Socio-Cultural Issues in Gender and Healthcare Utilization in South East Nigeria


good health

How to Cite

Eteng, M. . J. . (2022). Socio-Cultural Issues in Gender and Healthcare Utilization in South East Nigeria. Unizik Journal of Gender Research, 1(1). Retrieved from


The United Nations, the African Union and their agencies have made issues of gender and good health top priorities. Accordingly, improvement of maternal health care occupied number five of the eight-point Millennium Development Goals; just as the issue of good health and well-being constitute the third out of seventeen goals of the current Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Although The World Health Organisation states that the healthcare delivery system of any given country should be a compact package geared towards promoting and ensuring the maintenance of good health for all, irrespective of gender, this has not been the case, especially in developing countries where there is gender inequity and inequality in accessing and utilizing good healthcare services. This paper interrogates how a people’s socio-culture, interwoven with poverty and lack of education could constitute a threat to women’s health, their wellbeing and life chances, particularly for the women in the rural areas of Southeast Nigeria.  These were expounded within the framework of radical feminist theory, which explains the inequity, the relative powerlessness, discrimination, subjugation, exploitation and vulnerability of women as inherent in the socio-culture of patriarchal societies. The paper recommends the dismantling of all socio-cultural structures and practices that are hindrances and inimical to women’s health as practiced in South East Nigeria; economic empowerment of families, especially women, through giving them access to land and credits for better income generation as well as giving more educational opportunities to women, especially those in the rural areas to enable them make critical life choices pertaining to access and utilization of appropriate healthcare services.