The Role Of Female Participation In Political Development In Akwa-Ibom Between The Year 2010-2020

Project and Seminar Material Under International Law and Diplomacy

The Role Of Female Participation In Political Development In Akwa-Ibom Between The Year 2010-2020


Abstract


The role of female participation in political development in Akwa-Ibom between the year 2010-2020.

The study adopted qualitative which is primary and secondary sources of information in nature. The primary source entail interview while the secondary sources was journals, reports, articles, newspapers, treaties, textbooks and various statutes which would be obtained from online sources.

The study revealed that; Women’s political roles have contributed immensely in the shaping of Akwa Ibom politics. In spite of the deliberate international politics aimed at gender friendly political representation, women are still underrepresented in Akwa Ibom and the Nigerian societies at large. No sex should dominate the other.

The study concluded that; participation of women in the struggle for change should be enhanced and uplifted in their virtue of good will, in order to avoid being pushed to the lowest ebb in the society. It will as well help in uplifting the status of women in Akwa Ibom, Nigerian societies and Africa at large for a better change. The study further recommends that; The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should ensure that, the rights of women are in place and to ensure that the discrimination of women in the society be prohibited;. Enlightenment campaign be organised to create the awareness about women empowerment and gender equality in the state with regards to the SDG Goal 5;. The evolution in the women’s movement articulating women’s rights is having implications for national policies, and advocacy work for women has made it possible for the decree on violence against women to be passed in six states in Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State inclusive);. The National Council of Women’s Societies (Akwa Ibom State Chapter) has ensure the improvement of women welfare, progress and the standard of living of women;. Women’s Movement in Nigeria ensures that the economic empowerment of women be vigorously pursued as it will provoke greater participation of women in electioneering;. Akwa Ibom Chapter of Women’s in Nigeria has facilitated workshops and seminars that will aid in helping women to fight for their rights.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1. Background of the Study

There have been rising debate among scholars with regards to the role of women participation in political development. This debate has generated serious controversies globally rather than resolving the perceived gender inequalities in terms of women participation in development of developed countries or developing countries, (Adebayo, 2019). In addition, the plight of woman is a despicable one as it is clearly acknowledged and incorporated into different sectors, organisation, institutions and programs either formal or informal. Women constitute a critical segment of the world’s population, (Adewole, 2018).

Globally, the World Trade Organization (WTO) asserts that, a lot of women are being forced to seek for alternative cum additional income generating activities for sustenance through multiple modes of livelihood. Women often represent the majority of people in the informal sector. They work for low wages and the jobs are unstable, (Etuk, 2011). As the economy worsens, women in paid employment still resort to private commercial activities to supplement their income. At present, the issues pertaining to women have contributed to drawing a global attention with the result that the problems that impede their progress are currently being addressed concretely, (Parizeau, Shillington, Hawkins, Sultana, Mountz, Mullings, & Peake, 2016), which has heightened the political consciousness of women.

In Nigeria, women struggles date back to the 19th century when women like Amina of Zaria fought her way to political limelight, Madam Tinubu of Lagos, Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti of Abeokuta, Margaret Ekpo and Hajji Gabon Sawaba among others have also fought to give women the pride of place in Nigeria’s history, (Adeyemi, 2016). Even after the struggle for independence was over and Nigeria became an independent sovereign nation, women continued to contribute their quota towards development and progress in the country, (Akanbi & Jekayinfa, 2017). In the areas of political development, the above mentioned among others, contributed immensely to the mobilisation and sensitisation of women with a view to ensuring that women are involved in the development of the country, (Akimoyo, 2019). Given the relative precarious economic position of most women in Nigeria, they have taken up various kinds of informal livelihood and survival strategies to make ends meet. This development has brought into focus the increasing role of women who hitherto have been burdened with heavy household responsibilities and other activities in the informal sector so as to augment and alleviate poverty in their homes, (Akpan, 2015).

In Akwa Ibom State, although women play crucial role in campaigning and mobilizing support for the individual parties, it is however rare to find them where power belongs. Where women are to be relegated at the back, religion, tradition and beliefs are brought into solidify the society’s ground for treating women as “second” class citizens. Inspite of many female organisation that have been established for the sole purpose of fighting for women’s rights, it is still impossible for the women to acquire up to five percent (5%) position in policy making institution in Akwa Ibom State. It is on record that women fight poverty in Akwa Ibom State. The establishment of a number of cottage industries like cassava frying industry, soap making industry, pottery industry, fish smoking industries and others, can testify to the policy initiatives of women in the state. Women in Akwa Ibom State are good at mobilization and formation of cooperative societies and these are run effectively.

Moreover, in any political scene, the principal objective of political participation is interest. Again political participation has as its micro analysis centers on individual behaviour. Both men and women exhibit political behaviour, although highly seen in men. However, women’s participation in political activities at Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria and the world in general is still very low. The political participation here includes not only right to vote and actual voting, but as well as the candidacy, election and appointment of women at all levels of government and within the party structures.

Therefore, based on the above backdrop, this study will seek to examine the role of female participation in political development, as well as looking at the barriers to women political participation.


1.2. Statement of the Problem

Over the years, there has been raging debates over the participation of women in politics particularly in Akwa Ibom state. Female is regarded as the bedrock upon which a nation is built in all spheres for social, economic and political development. The participation of female in politics most particularly in Akwa Ibom should be encouraged and promoted due to the extensive roles being played by women in the development of state of affairs, despite that fact, what is seen in Akwa Ibom state has been a male dominated affair.

However, it has been observed that female participation in political development in Akwa Ibom state are been affected by some factors which includes; culture or social norms (that is, some cultures do not permit women to participate in politics, owing to the fact that, they are regarded as weaker sexes and as such, their responsibilities should be restricted in their various households), gender discrimination, and many others, which have neglected their meaningful contributions and have placed them in a subordinate position to men in the nation’s political system.

Despite constitutional declaration of the equal status of both sexes in most countries of the world, gender discrimination remains fully entrenched in the power configuration of the society, with consequences of limiting women’s participation in the political process. Furthermore, it has been observed that, fellow women supporters do not always tend to support their female candidate in any political post; rather they always give their support to the men individuals.

The political enfranchisement of women in politics in Akwa Ibom seems to have maintained on the surface a level of gender inequity politically, simply because it is assumed that constitutionally there are not barriers to women’s participation. However, what exactly is/are the problems and prospects women encounter in their quest to participate in politics? This study is aimed at evaluating the role of female participation in political development; those factors responsible for increase in female participation and those that hamper female participation.

Based on the above, this study will seek to examine the role of female participation in political development in Akwa-Ibom state.


1.3. Objectives of the Study

The general objective of the study is to examine the role of female participation in political development in Akwa-Ibom between the year 2010-2020.

The specific objectives are to;

  1. Identify the factors contributing to female participation in political development in Akwa-Ibom
  2. Examine the factors hampering the participation of female in political development in Akwa-Ibom
  3. Assess the opportunities for female participation in political development in Akwa-Ibom
  4. Find out the nature of female participation in political development in Akwa Ibom.

1.4. Research Questions

  1. What are the factors contributing to female participation in political development?
  2. What are the factors hampering the participation of female in political development?
  3. What are the available opportunities for female participation in political development?
  4. To what extent is the nature of female participation in political development in Akwa Ibom?

1.5. Justification of the Study

The study will examine the roles of female participation in political development in Akwa-Ibom for a period of 2010-2020. This study will draw the attention of the discrimination that the women do feel as they seek to develop a society or country politically. It recommendations will therefore provide raw material for a policy review vis-à-vis women roles towards the involvement of political development.

This study would equally be useful to all sphere of the country in ensuring greater roles of women in both political and economic development of an area. Finally, researchers interested in examining women and their quest for political development will find the study very useful in the governance and system of Nigeria. The research will add to knowledge in the peculiar nature of women in political development of Akwa-Ibom State. The study will provide policy makers with institutional frameworks and policy inputs in the area of policy formulation in regard to policy formulation. The research will as well expose to government and varying female politician’s tools that hitherto can catapult them into leadership positions.


1.6. Scope of the Study

This study centers on the role of female participation in political development in Akwa-Ibom, which will cover a period of 2010-2020. The study variables will be restricted in the area of female participation and political development, while the study area will be limited to Akwa Ibom. The choice of Akwa Ibom State was because of its political structure which isn’t much in the favour of female participation in politics. Therefore, the choice of Akwa Ibom is to unravel the factors limiting the participation of female in political development of the state between the years 2010-2020.


1.7. Methodology

The methodology of this study will be qualitative in nature using primary and secondary sources of information. The primary source shall entail interview while the secondary sources shall be through journals, reports, articles, newspapers, treaties, textbooks and various statutes which would be obtained from online sources. The issue under discussion is a global menace which cuts across all the countries of the world, there have been so many literatures on the subject matter across the globe, this shall be referred to in discussing the topic at hand.


1.8. Definition of Terms

Political Development:

This is a specified state of growth or advancement politically such that there is a new and advanced situation in the rules and policies of the government.

Participation:

Participation is the involvement of citizens in some way with making decisions in political system.

Women:

Refers to the female gender, the opposite of male gender.

Role:

The degree to which somebody/something is involved in a situation or an activity and the effect that they have on it.

Empowerment:

Empowerment is the absence of the barriers to the actualization of natural dreams of women. By this, empowerment would mean the levelling of the playing field such that men do not have an undue advantage in their quest to utilize the human potential whether in business, politics or other social platforms.


1.9. Synopsis of Chapters

This project will consist of five chapters. Chapter one will focus on the background of the study, statement of the problem, research objectives, research questions, justification of the study, scope of the study, methodology and definition of terms. Chapter two is the literature review of the study which will consists of various conceptual framework and theoretical review for the study. Chapter three focuses on the on the different problems in the study area on the discourse of the study. Chapter four will discuss how to curb the problems, what has been done in the study location and criticism of what was done and chapter five would focus on summary, conclusion and recommendations of the study.


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