Gender Discrimination And Women’s Participation In Politics Of Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State

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Gender Discrimination And Women’s Participation In Politics Of Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine gender discrimination and women’s participation in politics of Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State. The study was carried out to examine the difference between male and female participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; find out the disadvantages associated with the women failure in political participation in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; identify level of women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; investigate the reason for women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; assess if participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society; and analyze if there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of women in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 80 respondents and 77 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that there is a difference in the political participation of male and female in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State. The study also revealed that the disadvantages associated with the women failure in participating effectively in politics in Umunneochi LGA include; lack of government assistance, lack of resources, lack of education, cultural values and beliefs, among others. Therefore, it is recommended that since culture is not static, the government through various agencies such as National Orientation Agency and the mass media should adopt strategies towards reorientation of the public vis-à-vis the importance and necessity of women participation in politics. In the same vein, appropriate laws should be enacted (if the available ones are not enough or limited in scope) and rigorously enforced to drastically reduce the negative nature of elections in the country to enable level playing ground for all devoid of all forms of threats, harassment and intimidation. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Gender inequality especially in the political arena is a serious challenge being faced by women in recent times. Gender inequality has been an issue for several centuries, the world over. Though history has it that fewer women have been in power even before colonialism. Instances are the Queen of Daura, the Sarauniya of Zazzau in pre-jihad, the Angwu Tsi who was almost the counterpart of the King, with her own Palace, in the middle belt, Iyayun the Queen who ruled in fifteenth century in Oyo, after the death of her husband (Modupe, 2001). Though from the foregoing, it will be seen that very, very few women have had the opportunity in a leadership position, yet in every one or single case of women, there are several hundreds of the male counterparts.

Sexism has become a major problem in Nigerian politics. Women have been politically considered endangered species and their low participation in Nigerian government and politics is often associated with culture, religious, economic constraint and male chauvinism. The African society in general and Nigerian society in particular has placed most of the leadership roles on the men folk, thereby championing the course of gender inequality.
Economically, some feminist perceive women’s marginality in the conduct and management of the public affairs as arising from their entrenchment of the globalized capitalists relations of production. The traditional society did not recognize the contributions of women in any decision making process. The women are carefully ignored in any important meeting of the family, community and even in government establishments. Till today, community development meetings are always held at night thereby making it impossible for most women to attend.

Despite many countries ratifying international conventions and protocols on gender equality and women political participation, the low level of women’s representation in government and politics is a worrisome circumstance and thus raises the question of reasons behind it. As reported by Chalaby (2017) and Radu (2018), half of the world’s population are women, but today women only hold 23% of all seats in parliaments and senates globally. According to George (2019), United Nations (UN) data reveals that only 22.8% of all national parliamentarians were women in 2016 (up from 11.3% in 1995), and only eleven women serve as head of state. The United Nations itself have their agencies headed predominantly by men. In Nigeria, statistics has shown unequal representation of women to men in political participation. In the 2019 general election, only Obiageli Ezekwesili (who later withdrew from the contest) represented the women fold as a contestant in the presidential election. In line with the above, the major political parties recorded no single woman as an aspirant for the party’s candidature in the primary election and it shows the extent of the level of inequality in gender political participation.

On the basis of the aforementioned, this study will critically exmine gender discrimination and women’s participation in politics with specific focus on Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The essence of political participation in any society, either civilized or primitive, is to seek control of power, acquisition of power and dispensing power to organize society, harness and distribute resources and to influence decision making in line with organized or individual interests (Arowolo and Abe, 2008). All groups (including those of women) seek to influence the dispensation of power in line with their articulated interests as a fundamental motive of political participation. Women, in their gradual consciousness of state of mind also, in recent times, increasingly seek power equation and distribution and redistribution of resources in their favour. Although, careful observations have indicated that the involvement of women in Nigerian politics is largely noticeable at the level of voting and latent support.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country. Achieving the goal of equal participation of women in decision-making will provide a balance and it will promote the proper functioning of democracy. Women’s equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for simple justice but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women‟s interest to be taken into account.

Democracy entails conferring responsibilities on a few on behalf of the general community or at least the majority to represent their interests (Afolabi, 2009). In order to ensure this in the true sense of it, there should be proportionality of the two genders in the representative body. However, as it stands in the case of Nigeria, men dominate, thus relegating the women to the background, thereby defeats the main idea of a representative democracy (Afolabi, 2009).

Despite the fact that women constitute about 49% of the country’s population, their participation and representation in the governing process of the country remain in the shadows. However, recent administration, there has been a slight remarkable increase in women participation in politics. This was measured with certain standards like the number of women who are being voted in public offices, the number of appointive or elective positions held by women, number of women related policies implemented by government, and so on (Ugwuegede, 2014). Yet, there is observed extensive discrimination against women and under-representation of them in politics and governance in Nigeria when compared with their male counterparts in actual practice. Thus, the representation of women in politics and decision making in Nigeria is still far below the global benchmark of 35% affirmative action (Bello, 2013; Fayomi, 2014; Ugwuegede, 2014; Okafor and Akokuwebe, 2015). It is against this background that this study seeks to critically assess gender discrimination and women’s participation in politics with specific focus on Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine gender discrimination and women’s participation in politics with specific focus on Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.

The specific objective is as follows:

  1. To examine the difference between male and female participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.
  2. To find out the disadvantages associated with the women failure in political participation in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.
  3. To identify level of women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.
  4. To investigate the reason for women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.
  5. To assess if participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society.
  6. To analyze if there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is there a difference in participation in politics between male and female in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State?
  2. What are the disadvantages associated with the women failure in political participation in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State?
  3. What is the level of women’s participation in tUmunneochi LGA Of Abia State?
  4. What is the reason for women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State?
  5. Does participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society?
  6. Are there hindrances to women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: There is no gender discrimination in participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.
  • Ha: There is gender discrimination in participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.

1.6 Significance of the Study

Marginalization of women in local governance is nothing but an elongation of male dominance in virtually all political affairs. As such, historical fact of this nature is strongly associated with the attitudinal views which had often impede the chances of women to having more political representatives at the various local government levels in Nigeria.This therefore makes the study both timely and significant. A detailed analysis of this phenomenon will help contribute to the sparse knowledge in this area. The research will equally be beneficial to NGOs, scholars and government agencies on gender related issues such as Inter-parliamentary Union, United Nations’ Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) Committee for the Elimination of all form of Discriminations against Women (CEDAW) as it will aid them in their search for gender equality. In addition, the suggestions and recommendations that will be proffered in this study will help improve the level of political participation of women in Nigeria particularly Abia States.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on gender discrimination and women’s participation in politics. The study will also assess the factors militating against women participation in politics, the level of women involvement in politics etc. Geographically, this study will be delimited to Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State, where the women will be gather to serve as the respondents to this study.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. Despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Politics:

Politics is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status.

Political Participation:

Political participation includes a broad range of activities through which people develop and express their opinions on the world and how it is governed, and try to take part in and shape the decisions that affect their lives.

Gender Inequality:

Gender inequality refers to disparity between individuals due to gender. Gender is constructed socially through social interaction as well as biologically through chromosomes, brain structures and hormonal differences (Wikipedia).

Woman:

Women is defined as an adult female person.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on gender discrimination and women’s participation in politics of Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State. The study specifically was aimed at examining the difference between male and female participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; finding out the disadvantages associated with the women failure in political participation in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; identifying level of women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; investigating the reason for women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State; assessing if participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society; and analyzing if there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State. A total of 77 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from women in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. There is a difference in the political participation of male and female in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.
  2. The disadvantages associated with the women failure in participating effectively in politics in Umunneochi LGA include; lack of government assistance, lack of resources, lack of education, cultural values and beliefs, among others.
  3. There is low level of women’s participation in politics in Umunneochi LGA Of Abia State.
  4. Women participate in politics for greater responsiveness to citizen needs, increase cooperation across party and ethnic lines, promote tangible gains for democracy and ensuring better accountability to women.
  5. Participation of women in politics does not have any negative consequences society, however, there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

Since culture is not static, the government through various agencies such as National Orientation Agency and the mass media should adopt strategies towards reorientation of the public vis-à-vis the importance and necessity of women participation in politics. In the same vein, appropriate laws should be enacted (if the available ones are not enough or limited in scope) and rigorously enforced to drastically reduce the negative nature of elections in the country to enable level playing ground for all devoid of all forms of threats, harassment and intimidation.

To ensure active participation of women in politics, civil society organisations, governments as well as political parties should increase the level of awareness of women by organising seminars/workshops not only in the cities but also in the villages. Attendance to such seminars/workshops should be open to both women and men. Men need to be orientated about the need to allow their wives to participate in politics. This is necessary as most of the male respondents are of the opinion that women prostitutes are in politics and that any women in politics are irresponsible house wives. In addition, governments at all levels should encourage girl child education. It can be made compulsory that all female children of school age should go to school free of charge. This will give them equal opportunity with their male counterparts.


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