THE IMPACT OF WOMEN PARTICIPATION ON THE POLITICAL SYSTEM ON NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF ABIA STATE)
Nigeria women has been relegated to the background of Nigeria politics in this research we set out to study the political participation of women in Abia State. And to know why women have not been achieving involved in the process of shaping the political system. The objectives of this research work is to find out if women are actively involved in the politics of Abia State. And again, to find out factors responsible for how level of women participating in the politics of Abia State and the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure achieve participation of women in the politics. It is obvious that women in Nigeria have encountered a number of problems while venturing into politics. There is large scale of discriminations from the male folks, both in voting for candidates and allocating political offices. This issue and problem of women and political participation in Nigeria is the issue of national orientation and awareness to the society at large especially to the low level awareness of the majority of the masses. Finally government should educate the majority of people especially the women folk as majority are illiterates and had already behaved that many of them have no right in political participation and public affairs.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of content……...…v
2. Statement of the Problem
3. Objective of the Study
4. Significance of the Study
5. Scope and Limitation of the Study
7. Research Questions
8. Clarification of Key Concepts
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Theoretical Framework
2.2 Women in Politics
2.3 Women in Pre-Colonial and Post Colonial
2.4 The Impact of Women in the Colonial Period
2.5 The Impact of Women in Post-Colonial Nigeria
2.6 Women in the Post Independence Era
2.7 Women in Politics
2.8 Women in Economy
2.9 Women in Agriculture
3.1 Research Methodology and Design
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Sources of Data
3.4 Location of Study
3.5 Population of the Study
3.6 Sample Technique
3.8 Validity of the Instrument
3.9 Reliability of the Study
3..10 Data Collection
3.11 Instrument Rate Return (IRR)
4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis
5.1 Summary of Findings
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The fate of the Nigeria women for the past 45 years cannot be described as the best but it can be said to be much better than what is obtainable in some third world countries. It is of a believe that women are sex symbols whose paramount place is either in the kitchen or in their husband’s bed, the Nigeria women have blossomed into what can comfortably be described as independent for over forty five (45) years after Nigeria’s independent. Women accepted whatever attitude, belief, biases and treatment meted out to them until recently when Nigeria women have gradually become more aware of this right and places in society.
To the average Nigeria man, any woman who knows her political rights and asks is quickly regarded as “Tomboyish” and quickly labeled “woman rebel” during the colonial era, much was not heard of woman in Nigeria political except few occasion when they stood their ground to protest one incident or another.
In African women had made history in politics often times, it is associated with violence and military incursion for example, in 1929 over 10,000 ib,bio and Igbo women reacted over taxation rumour which resulted into the killing of about 26 of them.
In 1973, the agitation from the Northern Nigeria women brought about formation of Northern People Congress (NPC) and Northern Elements of Progressive Union (NEPU).
The world body recognizes that women need a sort of special support in view of the fact that they are often discriminated against in many part of the world even the so-called civilized world.
The above statement had established that fact that all over the world women are discriminated against and need special training, support and encouragement to attain political heights like their male counterparts.
The Abia State the women folk has been greatly alienated, discriminated, subjected and non inclusive in the general administration of the stat affairs. The female folk on their side have been on constant agitation and struggle for economic improvement and social recognition within the state polity.
The research work will then enveil the nature and character of the Abia State politics with a view at assessing the degree of women participation and training in political activities of the state. At the end of the assessment workable solutions will be preferred on how best to improve their lot in the state specially with regard to political participation. 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
A close observation of the degree of political participation and training of women in Nigeria tend to reveal that women have not been actively involved in the process of sharpening the political system. This disparity between women and non political participation has been a subject of controversy and debates among scholars, politicians, analysts and stakeholder in Nigeria.
Since 1999 when the present civilian government came into power after a long period of military regime, women politicians in Abia State like their counterparts in other part of the federation have continued to express dismay over the low participation and alienation of women in the politics of the state. Consequently, in 2003 a female governorship aspirant, laureta Aniagolu joined the race for the seat of governor in Enugu State.
Unfortunately, she was maneuvered in the party primary of the United Nigeria People Party. She later joined the National conscience party and was defeated with other aspirants by Governor Chimaroke Nnamani in a General Election, which according to Asowata (1\2006) and many other observers, was a rape of democracy and political fraud.
Significantly women apathy and alienation politics has been attributed to some factors such as colonial system of economic and political exclusion of women in the control and management of state, the post colonial system of exclusion, the religions cultural enslavement of women, the contemporary economic deprivation, the educational disempowerment and social discrimination.
Based on these premises some fundamental questions become important:
1. Have women been actively involved in the politics of Abia State?
2. Are the post colonial retention of colonial system of social discrimination and educational disempowerment responsible for low level of woman participation and training in political in Abia State?
3. What are the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure active participation of women in the politics of Abia State? 1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
A research work is directed toward establishing the nature of participation and training by women in politics, the level, which they have attained, the hindrances and what should be made to improve, the level of participation and training. The study established the participation of women who are proficient in politics and how their participation have helped in inculcating, progress and emancipation of women from the decision making body of the state.
The specific and concrete desired achievement at the end of the research work underscores its objectives (Obasi:1999). Accordingly, this research work intends:
1. To find out if women are actively involved in the politics of Abia State and so what impact they have created.
2. To find out if there still exists colonial and post-colonial system of social discrimination against women in the politics of Abai State.
3. To find out the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure active participation of women in the politics of Abia State. 1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
As an academic venture, the significance of this type of study is so enormous that one cannot comprehend such with or limited ordinary words.
In the first place, one can rightly say the significance of the study, is to unmask the nature and character of the Nigeria political system and then use such as a prelude for analyzing the nature and character of Abia state politics with particular reference to the degree of participation of women in the politics of Abia State.
The work shall unveil in the political activities of Nigeria and Abia State in particularly from the sector, it shall assess the fundamental factors, responsible for low training of women in the politics of Abia State and Nigeria in general. Going by this trend, the study shall also provide both women and often political stakeholders there required information necessary for addressing the problems of low training of women in participation of the political of Nigeria and Abia State.
Theoretically, there has been for a general work on Nigeria women especially in the sphere of politics. This will give an overview of the subject, incorporate and synthesize the various views of women and their effort to emancipate themselves from the social, economic, cultural and political subjugation which they find themselves. This work will contribute a lot in this aspect.
At the empirical level, women especially those aspiring to political position, will equally be policy makers in general. It would give them insight into the hindrance (economic, social and culture) to women’s aspirations in the political spheres, and therefore, know how to make legislations, which would encourage their effective participation in politics. 1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study over a reasonable period of time, which is 1999-2009 and area of Ohafia local government area of Abia State. In the first place, the scope range from the colonial period to the present period. This springs from the fact that the colonial masters first instituted the process of economic and political alienation and exclusion of women which invariably were inherited and subsequently perfected by the indigenous political elite.
However, in area of operation, the Nigeria state is the area of grand from work of analysis which Abia State remains the point of emphasis women on their part collectively remained the fundamental instrument of study. 1.6 LIMITATIONS
The research work had its own challenges which either promote or militate against its advancement.
These challenges and limitations include time constants, financial inadequacies of the interviews, poor assistance from the government sector and poor infrastructural facilities like poor power supply. All these challenges and limitations were experienced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this researcher work.
However, with perseverance and enterprises these challenges were tactfully surmounted and a successful completion of the researcher work attained. 1.7 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To be able to find out the impact of women participation in politics in Nigeria the following questions have been put forward as a guide.
1. Have the women in Nigeria been involved in politics?
2. To what extent have they been allowed to be involved?
3. What are the possible hindrances to the involvement of women in politics? 1.8 CLARIFICATION OF KEY CONCEPTS
The purpose of conceptual clarification is to clearly define terminologies to aid understanding for the purpose of this work. The following concepts will be defined.
Women Liberation: Women liberation emerged with these struggles for rights and objective, it is said to constitute what is of women’s concern and what is not, because people use the word freely.
Alienation: This concept of alienation is defined as the state of being withdrawn or isolated. It could be denying one’s right.
Apathy: Apathy can be defined as lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting especially in the political systems of a society.
Culture: Culture is defined as people’s way of life, which includes their mode of dressing, cooking, dancing, eating, greeting, language etc. It is a particular from or stage of civilization as that of a certain nation or period.
Furthermore, its complex which include knowledge, belief morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits, acquired by man as a member of society.
Discrimination: The concept discrimination is defined as the treatment of consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against a person or group of persons.
Training: Training is defined as a process of preparing or being prepared for sport or job, i.e training people in politics to be able to participate very well in politics or training people for a profession. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
From the study under review, it could be seen that the participation of women in politics in recent time was high due to political socio-economic factors associated with practice rather than principles. The women have gradually participated in Nigeria’s politics in a reasonable number. This researcher work is to address the ills militating against social political and economic development of women. It is now seen that there is a sense of belonging among the women folk in a bide to allow for their fill participation in political activities of the Nigeria society.
From the inception of this researcher work, it has been seen that the participation of the women in political has been seen that the participation of women in politics has undergone a lot of over haul and consciousness; sometimes there is consciousness to participate in politics, while at some other time they could be discriminated against. But in all, women gender involve in development process especially in transition programmes. They have formed associations which foster their capacity to enhance their political status. Those association include women oriented non government organization and other associations that project. The participation of women especially in politics. These development issues led to concrete actions such as finding small projects and raising awareness regarding women.
Also, we see the commitment of government in creating an enabling environment for women participation in politics. The reason for this is to educate them for greater participation in politics. All these are on the conviction of women that their participation in that political circle had been married by many environmental factors such as some of the Nigerian political meetings which do not favour women.
In many parts of the globe, women suffer, educational inequalities. Statistics have shown that sons or males have more opportunity to go to school or be educated than daughters or females. In places where the opportunity of being educated is free, parents often choose the daughters are those who would stay behind and help in house work while the boys go to school.
In view of this fact, it is pertinent to note that the problems of women and their degree of participation in political activities in Nigeria especially. Ohafia Local Government Area ranges from the low level of democratic development, the social economic status of women which as a result of their relegation to the background in the society and the social structure which sterns from the conservative and the primitive nature of some status in Nigeria. most of the people in the society are still ruled by the traditional influences of the primitive tradition.
The contribution of Nigerian women in the country’s political activities and development is yet to take its proper shape. Women are seen as people who are not to be fully involved in the politics of Nigeria. women too are not actively aiding those at the fore front of promoting their participation to succeed because of lack of enlightenment.
However, it regrettable that the nation’s political experiences have been worsened to the extent that it has palled to utilize the female potentials in a beneficial manner. Women as a category have taken great strides in many areas and some are directed towards politics. It is in light of this that women are encouraged to participate in politic.
The struggle of women is towards achieving an egalitarian social and economic structure in Nigeria. This will address gender inequality as regards the social and economic status women occupy especially in the Nigerian society. It will put the men and women on a leveled political ground to compete favourably. All other sectors such as health, agriculture and so on where women require more attention will take a considerable look at the women since they consist a large number of the population.
Lastly, the government needs to actively involved women in the politics of Nigeria because the historical facts have shown that they are capable of handling such position. They will also help to make and implement policies that affect women since they are women too. They need to be educated on the issues of Nigerian politics and allow them to participate alongside men.
As one of the aims of this research, the researcher tried to proffer ways of encourage women’s participation in the politics of Nigeria.
In the past, women in Ohafia have not been contending strongly with their male counterparts in politics. Some of these problems arise from the low level of education among women that is most of them are illiterates. There participation level in Nigeria remains an issues of national orientation and awareness especially at the local government level. There is need for government to organize a national orientation to the majority of the people as soon as possible. Seminars, workshop and conferences creating awareness on the importance of the involvement in politics and the need for their active role in the country’s politics scene. These awareness for should concentrate more on the grassroots or the local people. It will help to liberate them from political bondage and socio-economic factors that hinder them.
The country’s constitution should make provision such as bills, agreement etc on the rights of women without violating their fundamental human right. This will make them see the men as equal not as superiors in the political scene.
At the educational sector, the girl-child, education should be encouraged because it is said “train a woman, train a nation”. As mothers, they are directly involved with the children, so with education, the girl child of the future generation will compete favourably with the men any where.
Commissions should be set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to sensitive women about politics. Such commissions should promote the feminine gender.
There should be efforts towards the reduction of the unfair level of discrimination of women in Nigeria. Women at all levels should enjoy the same privilege as men. There should be not restriction to who gets what as far as gender is concerned.
Women should not just concern themselves with mass rallies and political campaign but go further to encourage qualified women by the standards of contest of election in Nigeria to compete with men in politics. They should be registered voters, active member off political parties and also vote for women who are contesting for elections too..