This article investigates gender differences in Nigeria, in the impact of marriage and children on location in the self or waged employment sector, and on income from work. Findings show that the pay structure varies across employment sectors – waged and self-employed – and that the determinants of employment sector vary by gender and family roles. Differences in human capital investment and geopolitical zones also need to be considered. The estimates in the study reveal that there is a marriage premium for both males and females in the waged labour market, but partially support Becker’s (1991) gender-based household specialisation model in terms of the relative incidence of self-employment. There is a wage penalty for married women with children in the paid-employment labour market, but motherhood is also negatively associated with income levels for self-employed women. We also find a fatherhood penalty for paid-employed men. Nevertheless, overall, the gender difference is higher in relatively less regulated self-employment compared to the more regulated paid employment labour market. Findings therefore offer some policy inputs but also suggest the need for further research into the causes of the gender pay gap in self- and paid employment, and thus into the overall wage gap in Nigeria that inhibits women’s labour market participation and welfare.