The Impact Of Women Group Organization On The Development Of Rural Area In Bayelsa (A Case Study Of Sagbama Local Government Area)

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Abstract


This study was undertaken to investigate the impact of women grouporganization in rural development with a special reference to Sagbama in Bayelsa state. The issue of Nigerian women’s’ participation in rural development cannot be isolated from the issue of development in Nigeria as a whole, nor from its economic and political context. Women, as well as other marginalized groups, are used to reinforce the current economic systems, and gender constraints further contribute to this trend.

Women’s role in rural cannot be overemphasized. Their immense contributions to both rural and national development can be seen in the areas of agriculture, infrastructural development, education, healthcare, etc. They are able o achieved these through various women organizations and cooperative societies. However, poor women participation in rural development is believed by some analysts to be the bane of economic development of Nigeria.

The paper therefore, seeks to highlight the need for proper and effective participation of women in rural development while identifying some impediments to be tackled if Nigeria is to ensure that women participate fully in rural development. Questionnaires were administered to the respondents to get some information concerning the topic. Data collected were analyzed using simple percentage method and chi-square. It was concluded that women are veritable tool for rural development.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problems
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms
  • References

Chapter Two

2.0 literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 historical frameworks
  • 2.3 theoretical frameworks
  • 2.4 The concept of rural development
  • 2.5 colonialism and its effects on women participation in rural development process in Nigeria
  • 2.6 Nigeria women and informal sector activities
  • 2.7 formation of women organization for rural development
  • 2.8 roles of women in rural development
  • 2.9 contributions of women to rural development
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 introduction
  • 3.2 research design
  • 3.3 sources of data
  • 3.4 method of data collection
  • 3.5 population of the study
  • 3.6 Sample size determination
  • 3.7 sampling techniques
  • 3.8 validity & reliability of measuring instrument
  • 3.9 method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 introduction
  • 4.2 presentation of data
  • 4.3 analyses of data
  • 4.4 interpretation of result

Chapter Five

5.0 summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 introduction
  • 5.2 summary of findings
  • 5.3 conclusion

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

The world-wide goals of sustainable growth, jobs, poverty reduction and equitable development cannot be achieved unless directly tackled at the rural level. Rural areas hold considerable potential for high return activities and productive livelihoods. However they are often held back by scant investment and decent work deficits, particularly, high under- and unemployment among youth and women, widespread child labour, informality and poor working conditions, limited social and labour law coverage, and weak organization among employers and workers.

Rural development according to Ndoh (2002) can be defined as, helping rural people set the priorities in their own communities through effective and democratic bodies, by providing the local capacity; investment in basic infrastructure and social services, justice, equity and security, dealing with the injustices of the past and ensuring safety and security of the rural population, especially that of women.

According to Robert (2008), rural development is a strategy to enable a specific group of people, poor rural women and men, to gain for themselves, and their children more of what they want and need. It involves helping the poorest among those who seek a livelihood in the rural areas to demand and control more of the benefits of rural development. The group includes small scale farmers, tenants and the landless.

Women are at the heart of rural development as they control most of the non monetary economy (subsistence, agriculture, bearing children, domestic labour etc.) and play an important role in the monetary economy (trading, wage labour, employment, etc (Yawa, 1995). Everywhere in the world, women work both around the home and outside the home. The most topical issue in international developmental programme is women.

The woman as a person is an agent of reproduction of life itself. This places her in the position of the life blood of the entire humanity. She is the first teacher, the sustained and maintainer of the home, the peace maker, the symbol of beauty and major molder of the character of the child. She is a mother of the human race. As mothers and wives, women do exert considerable impact on the productivity of male workers.

As workers in their own rights, they can conveniently be linked to the rejected stone in the Bible which has become the cornerstone of the house. By their sheer psychological, physiological and intellectual make up, they do perform more than mere complimentary roles in rural transformation and production process (Jeminiwa, 1995).

Most of these contributions by women had not been recognized until recently when the United Nations declared the Decade for Women (1976-1985) making it mandatory on governments to focus on issue of women as an integral component of rural and national development.

Coming home in Nigeria, much of women’s work remains invisible, unremunerated and unrecognized. But women are still challenging the status quo. Mechanisms to right the so called “Cultures wrong” are being put in place. Women’s role in rural cannot be overemphasized.

Their immense contributions to both rural and national development can be seen in the areas of agriculture, infrastructural development, education, healthcare, etc. (Amah, 1995). They are able o achieved these through various women organizations and cooperative societies.
It is the purpose of this paper therefore to highlight the role of women particularly the Nigerian women in rural development.


1.1 Background Of Study

According to wikipedia (2007), Rural women constitute one-fourth of the world’s population. They are leaders, producers, entrepreneurs and service providers, and their contributions are vital to the well-being of families, communities and economies, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Rural women account for a great proportion of the agricultural labour force, produce the majority of food grown, especially in subsistence farming, and perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas.

Agriculture provides a livelihood for 86 percent of rural women and men and employment for about 1.3 billion smallholder farmers and landless workers; 43 percent are women. Yet, their rights and contributions have been largely overlooked. If rural women had equal access to productive resources, agricultural yields could reduce the number of chronically hungry people by between 100 and 150 million.

According to Ogunna & Ucheagbu, (1997), most of these contributions by women had not been recognized until recently when the United Nations declared the Decade for Women (1976-1985) making it mandatory on governments to focus on issue of women as an integral component of rural and national development. In 1979, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women Consequently, subsequent conferences on women were held in Copenhagen, Denmark 1980, Nairobi in kenya 1985 and Benjing in China 1995 However, an international news magazines ‘Africa Today” reported in July 1995 that the full implementation of all the strategies and recommendations of the various conferences on women issues had still not been achieved and enthusiasm was waning. (Amah, 1995).

Coming home in Nigeria, much of women’s work remains invisible, unremunerated and unrecognized. But women are now challenging the status quo. Mechanisms to right the so called “Cultures wrong” are being put in place. Women’s voices are now being heard clamoring for an improvement in their socio-economic status and for the recognition of their immense contributions to rural development (Amah, 1995).

Rural development is one of the major problems facing Sagbama people in Bayelsa State. Reports in most media and personal investigation tend to suggested that women should be encouraged to participate in rural transformation. This means that rural transformation is the priority of every rural part in the society. Therefore, rural development is a progressive improvement of the economic political and cultural conditions of communities through the combined effort of government and the people of the communities.

In Nigerian today, the roles of women is very important; basically, they are the mother of all respective homes. And they play one of the major roles in educating of children in the family. That is why ORLU Local Government and the towns that make it up are trying to make bids that will give women a sustainable appreciation and acknowledgement in that area, which will make these women, plays a crucial role on enlightenment campaigns on government policies and forms a core of the mobilization. This in turn will facilitate physical participation in local development project within the communities at large.

The pre-colonial history of Bayelsa in Sagbama Local Government have it that, before the coming of the British, rural development in Sagbama Local Government was at low points because women were cast out of major event that is happening in that geographical area. Until the coming of the colonial masters in 1861 during the process of colonization, some privilege was given to women to participate in social activities such as western education etc. having received some power and authority through the teachings of colonial masters; they now participate in their own ways for the betterment of the society.

From then, these women have embarked on numerous projects to mark development in Sagbama, like building of town hall, civil centers, health centers, and markets. Upon all this efforts, most of these women’s work remains invisible, remunerated and unrecognized. In addition to these, most women in Nigeria still do not know their role in community or rural development. They still entrust all the developmental work to their male counterpart. It was on this background that the research work was carried out.


1.1 Statement Of Problem.

The study has come to address the following problems:

Over the years women have been relegated to the background in issues of the overall development especially in the developing nations like Nigeria. This is borne out of the sentimental attachment on feminine gender or gender discrimination. Historical evidences are available to prove that the Nigerian women have for long not allow to play crucial role in political life or developmental decision of the country, and this has contributed in no small measure affects developmental system of the nation. For development of any kind to be successful, a vantage position should be accorded the women, as they constitute larger proportion of the population. In this regard, they should not be left out in the issues of decision making that bothers even on their lives as a people.

Secondly, there too much gap between men and women in politics. In Nigerian, the representation of women in Government is still very low compared to what obtains in other nations of the world, particularly in the developed nations. This contributes to lack of women contribution to development policies in the country.

Thirdly, education is one of the major constraints to women participation in rural development. In the rural area of Nigeria, women are not encouraged to go to school. Education is a key to development and empowerment. Women without education are always enveloped with inferiority complex and therefore reluctant in creating ideas that will go a long way in developing her environment.

Fourthly, Lack of government encouragement contributes also to low participation of women in rural development. Most women drop out of their development agenda when there is no assistant from the government. These aids may include finance, enhance political climate, etc.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The objectives of the study include:

  1. To examine the roles of women in rural development
  2. To know if gender discrimination has a negative relationship with women participation in rural development.
  3. To ascertain if Women are the veritable tools for rural transformation in Sagbama autonomous.
  4. To investigate if Lack of government encouragement affects participation of women in rural development
  5. To look at the various problems facing women participation in rural transformation in Nigeria.
  6. To proffer solutions to the problems.

1.4 Research Questions

In the course of this research, some questions were raised to actively ascertain the role of women in rural development. Below are some of the questions.

  1. What are the roles of women in rural development?
  2. Does gender discrimination have a negative relationship with women participation in rural development?
  3. Are Women veritable tools for rural transformation in Sagbama autonomous community?
  4. Does Lack of government encouragement affects participation of women in rural development
  5. What are the various problems facing women participation in rural transformation in Nigeria?
  6. What are the solutions to the problems?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

  1. There is no doubt that lots have been written on women and rural development in Nigeria. This study serves as a stepping stone to government in realization of the place of women in community development.
  2. Development of the communities is a brain child of joint effort by men and women in the society. In view of the above this study is aimed at contributing to knowledge as well as assisting in revealing the extent of women involvement in rural development in the country.
  3. This study, no doubt comes at the right time, especially under the present democratic dispensation that every community is clamoring for government at all levels, women will be better positioned to gain in sight into the various ways they should help develop the rural areas.
  4. It will unfold various problems facing women in rural development.
  5. This study will add to the existing literature on the subject matter.
  6. It will be of help to those who want to carry further research on the subject matter or similar topics.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The study focuses on women and rural development in Bayelsa state with a particular reference to Sagbama local government area.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

During the course of this research, a lot of factor militated against the processes of this work.
The time frame to carry out a research of this nature was very short. This made us not to cover the entire case study area.

Finance is another major problem encountered by the researcher. Lack of enough money to runs the research expense hamper the uniqueness of the research.

Some of the interviewee did not open up to enable the interviewer get the most current and valid information because they fear of being mention to avoid suspicion.

Combining class work or academic workload with research of this type limit the study too.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

For easy understanding, some of the terms used in this work are being breakdown in order for a layman to understand.

Woman:

An adult female human belonging to a specified occupation, group, nationality, or other category.

Local Government:

This means the government at the level or grass root exercised through elected representatives to perform specific function Awa (1980)

Community

This is a place or environment were citizen reside, communicate and live happily in order to promoter their human welfare.

Policy

This is a board guideline used by organization in translating strategies into activities. Policy is aimed at mapping out programmes or actions that needs to be pursued in order to accomplish the goals of the enterprise.

Community Development:

United Nations Organization (1955) define community development as a process by which effort of the people themselves are united with those of the government authorities to improve the economic, social, political and cultural conditions of communities into the life of a nation and to enable them contribute fully to national progress.

Development:

Development entails change that is continuously taking place in man and his physical, social, cultural and other environment.

Local Administration:

Local administration is a bureaucratic process aimed at the provision of local services, it involves the delegation of power to an administrative authority to execute policies and bye laws Lucy Nworji (2004).

Objective

It is a defined expected result to be achieved in the future. It is futuristic because it states the predetermined result.
Community government council: this is the fourth tier of government created by Imo state government to assist in community development.

Gender Discrimination:

Refers to the practice of granting or denying rights or privileges to a person based on their gender


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter is the concluding chapter of the work. It will unfold the major findings of the study, the researcher’s conclusion on the research work and the useful recommendations on the subject


5.2 Summary Of Findings

The purpose of this research is to present critical analysis on the impact of women group organization on the development of rural area using Sagbama in Bayelsa state as a case study. The issue of Nigerian women’s’ participation in rural development cannot be isolated from the issue of development in Nigeria as a whole, nor from its economic and political context. Women, as well as other marginalized groups, are used to reinforce the current economic systems, and gender constraints further contribute to this trend. Women’s role in rural cannot be overemphasized. Their immense contributions to both rural and national development can be seen in the areas of agriculture, infrastructural development, education, healthcare, etc. (Amah, 1995). They are able o achieved these through various women organizations and cooperative societies.

The following major findings below were made during the course of this research work:

  1. Women are veritable tools for rural development.
  2. Women play a supportive role with men for rural development.
  3. Lack of government encouragement affects participation of women in rural development.
  4. There are many problems militating against effective women participation in rural development. This includes; gender discrimination, lack of fund, illiteracy level, lack of bad leadership structure in women organizations, cultural & religious factor, lack of government encouragement, and inadequate policy implementation in Nigeria.
  5. That the problems of lack of women participation in rural transformation in Nigeria can be sovled by addressing the issue of gender discrimination, provision of enough fund as an aid to implementing projects, maintaining good leadership structure, abolishing religion and cultural factors which militate against effective participation of women in rural development, good government encouragement and reducing illiteracy level out of Nigerian system and putting various policies in place especially those that concerned and empowered women.
  6. Finally, the two hypothesis tested show that women play a vital role in rural development and Gender discrimination has a negative relationship with women participation in rural development.

5.2 Conclusion

During the course of the research work, the researcher was able to know and discover that the roles of women in rural development is very important and can not be over emphasized. But this role can be done in perfect way if only the women can be able to received external and internal support to encourage them.

Coming to this research, the impact of women group of Sagbama in development of rural areas has made a recommendable input towards social and economic development of Sagbama community and also this women has compete favourably with men towards development of Sagbama autonomous community despite all the constraints on their path.

Finally, there is no doubt that women have some potentials and rights to contribute meaningfully to the development of their country. Therefore, the Nigerian government should work towards achieving gender equality in democratic governance, increase women participation and access to politics. It must be realized that the role of women as home makers can not be down played in that it equally has an extended impact on their responsibility in service, the women touch anywhere cannot be matched.


5.3 Recommendation

The researcher recommends that;

  1. There is need to promote the combination of indigenous practices for survival and development with global systems of education and human and community resource management for Nigerian women.
  2. Encouragement and empowerment from all walks of life must be given to our women who contribute to national development.
  3. It is important to install infrastructures for development. But the real point is to empower human resources and especially women, to be able to conceive and benefit from this process, in a way that reflects their own perspectives.
  4. The future of Nigeria is based on knowledge and information, there is need to focus development policies on access to knowledge and learning for women.
  5. The governance issue needs to involve organizations that advocate for women in the country, this implies support for indigenous female organizations.
  6. Government should work hand in hand with such organizations and support them in the conception, formulation and networking of their programmes.
  7. Nigerian women should make sure that they participate in the construction of solutions to the problem of governance and should have support for one another and must establish interactions with NGOs and civil society organizations in the country.

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