On March 21, 2016, PhD student Uchenna Ijoma visited Oxford University’s Wadham College for the 2016 Oxford Symposium on Population, Migration, and the Environment, where she presented a paper entitled “Giving Women a Voice in the Decision-Making Process Towards Achieving Environmental Sustainability: The Case of Oil Drilling in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.”
Uchenna’s paper examines the inequalities experienced by rural women of the Niger Delta Region in the decision-making processes relating to environmental affairs in Nigeria. Oil drilling in the region has placed a burden on rural women in the area who have a special relationship with the environment. Despite being core stakeholders in the stewardship of the environment, women are underrepresented in the decision-making process. The paper argues that the adoption of a gender impact assessment by the Nigerian government would result in environmentally sustainable laws and policies as well as practices that address issues crucial to rural women.
Uchenna received many positive comments on her paper, encouraging her to push forward with her research and her advocacy on behalf of Nigerian women. In particular, she received an offer from Professor Salvatore Vallani for the University of Naples Federico to contribute to a book on Public Institutions and Resilience.
Uchenna says that the experience was a wonderful opportunity to learn from other researchers’ fresh ideas, and recommends the conference to future graduate students. She wishes to thank her supervisors, Professors Lynda Collins and Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, as well as the Faculty of Law for its encouragement and support.