Gender And Political Participation In Rivers State: The Fourth Republic Experience (A Case Study Of The 2011 General Elections)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Gender And Political Participation In Rivers State: The Fourth Republic Experience (A Case Study Of The 2011 General Elections)


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine Gender and political participation in rivers state, the fourth republic experience with special reference to 2011 general elections. Specifically, the study aims to examine if there is a difference political participation of women in Rivers State 2011 general election, find out the economic disadvantages associated with the women failure in 2011 general election, identify level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State, investigate the reason for women’s participation in politics, assess if participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society and analyze if there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics. A total of 77 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analyzed, the findings revealed that there is a difference in the political participation of male and female in Rivers State 2011 general election. The study also revealed the disadvantages associated with the women failure in 2011 general election is lack of government assistance lack of resources, lack of education and cultural values and beliefs. The study further revealed the level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State is high. More so, the study revealed the reason for women’s participation in politics is for greater responsiveness to citizen needs, increased cooperation across party and ethnic lines, results in tangible gains for democracy and means of ensuring better accountability to women participation of women in politics does not have any negative consequences society. Lastly, the study revealed there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics.. The study thereby recommends that women should be accorded equal rights as their male counterparts in order to fully take part in all levels of the political processes. Also, local and International monitoring teams headed by women at all levels should be formed to check the effective implementation of the United Nations’ gender policy since policy making in Nigeria is a complex issue.


Table of Content


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

Democratic governance is founded upon freedom, fairness and equitable treatment of all citizens– men and women equally, by the society (Nwabueze, 1993:2). (Nwabueze, 1993:2). This is because democracy requires equal opportunity platform for political involvement and decision making process (Sodaro, 2001:27). (Sodaro, 2001:27). Since equitable political participation is sin qua non to democracy (Anifowose, 2004), a society cannot be really democratized without the full and active involvement of women who form around 50 percent of the population of any nation. Incorporation of gendered viewpoint in policy making process is therefore vital for sustained democracy. Gender equality is generally regarded as a requirement for achieving development and democratic governance that offer men and women equal voices in decision-making, policy implementation and accomplishing MDGs (Ezeilo, 2008). (Ezeilo, 2008). Despite widespread democratization in most countries and the struggle by the feminist movements for the integration of gender balancing in the national politics of countries over the world however, women who constitute about 50 percent of Nigeria population still remain systematically alienated from politics and decision making process in the country (Agbalajobi, 2010 & Arowolo & Aluko, 2010). (Agbalajobi, 2010 & Arowolo & Aluko, 2010). The situation of women minimal engagement in Nigeria’s politics became serious with the fall of military rule and subsequently the transition of power to a civilian democratic government in 1999. Nigerian Government in its efforts to tackle this phenomenon of low women’s political participation ratified some national and international instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1989 and adopted a National Policy on Women in 2000 (replaced by a National Policy on Gender Equality in 2007 and Platform for Action, the National Committee on Affirmative Action, the Additional Protocol to The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa 2003, The African Union Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality 2004, The National Gender Policy 2006, etcetera (Akiyode-Afolabi & Arogundade, 2003; Ajayi, 2007). (Akiyode-Afolabi & Arogundade, 2003; Ajayi, 2007). After three consecutive democratic change of government (1999, 2003 and 2007) however, gender inequalities, discriminations and stereotypes continue to exist in all spheres of the Nigerian polity, preventing women from developing and exercising their full human capabilities and to play a powerful role in sustainable democracy. The aim of democratic consolidation in Nigeria cannot be fulfilled if the womenfolk who form nearly half of the national population continue to be ignored. It is against this background that it has become vital to analyze the currency of the problem, causes exacerbating it and methods to lessen phenomenon or foster a gender balance. This paper is broken into five parts. Section one is the introduction whereas section two is the conceptual examination. Section three offers an investigation of gender relation in Nigeria’s politics. Section four is the study approach and section five focuses on an empirical review of elements responsible for this phenomena. Section six ends and offers policy proposals for greater women’s political engagement in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of Research Problem

At its meeting in Beijing in 1985, the United Nations Assembly asked member nations, including Nigeria, to devote 30 percent of positions in governance to female participation (British Council of Nigeria, 2012). To put it another way, within every democratic government that has been established, there should be at least thirty percent of the total number of elected officeholders who are women. To add insult to injury, representation in democratic government is impossible apart from active involvement in political processes. Despite the fact that this provision was made by the apex body, Nigeria is still not on track to implement the thirty percent quota for female participation in Nigerian politics. In light of this, it is of the utmost importance to investigate the level of conformity of Nigeria’s political involvement and governance with the “Affirmative Action” plan developed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The most recent statistics show that women make up a significant portion of the population in Nigeria. It would be anti-democratic to exclude such a large segment of the population from political participation and governance, whether this exclusion was the result of intentional policies or accidental marginalization. Political engagement may include things like “flying” the flag of a political party during general elections, registering voters, and freely exercising their voting rights, among other things.Women in the state of Rivers are confronted with a significant obstacle in the form of gender inequity, particularly in the realm of politics.
Therefore this study aims to look into Gender and political participation in rivers state, the fourth republic experience(a case study of the 2011 general elections.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of the study is gender and political participation in rivers state, the fourth republic experience. The specific objective is as follows:

  1. To examine the difference between male and female participation in politics in Rivers State 2011 general election.
  2. To find out the disadvantages associated with the women failure in 2011 general election.
  3. To identify level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State .
  4. To investigate the reason for women’s participation in politics.
  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.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is there a difference in participation in politics between male and female in Rivers State 2011 general election?
  2. What are the disadvantages associated with the women failure in 2011 general election?
  3. What is the level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State?
  4. What is the reason for women’s participation in politics?
  5. Does participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society?
  6. Are there hindrances to women’s participation in politics?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  • H01: The level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State is low.
  • H02: There are no hindrances to women’s participation in politics in Rivers State.

1.6 Significance of the Study

Women’s participation in Rivers politics is a contentious issue in the Nigerian political life. The issue of inequality has therefore been perceived by different people especially the women folk as an attempt to erode their fundamental rights. This research work therefore will address the following:

  • To proffer an enduring solution through its findings and recommendations.
  • Contribute to the bulk of knowledge in the existing literature. Nevertheless, the project will also serve as a guide to future researchers who intend to investigate in this area.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study examines the difference in male and female participation in politics in Rivers State 2011 general election. The study also finds out the economic disadvantages associated with the women failure in 2011 general election. The study further identify level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State . more so the study investigate the reason for women’s participation in politics. In addition, the study assess if participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society. Finally, the study analyze if there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics. Hence this study is limited to women in Rivers state.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

The researcher was faced with a number of constraints in the process of carrying out this study. Some of them are discussed below:

1) Time:

Time is one limiting factor of the study. This relates to the fact that this research work is one out of a number of different courses, the researcher is pursuing for first semester examination for the final year.

2) Inadequate Finance:

The price of most of the materials needed for the study had been increased in the recent past. This constrained the researcher to strict conservation of almost everything at the expense of presenting a better work.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Gender:

Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behavior, activities, and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate for men and women.

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 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on gender and political participation in rivers state, the fourth republic experience using 2011 general election in Rivers State as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on gender and political participation in rivers state, the fourth republic experience using 2011 general election in Rivers State as a case study.The study specifically was aimed at highlighting if there is a difference political participation of women in Rivers State 2011 general election, find out the economic disadvantages associated with the women failure in 2011 general election, identify level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State, investigate the reason for women’s participation in politics, assess if participation of women in politics have any negative consequences society and analyze if there are hindrances to women’s participation in politics. A total of 77 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from women in Port Harcourt Rivers 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 Rivers State 2011 general election.
  2. The disadvantages associated with the women failure in 2011 general election is lack of government assistance.
  3. The level of women’s participation in the 2011 general elections in Rivers State is high.
  4. The reason for women’s participation in politics is for greater responsiveness to citizen needs, increased cooperation across party and ethnic lines, results in tangible gains for democracy and means of ensuring better accountability to women.
  5. Participation of women in politics does not have any negative consequences society.
  6. There are hindrances to women’s participation in politics.

5.3 Recommendation

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

  1. Women should be accorded equal rights as their male counterparts in order to fully take part in all levels of the political processes.
  2. Local and International monitoring teams headed by women at all levels should be formed to check the effective implementation of the United Nations’ gender policy since policy making in Nigeria is a complex issue.
  3. Conditions for granting loans should be reviewed to favour both sexes and not just the head of household, which is usually the male in Nigeria.

Gender And Political Participation In Rivers State: The Fourth Republic Experience (A Case Study Of The 2011 General Elections)


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