The Impact Of Women’s Education On National Development In Oredo Local Government Area Of Edo State

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The Impact Of Women’s Education On National Development In Oredo Local Government Area Of Edo State


Abstract


The role of women in national development of any nation cannot be over emphasized. Thus, this is an attempt to re-emphasize and re-awaken the mind of humanity on the undisputable importance of women education as a vehicle for sustainable national development in Nigeria.

The main purpose of this study was to find out the extent to which women’s education can facilitate national development through the contributions of the educated women in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. In carrying out the study, two hundred subjects were selected by stratified sampling from five locations I n the local government area. The instrument used for the study was validated twenty-five item questionnaire designed to test the five hypotheses formulated based on the research questions raised for the study.

The data generated were mainly analysed using chi-square techniques and the findings show that:

  1. There were certain traditional practices and religious beliefs in the area which tend to militate against the education of women on an equal basis with men.
  2. Most educated women in the area are actively involved in the development processes of their respective communities. Indeed their level of contribution to female education was discovered to be higher that than uneducated counterparts.
  3. The educated women enjoy higher social status in the area. They are at the forefront of women related programmes and dominate other community related activities because of the advantages derivable from education.

On the basis of these findings, it is evident that women’s education is useful to national development and growth. Consequently, it was recommended that all barriers to women’s education should be urgently discarded and that government should as a matter of deliberate policy fund and establishes more literacy centers in order to increase the number of women benefitting from educational programmes. The research also made suggestions for further studies


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

All over the world, education is recognized as the cornerstone for sustainable national development (Oyitso & Olomukoro, 2012). In the last two decades, debates on the status of women and the need to integrate them into development process of any nation have ranged on a national and international workshops, seminars, and for among others (Olayele,2008). Education helps men and women claim their rights and realize their potential economic, political and social arenas. It is also the single most powerful way to lift people out of poverty. Yet, many people especially women are still excluded from education in Nigeria and Africa a whole. The demand for education in most countries of the world has spread to people of different sex and age group. The motivation of this demand and spread was dictated by the philosophy of popular education and the principle of equal opportunities for all in the educational industry endorsed by many countries as the instrument for national development, social justice and egalitarianism.

Before this landmark, development which came in the wake of the dynamism of society, women’s education has lagged behind because of what Obbo(1980) called the philosophy of training women towards the traditional roles as wives and mothers. Besides, the emphasis laid on the effective performance of those roles, they could learn simple craft like basket and cloth weaving, dress making, pottery and some religious values. Women’s education was viewed as the exclusive right of the male folk. Lack of education constitute a major hindrance on women’s participation in the productive sector of the economy. In same way, lack of education has also been a major obstacle to women’s involvement in political activities and decision-making processes and national development.

The current wave of globalization has greatly improved the lives of women worldwide, particularly the lives of women in the developing world. Nevertheless women remain disadvantaged in many areas of life, including education, employment, health, and civil rights. The participation of women in the society especially in the socioeconomic and political development of their respective countries and home has become a very crucial and topical issue all over the world. In the past, until the mid-1960s, women in all part of the world particularly in Africa were victims of different kinds of traditions which prevented them from actively and effectively participating in development oriented activities in their countries. They are only marginalized; their involvement in development oriented activities was not considered important. However the development processes of the society accompanied by socio-economic changes brought about the changing roles of women in addition to their traditional roles as wives and mothers.

The global economic situation has become so complex that men alone can no longer effectively handle the affairs of the home. This had led to women shouldering much of the family financial burden. And, thus have changed the domestic task of women since she has to be involved in other economic activities outside the home. All these have been made possible through education. There are several reasons why women’s education should be emphasized as specific undertaking. For proper development of a nation, women who constitute more than fifty per cent (50%) of the country’s population should be involved; they need education on equal basis with men. Full integration of women in all aspect of political, economic and social life; at the international, national and regional level is essential if the obstacles to the achievement of the goals and objectives for women to be overcome (Okojie, 2011).

In Nigeria today, the women folk have come a long way in business, politics, education, sport and other profession. They have made an indelible mark in their effort to conquer the limitations of the past which have sought to place them permanently in the kitchen and bedroom. However, it is not all through a bed of roses for women. Majority of women in Nigeria have not been fully mobilized and empowered to contribute to national development. They have been dehumanized and traumatized in so many ways, as out of over 1-3 billion people who live in abject poverty around the globe, about seventy percent (70%) are women (Onwubiko, 2012). For those women, poverty does not just mean scarcity and want, it implies rights denied, opportunities curtailed and voices silenced.

Access to women educational development programmes in the words of Kagiticibais, Goksen and Gulgoz(2005) is considered one of the main factor for women empowerment and national development as against being stalled by culture which made them vulnerable to effectively join the workforce and contribute to economic and thus, national development of the nation.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The relegation of women to the background through cultural norms and practices has had negative impact in the life of each and every woman especially in rural areas or communities. As a result, they have the right to be creative and take decisions which will help in transforming their lives as individuals and development of the nation at large. Thus, the ability of women to bring up their children to become decent women and good citizens depends largely on their level of education. Except women understand the world around them through practical experiences and knowledge of different aspect of life, they cannot educate their children properly. Many argued that, because women had been relegated to the background educationally, socially, economically and culturally for many years; they are not in the position to make meaningful contribution to national development. Another school of thought disagree with this idea. They maintain that in recent time, women participate in all areas of educational development. Hence the great need for this research.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out, in spite of the earlier marginalization of women, the contribution of women can make positive impact in the development of a nation through education. In this regard, the researcher seeks to attain the specific objectives:

  1. Find out the traditional practices which hinder women from pursuing formal
  2. Find out the contribution of educated women and uneducated women counterparts to national development.
  3. Find out if the educated women are more involved in the decision- making process in community related issues than their uneducated counterparts.
  4. Find out the social mobility levels of the children of the educated women and that of the uneducated women.
  5. Find out if education is still potent factor in the social mobility of women.
  6. Find out if the educated women enjoy higher status than the uneducated women during related community functions like festivals.
  7. To find out the attitude of the educated women towards female education compared to the attitude of the uneducated women.
  8. To make recommendations based on the findings of this research and aim at providing solutions.

1.4 Research Questions

Based on the objectives specified above, the researcher raised the following questions.

  1. Are there traditional practices that hinder women from pursuing formal education?
  2. Does the educated woman contribute more to national development than that of the uneducated woman?
  3. Are the educated women more involved in the decision-making process in community related issues than the uneducated women?
  4. Do the educated women enjoy higher social status than the uneducated women?
  5. Is there difference between the attitudes of women to female education to that of their female counterparts?

1.5 Hypotheses

On the basis of these research questions, the following four hypotheses were formulated for this study.

  1. There is no significant relationship between the traditional practices and the desire for education by women.
  2. There is no significant relationship between the economic activities of the educated women and national development.
  3. There is no significant difference between the level of contribution of the educated women to national development and that of the uneducated women.
  4. There is no significant difference between the economic opportunities open to educated women and that of the uneducated women in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo.
  5. There is no significance difference between the attitudes of women to female education to that of their female counterparts.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The provision for equal educational opportunity for all irrespective of sex, age and status of life, deserves to be embraced by all. This is so, when it is understood that education is intricately connected with the recipients’ well being, national development and prosperity. Therefore, any practice or policy which constitute barriers in the way of the education of women as equal partners in the development of the nation should not be abhorred, but, quickly dismantled because available skill, talent and energy is required in the desired technological and industrial development of this country whose dwindling fortunes and standard of living are unbearable low and worrisome.

Women’s education would help to play their strategic roles as wives and mothers better, because education equips and enlightens people to play their roles more effectively to uphold societal values and assist them in their education at home. Besides, the result emanating from the study will enable the government and policy makers to take appropriate steps or measures to ensure that women are effectively educated and involved in decision-making, matters or position for the development of the nation. Additionally, since the study is based on a rural setting and going by the acknowledged belief that rural people go through a lot of deprivations, it is hoped that if the women in Oredo Local Government Area are enlightened, they would be better equipped to be contributors to the development of Oredo.

In summary, by the study, the role of educated women in national development would be high lightened and the recommendation arrived at would assist women to participate in educational programmes for the upliftment of womanhood.


1.7 Scope and Delimitation of Study

The study is limited to two hundred (200) people that are drawn from Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. It only investigated the activities of the educated and illiterate women in the area of contribution to national development through their roles in community related programmes and their social status.


1.8 Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this study, the following terms are defined:-

Disparity:

This means inequality or difference or lack of equality and similarity, especially in a way that is not fair

Education:

According to Mon Nwandiani (1997), Education is the constant transmission of ideas of values for the development of the whole man in relation to the dynamics needs of any particular society.

National Development:

This refers to the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens

Economic Opportunities:

This is all the material advantages which improve the quality of life of the recipients. This may include not only economic advantages of wealth and income, but also benefits such as health and job security.

Political Influence:

The ability of one group to dominate others or to have greater influence over decision-making or to benefit advantageously from decisions.

Social Status:

Prestige or high standing position in the eyes of other members of the society.

Empowerment:

It is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes.

Social Mobility:

The movement from a particular position to a higher position because of educational attainment.


The Impact Of Women’s Education On National Development In Oredo Local Government Area Of Edo State


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