WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS IN NIGERIA; EDO STATE AS A CASE STUDY
This study was conducted to find out the factors influencing the low level of participation of women in partisan policies in Edo State.
Specifically, the study was concerned with examining whether there existed socio-cultural myths, lack of economic empowerment, low standard of education and political instability which hinder women’s participation in politics.
To achieve the objective of the study, a survey of representative sample resident in Edo State was carried out, some of the findings were that socio-political ethnic and religious tensions manifest greatly in the Nigeria political form. There are two much thuggery, intimidation. This is not a conducive atmosphere for women to participate actively in politics. They cannot stand these killing and maiming.
The negative attitude of men towards female activities should redress. There is a great need for the society to look into this. Some men are standing on the way of their wives political participation. This has prevented them from belonging to the “Power forum”. The ship of state has captained solely by Nigeria men for the forty-six (46 years) of per post independence existence. The men who have been the major actors have failed so far. They should allow the women to lead the country with their on born energies, talents and selflessness that are universally known to reside in the female hearts.
The socio-economic situation in the country have been completely demoralized and destabilized due to the extensive involvement of the male gender. The men should encourage the women to participate fully in politics instead of standing in their way as the women are the only sight for the Nigeria nation. The society of Nigeria norms and cultural also contribute negatively. Most of the women in their youthful active ages are made to spend most of their energies in the home front looking after the children, husband and at the same time carry out most of the domestic chores. Most times the women are to be “seen and not hard”.
The researcher divided this research work into five chapters for easy handling. Chapter one embodies the introduction, purpose of the study the statement of problems and statement of hypothesis chapter two dealt with the literature review which embodied the works (write up) done on a similar topic by various scholars i.e. reasons and solution of low women participation in Nigeria politics. Chapter three encompasses the research design and methodology employed in the study. The method of data collection and the presentation procedure were also described in the chapter. Chapter four contain the analysis of data and its findings using the procedure discussed on chapter three. T6 4
he frequency table and percentage method were employed to analyze data collected. This analysis helped to test the validity of the hypothesis presented by the researcher.
Lastly, chapter Five, contained the summary, conclusion and recommendations other appendixes such as the questionnaires and bibliography followed.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study - - - - -
1.2 Purpose of the Study - - - - -
1.3 Statement of the Problem - - - - -
1.4 Hypotheses - - - - - - -
1.5 Research Questions - - - - - -
1.6 Significance of the Study - - - - -
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study - - -
2.0 Literature Review - - - - - -
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design - - - - - -
3.2 Population of the Study - - - - -
3.3 Sample Size - - - - - - -
3.4 Sampling Techniques - - - - -
3.5 Method of Data Collection - - - -
3.6 Primary Method - - - - - -
3.7 Secondary Method - - - - - -
3.8 Techniques for Data Analysis - - - -
3.9 Validity of the Instrument - - - - -
3.10 Reliability of the Instrument - - - -
4.1 Analysis of data - - - - - -
4.2 Data analysis: Testing of hypotheses - -
4.3 Testing Of Hypotheses Findings - - -
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary - - - - - - -
5.2 Assessment of findings - - - - -
5.3 Conclusion - - - - - - -
5.4 Recommendations - - - - -
Bibliography - - - - - -
Appendix - - - - - - -
Background to the Study
Politics consist of all the interactions and disposition directly or indirectly utilized to achieve binding decisions. It spells out who obtains and does not obtain various resources, how they are obtained, when and how. Those who have more resource acquisition, holds more power. Jegede A.S. (1994:43-84). This “power” as we all know becomes the “CENTRAL WORD” to the notion of politics with power, a person or a group of persons can make another or other act in a desired way through manipulation, persuasion or ultimate physical force. The holders or possessors of power are the authorities which is the process by which resources and values are allocated within a political system, which is the organized pattern of interactions among the people in the social unit for achieving its objective.
Participation of women and men in public life on the basis of party should therefore be a priority objective of all member states of the United Nations, whose statutes guarantee equal rights to all. Since by definition, political participation refers to the variety of ways in which people try to exercise influence over the political process, it is a means not an end. The end is to wield political power and influence. There is therefore an interrelationship between political participation and political power. There can be no political power without participation.
Wehave had many courageous women in the past who wielded power and influence in their communities.
The study of the conquest of Queen Amina of Zaria in the 16th century are now legendary. In the Benin Empire, Queen Mother’s were quite powerful and influential. In recent times, female politicians have in one way or the other had positive influence in their chosen political parties. Mrs. Funmilayo Ramsome Kuti, referred to by the defunct “Western African Pilot” as the lioness of liasabi, successfully mobilized women to protest and eventually succeeded in dethroning the Alaka of Abeokuta over unfair taxation, many other examples abound. So, why does political powers till elude women. This can be explained by the existence of various levels of political participation. Women have participated largely at the level of voting, party supporters and attendance of political parties but are obviously excluded from the level of command and control of National Political Machineries.
Political equality among the sexes is the basis of women participation in politics. This equality has been formally proclaimed in most developed and some under developed countries. In these countries men and women have the rights to vote and be voted for and become members of the legislative without constitutional discrimination. Soothing has this achievement may be, a look at the legislative arms of government in most countries shows a very low level of women participation in the parliaments as their chamber are dominated by men.
The African women are characterized by female subordination whereby women’s identities are defined only in their relationship with men.
In other words, women historical record remains only in as much as they are linked up with men. By so doing women live in the world of masculine achievement.
The constitutional and legal status of women and women participation at all levels of governance have long been taken as key indicator of the general level of democracy. Usually on the basis that since women constitute a historically oppressed and marginal group and at least, almost half the National populations of the countries level of political representation and participation are crucial to the understanding of the level of political development in that country.
This is also true of Africa countries as it has been in Western Europe and North America. Diverse example can be conveniently drawn from the great strides made in most developed nations.
The need for political equality became evident in the western countries was manifested before and after the First World War in places like New Zealand, Finland, Norway and Switzerland.
Moreover, the international communities have been taxed with the process of restricting the political economy and social cultural prejudices against women. Today, the stereotype against women is gradually changing because within the last few years, women voices have become very strident in their quest for equal participation in the political process. The move towards democratization has been coupled with a renewed emphasis that the full and equal participation of women in political, economic, social cultural life and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on ground of sex are priority of the international communities.
From these run down, the Nigeria male has always been firmly at the control, of reins of power or government and one may be compelled to ask what has the nation to show for it. Nigeria today ranks amongst the poorest country in the world inspite of her abundant human and natural resources. The socio-economic situation in the country today has been completely destabilized and demoralized. The awareness and recognition of egalitarianism, has increased in Nigeria recently, thus, there is a clarion call for equal participation of both sex in political and democratic process in Nigeria mainly due to the acute failure of men in misleading and mismanagement of the Nigeria nation.
In Nigeria, at one time or the other, the women folks have dramatized their great leadership qualities. Great women like Mrs. Kuti; Mrs. Awe, Mrs. Grace Alele Williams and the reigning NAFDAC Lady Prof. Dora Akunyili, Mrs. Hajiya Gambo Sawaba, Mrs. Obiageli, Ezekwesi and Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweale, in their own like ways have made tremendous impact in the affairs of these countries.
In the foreign scene great women like Indira Ghanid of India, “Iron lady” Margaret Thatcher of Britain, Benazir of the Pakistani, Corazone Aquino of the Philippines and Kim Campbele of Canada have displayed beyond doubt that women are efficient and effective leaders indeed and have contributed immensely to the progress of their respective countries. Thus women participation in politics has been very low in recent times in Nigeria.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this project is to identity the major impediment to the successful participation of women in the political/democratic process in Nigeria. Attempts will be made to identity and analyze some important hindrances to women participation and some strategies to ameliorate the situation. For a long time now, there has been the talk of women empowerment in all the fields of human endeavour including political leadership. The blame is often laid at the door step of the male counterparts.
Some blame the values of the contemporary society namely, custom and tradition of the people, religious beliefs etc. Some even say that women have to work assiduously to earn peder her position just as the men have done. A lot of argument in this regard was made at the Beijing conference in China in 1995. In those conferences, on of the fact on which women all over world were reminded of the need to wake up to the challenges of globalization and endeavour to get out of the so called tradition of women in the kitchen.
Since then, every nation has tried to put in place structure and strategies to ensure women empowerment. Yet the responses from women are low. Why? Where do we then put the blame? What do we do to arrive at the goal of women empowerment in politics? This study hopes to answer some of these questions.
Statement of the Problem
The problem that has been infiltrated into the nations political system by the male gender has caused untold hardship in the country and needed to be readdressed.
Way to ameliorate them has to be worked out from the future ruler or leaders. Most importantly, is the suggestion that has more specific involvement of women in governance “politics” is necessary at the peak of the governing body. This would certainly lead to an all-round improvement in the socio-economic standard as well as an upliftment in the politics of the nation with bias to democracy. Alas, politics in Nigeria so far has a male face and not a human face, is a pitiful scenario.
Scholar has made extensive study’s and comments on this very issue “Nigeria women in politics”. In spite of all these, the problem of gender inequality in politics is still with us. Part of the problem arises from the fact that women lack the financial clue to participate in partisan politics and nobody is willing to back them.
Why do people regard the game of politics as male reserved arena? Does this behaviour have to do with the traditional belief that women are created to be seen and not be heard.
Furthermore, why are they strong patriarchal values, which do not recognize women’s contribution to the development of their communities and finally why is it that men not only dominate the political arena and also formulate the rules of political game but the entire political life of a nation is organized according to male norms, values and life styles. These are some of the problems which the study seeks to find answers to.
The following hypotheses were formulated:
i. That the more developed the society is, the politically enlightened the women become.
ii. That the majority of Nigerian women are aware of their political rights.
iii. That the more women participated in politics the more democratic the political system.
iv. That governmental and institutional supports are inadequate for ameliorating the abysmally low level of women participation in Nigerian politics.
The following research questions inter alia are used to guide the direction of this study.
i. Are women aware that they too can contest for public posts at all levels?
ii. Has women’s participation in politics increased recently?
iii. Are they likely hindrance to women participation in politics
iv. Are governments’ politics adequate for increasing women politics participation.
v. Can democracy be attained without women effective participation?
Significance of the Study
Ibe(1987:73-74) did similar work. This study is significant in the sense that it would help us to bring to the fore, way to political leadership and also help us know what she can do to overcome such inhibitions. The result of the study may succeed in putting to rest the various reasons people advance for the failure of women to lead .Until the society frees the women from their socio-cultural inhibitions, the road to her political empowerment will remain bleak.
Scope and Limitation of the Study
It is our intention to examine some known cases of women that have risen to position of eminence in some parts of the world in all manner of fields. Laws, economics, military, administrations or politics.
We would want to know if they had any difficulties and if so, what kind ? how did they overcome such difficulties? Then we would want to take the Nigerian women in politics and find out efforts made earlier to get a position and difficulties, if any, they have encountered in trying to acquire political power in Edo State.