An Assessment Of Public Perception Of Women Participation In Politics

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

An Assessment Of Public Perception Of Women Participation In Politics


Abstract


This study aims at assessment of public perception of women participation in politics in Dutsin-ma local government area of Katsina State. The study investigates the factors that influence participation of women in Nigerian politics among these factors are: Educating women equally with men, empowering women economically eliminate some cultural beliefs and the review of gender discriminatory laws. The study engages both primary and secondary source, including field survey, personal interview and questionnaire. The respondents (male and female) were selected from Dutsin-ma local government of Katsina State through quota sampling from the administration of questionnaires. The study reviews that the patriarchal system and male domination of the society, which relegate women to subordinate roles, has created women inferiority complex and alienated them from the mainstream politics in Dutsin-ma local government of Katsina State.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

This work assesses the public perception of women participation in politics in dutsin-ma local government area of katsina state.

Political participation according to Anifowose (2004), is a sin-qua-none for democracy, as democracy involves a commitment to equal opportunity for male and women to be involved in decision making in their immediate society.

Political participation involves these voluntary activities such as attending rallies, vying for position and party office, involving campaigns, voting and expressing oneself to political stimuli. However, the pursuit of these democratic principles, according to Anifowose (2004) shows that women are generally less empowered and apathetic. In general, participation are lower among women than men. Women are less well informed about issues and less able to identify public figures, less able several point of view, less likely to be concerned with issues in elections, Anifowose (2004).

For a long period of time, it is seen as if women largely accepted as “natural” the difference in their opportunities as relatively few women raise their voice in protest. Recently however, more and more women in countries have established women movement to protect and change not only discriminatory practice against themselves and society and began to participate in political affairs of their country. In some countries, women have struggle to gain political leadership, thus as rightly pointed out by Anofowose (2004), in 1979 Mrs. Margret Thatcher became great Britain’s first woman prime minister, the republic of Ireland voted into office Mrs. Mary Bobinson as women president. In other nations like India, Srilanka , Pakistan, Philippines and Israel, women have also occupied some sensitive political leadership position. Similarly, in Rwanda and South Africa 56.3% and 42.5% respectively of their national parliament comprised of women (international parliamentary union IPU, 2010). The Nigerian women have not been left out in this struggle as women organization are formed for “consciousness raising” campaigns to help women discover and develop new orientation (Lane,1958:209) Greinstein,(961:345).

A few Nigerian women have shunned apathy and demonstrated interest in the political affairs of their country. In 1999, for instance Hon (Mrs.), Margret Icheen who emerged as the speaker of Benue state house of assembly, became the first woman speaker of a house of assembly in Nigeria and the African continent. The farthest Nigeria has gone in achieving this is the appointment of 13 female minister by president Goodluck Jonathan, (UN women, 2014). Although, in the southern part of the country, the participation of women in politics has been on the increase in recent time, with the emergence of female deputy governor in Osun, Ekiti, and Lagos state. However in the north, little or nothing has been achieved in respect to political participation of women (Afolabi MM, 2009), making a study of this nature very imperative.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite the difficulties faced by women in politics, they continue with their political ambition, contributing enormously to the political and national development in their own way as the challenges militating against them are not present, although Nigeria is yet to have a female president. Women over the years could be said to have recorded some measure of appreciable political achievement in other political fields of endeavors, meeting their political objectives with limited support and resources at their disposal. In this background the researcher wants to investigate the public perception of women participation in politics


1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the role of women in Nigeria politics
  2. Explore ways of ensuring full participation of women in Nigeria government
  3. Examine the relationship between women and Nigeria government
  4. To ascertain public perception towards women participation in politics

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there are no roles of women in Nigeria politics
    H1: there are roles of women in Nigeria politics
  2. H02: there is no relationship between women and Nigeria government
    H2: there is relationship between women and Nigeria government

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study brings clear insight on role of women in Nigeria politics. The study will be of benefit to women, government and political parties. Finally the research work will be of help to scholars who wish to carry further research on role of women in Nigeria politics as the material of the work will be of great importance for enquiries


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers an assessment of public perception of women participation. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Woman:

A woman is a female human being. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent.

Politics:

Politics is the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance organized control over a human community, particularly a state.

Participation:

Participation in social science refers to different mechanisms for the public to express opinions and ideally exert influence regarding political, economic, management or other social decisions

Perception:

Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment.

Public:

In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain an assessment of public perception of women participation in politics.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of public perception of women participation in politics


5.2 Summary

This study was on an assessment of public perception of women participation in politics. Four objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the role of women in Nigeria politics, explore ways of ensuring full participation of women in Nigeria government, examine the relationship between women and Nigeria government, to ascertain public perception towards women participation in politics. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Dutsin-ma local government area of Katsina State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up heads of department, counselors, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

From our analyses so far, one cannot deny the fact that the issues raised are quite contentious. The struggle for political power is tough, and political power is not freely given. It is fought for. In this sense we attempt some palliatives for a genuine democratic consolidation in Nigeria as follows; a. Women should try as much as possible to change perception about themselves politically, and support one of their own, especially on the basis of merit. This entails building a common front and closing ranks for the struggle ahead. The professional status of women should be promoted with a view to reduce the gap between public and private life. This would inexorably lead to an increase in the range of electable women, and invariably encourage them to enter a career in politics


5.4 Recommendation

There is no guarantee that more women in public offices would mean a better deal for women in general, because these women who seek public offices are elitist. Therefore the focus should be on the greater good of women generally.

Civil society organizations and other related pressure groups should be formalized and encouraged to intensify their pressure on government and male politicians on the need to accommodate more women in the political space


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