to women and men, respectively, about the national ID and the individual benefits accruing from having a recognized ID. ƒ
  • To design implementation approaches to ID enrollment that can increase coverage of women, girls, and marginalized groups.ƒ
  • To increase global knowledge of gender gaps and exclusion of marginalized groups in ID possession and their drivers, and inform diagnostic work in Nigeria and other countries

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Themes: Discrimination, Gender, Birth Registration, ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Nigeria
Year: 2021