WOMEN AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN NIGERIA DEMOCRACY
This research work investigated the women and political participation in Nigeria democracy. To carry out these two basic assumptions were formulated and tested. That women has impacts toward Nigeria political. That women has impacts toward democratic system in Nigeria. Women whom ignorance are made not to aware of their civic and political and other rights had been discovered to see no reasons to stories for equality and balance of gender equity. They are rejected among their mates for being too big and also rejected among their mates for being too small and in production. This is why they form their group where they think they can seek inference in their member in this group they learn many things of which would help them to become a useful person in the politics of Nigeria. In spite of the various efforts put by the women and by the Vann’s government in Nigeria to balance gender equity and equality, women were not being going adequate franchise. This made to have godfather. Therefore they participated in politics either directly or indirectly with the interest of holding a particular office. They have row made enough efforts to impacts on the politics of Nigeria and to ensure the sustainability of democratic process in Nigeria.
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Women participation in politics over the years has taken a new shape and stages. However, the leadership role and political actionism by women has not just started in Africa, according to history. As far as the late 19th century, Oakley (1982), Queen Saraumiya Amina was well known as a leader of the people of Zaria especially in her role in warding away the Kwara-Offa invaders.
According to Adeyinka (2001) Ransome Kuti Funlayo in the 1940s also led by the Egba women in Abeokuta protesting against unreasonable taxation and exploitation of women. She also formed the Nigeria women society. Her first Major step in the political carrier was the formation of Abeokuta ladies club in 1944, which aimed at doing charity work raising the standard of womanhood in Abeokuta by encouraging adult education.
The pre-Beijing activism also saw the establishment of the national women’s movement, led by chief (Mrs.) Adegoke through whom Nigerian women’s problem were first taken to international forum in forum Montreal, Canada in 1952. Oluwole (1999). The movement which led to the establishment of the National Council of Women’s Society (NCWS) in 1958 also attended another forum in Helsinky Finland in 1958: Halkin and Bay (1972:39) argued that Nigeria women had wielded political power before the advent of colonial rule. To them, Africa women lost political as well as economic status under colonialism. The writing of Leacock (1962:41) Kodney (1972:248) aid Burserup has categorically asserted that colonialism resulted in the determination of the status of women relative to that of women.
Several investigations have cited particularly area in which impendent female participation has deteriorated as a result of colonial influence. This damage done to the status of women at the onset of colonial rule has lead to assumption of women in terrorist in the public decision making Mrs. Olujunmi, e.t.c. also became the speaker of house of representation in 2007, although she was later impeached and replaced by male counterparts. Hon Dimeji Bankole.
Dr. Chief (Mrs.) Erelu Obada is also serving as deputy governor of Osun state in 2003 till 2010 however, most of these activities never involved the rural women to the level it attained when the better life programme was introduced. The programme which was originally named better life for rural women, spear head by Mrs. Mariam Babangida, wife of the Nigerian former military president, was one of the Babangida government strategists toward integrating women into development. The programme was later changed from better life programme (BLP) to better life for rural dweller Olagunju (2001).
By implication, an Africa woman who has neither had the opportunity to cross the borders of the continent nor studied, what happening in their places would think that women oppression or low participation on the role of leadership and decision making is only limited to the Africa continent alone.
The difference is that, in other hands, the issue of diversity is viewed critically and legally too and diversity covers all form of discrimination on sexy tribes, race, colour or even age, so even in America, women are withdrawing Africans believes that women are only meant for the kitchen and to be mother of their children, while the men out to cater for the family well-being. There are still few Africans sub-cultural situations where the husband sits at home drinking local wine early in the morning while sending the wife and children to the farm to cultivate and harvest.
Due to the fact that Africans belief that politics is only meant for men alone, women they become ignorant in the area of politics and so doing they are seen as prostitutes, irresponsible and adulterous among other are the name given to the women in the society this various name given to those women made them to lose their marriage
Also, on political scene, one female senator each princess Franca Afegbua and senator Kofoworola, Bucknor Akerele emerged in the second and third republic politics in 1983 respectively.
Infact, Kerele Bucknor became the deputy governor of Lagos state in the politics of the fourth republic in 1999.
Alhaja Latifat Okunu and Sinatu Ojikutu once occupied that position of deputy governor, although under military regime notable women in the society contested with over 300 men for the exalted state governorship in the third republic but none of them was elected.
But ministerial positions were reserved for them both at the state and federal leve3l past holders of these positions include Mrs. Ebun Kuforiji Olubi, Mrs. Nike Akande and Mrs. Iyabo Awolowo among others.
All at the federal level. Then Mrs. Chris Anyanwu, Chief (Mrs.) Chinwe Iyijoba, Mrs. Eniola Fadayomi and Chief Mrs. Toyin Akerele. Ayeni among others at the state level and currently in the fourth republic there are several female commissioners at state level and at the federal level. There are women ministers and advisers and even women ambassador.
Despite all effort by government and non-government agencies locally and internationally on the need for gender equality on women participation and representation in political offices, let what were been seen is that the number of women participation in politics are still not encouraging compared to their male counterparts if placed side by side with the arable number of seat in each political offices as stated in the scope of the study.
It tries to point out the problem been faced by the women in the society that made them not fully participate in the public effacing in Nigeria. It is this problem that made the writer to enter into this write-up in order to find immediate way out to it.
The purpose of this study therefore is summarized as follows:
This study is essential at this point in time due to the fact that women are now fully taking their position in the political and decision making realm in the society. The research topics seek to clarify the issue of the categories of women in active in Nigeria politics both in the past and in the present time.
Secondly, it gives an insight into the nature of short comings and inhibiting factors confronting them in their effort to engage themselves in active politics.
Similarly, it informs us about the extent to which some categories of women in question actualized their sets goals and objectives in their various endeavour in our political landscape.
There are many limitations being faced by the study Firstly, lack of insufficient time, money factor to go into an extensive research work. Secondly, the topic is so wide that it cannot be fully examined. The limitation was faced to 5 local government as a whole where women is being considered weaken physical and intellectual.
The area to cover in this write-up respect to the women political and those who had held public office covered the number of women participated in political affairs in Nigeria for 1999 till date, Nigeria was hold their elected democratic government since 1999 to 2011 and hopefully the fourth in 2015. However, although analysis of the Nigeria landscape in the last few years has not substantially expanded. The space for women and youth to insert and assert themselves meaningful in government and development in a decade of democracy has only symbiotically broadened the representation of women in politics at their lands of government (Local, State and Federal).
Women constitute less than 3% of house in political and government institution on the country.
The following terms are defined to show their cognitive meaning participation. This is the act of taking part in activity or event.
Politics: The activities involved on getting and using power in public life and to influence decision that affect a country or a society.
Political Parties: This is an organized group of people who share similar political views and who act deliberately together in order to gain control of the decision making and control machinery government and creates public policy.
Democracy: This is a system of government whereby people are free to exercise their political powers either directly or through their representatives.
Nigeria: This is a country which was named from River Niger the Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorate in 1914.
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