Despite the role that rural women in Nigeria play in protecting the environment, not many studies acknowledge their contributions. As part of efforts to highlight women’s contributions, this study interviewed 60 women between the ages of 20 to 60 on how important the environment is to their livelihood and how they protect it. Fifty percent (50%) of the women identified as farmers, forty percent (40%) as traders, three percent (3%) as housewives and seven percent (7%) identified as public servants. The participants reported that their activity under those capacities makes them interact closely with the environment; at different levels though. As part of efforts to protect their environment, these women engage in activities such as tree planting, manure application, sustainable harvesting and environmental sanitation as ways to give back to the environment. In their bid to protect their environment, the women face challenges such as poverty, cultural barriers, and the lack of government support. Policy makers are called upon to acknowledge the role of rural women in protecting the environment and include them in programmes surrounding conservation, disaster management, awareness campaign and rural development.
Key words: Environment, women, rural, protection.
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