Gender Disparity and the Dental Profession in Nigeria: A 10-year Follow- up Study


  • Nneka M. CHUKWUMAH, BDS, FWACS Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Benin, Nigeria
  • Alice A. UMWENI, BDS, MSc Ortho, DRCS, FWACS Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Benin, Nigeria


Gender, Female, Academic dentistry, Postgraduate dentistry, dental profession


Objective: To compare and assess gender disparities in the dental profession in Nigeria after 10 years (2003-
2013) a follow up study.
Methods: This was a cross sectional study which collected data from females in academic and postgraduate
dental education from institutions accredited by the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC), National
Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) and West African College in Nigeria using a semi structured
self-administered questionnaire. This was compared with results of a study done in 2003.
Results: The number of accredited dental schools increased from four to seven in 10 years. The total number
of residents in the seven institutions was 213 as against 83 in the four institutions in 2003. Female residents
(postgraduates) made up 87 (40.8%) as opposed to the 38 (45.8%) from the previous study. That of lecturers
from the seven institutions was 153 as against 61 from the four institutions in 2003 with females making up
65 (42.5%) of the lecturers when compared to the 22 (36.2%) in 2003, this distribution varied among
institutions. There was a predominant intake of male residents and lecturers over females in most
institutions; females dominated in preventive and child dental health specialties. Female participation in
leadership positions and advancements in the academic cadre also increased.
Conclusions: There has been an increase in female participation in academic dentistry in Nigeria, there is still
more room for improvement and increased participation especially in postgraduate dentistry and leadership
roles in the profession.