Role Of Women In Political Mobilization Of Nigerian Women

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Role Of Women In Political Mobilization Of Nigerian Women


The objective of the study is to ascertain the role the radio place in the political mobilization of Nigerian women.
Factors like radio, interpersonal communication, exposure, objectively and sycophancy were examined to impact on the effectiveness of radio political news in mobilizing Nigerian women.

Relevant theories and the literature that constitutions the basic frame work of the study were examined.
Data collected were analyzed in order to determine the effects of these factors on the effectiveness of the radio political news in mobilizing these women.

From the finds, it is observed that radio political news has influence in mobilizing women, it motivated their political opinion and attitude, leads them to political formation and although they tend not to see the news being non objective, they indicated that the government and its agencies distort the news.

Also importantly, interpersonal communication was observed as a motivator too.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The background of this study looks into the role played by the radio as a medium in the political mobilization of women in Nigeria.

There are other communication channels like television, interpersonal (rituals and festivals, gongs, drums), newspapers and magazines; these are channels of information dissemination. But in view of how effective these channels could be used in performing the role of mobilizing women through out the nation into participating in politics, its credibility is given to radio in getting political message to its target audience (women) informed.
Even though the newspaper and magazines for their non- transient features would have helped, it is found difficult these days to be affordable by average Nigerians and women in their own situation finds it more difficult to spend their income in buying newspapers or magazines in order to get information in this economic crunch situation in the country today.

Hence, radio is used as their resort for information acquisition. Also, the television due to its high cost is not easily affordable by every family, and for the traditional communication, since these targeted audience (women generally) some of which are from urban areas, it is found difficult or ineffective to disseminate information to them. This is because they have socially developed too. Hence they can tune to their various transistor radio sets for information.
Obiakalusi Lynda et al (1991) in their research work stated that Nigerians political independence in 1960 had raised hopes of many that the nation was being set towards achieving a free and democratic society. In such a democratic society, it is expected that the press such as radio in particular should be the market place of political thought. The radio therefore, should exist mainly to serve the information need of the citizenry in politics.

Akpan (1985) mass communication in Nigeria: book of reading (Nwuneli) say that the public is entitled to all facts in a political situation and that on the basis of these facts, it can make its decisions. However, these woman being to revert to political interest.

Again warren, Kendall (1985: 1990) position that radio for its social role as a mobilization channel made American listens to feel the brutal impact of Hitler’s demands against the background of hysterical orator and frenzied nazi crowd reaction. They (American) were graved when they heard morrow described war preparation in London, relieved when kilter born predicted that chamberlain and Hitler found a peace solution at Munich. However, it was radio that brought to them this scene of personal participation in what they realized was the world’s crisis not merely Europe’s.

The mass media generally performed broad social functions to the audience and these functions are entertainment, information and education. Therefore, the radio playing the same function, in terms of providing messages to its listeners while it is entertaining them thereby reminding its targeted audience (women).

Radio as an information channel has continued to wax stronger as a medium of the people. Just like kristie person, executive director of the Cape Town, south Africa- based free play foundation posit that, radio is the one tool that the greatest potential to reach the most people.

Again, as an information channel, it informs its audience about politics and enables them participate in political programmes or transitions.

Also, for its educational function, the F R C N in 1998 mapped out a programme time sponed by Mrs. Florence ejoor (chair person Abia state family support programme) to educated the woman not to stay away from the ongoing terminated in that year (1998), but rather to came out enmasse to complete with their male counterparts towards making them achieve their objectives of the programmes.

Mr. fidelis Ejiolo of ESBS, a comment writes states that radio, as one of the electronic media has remained one of the greatest legacies of post independence in Nigeria. Its uses an impact on public administration, political enlightenment and general development have made it an indispensable tool for the information management and mass mobilization.

He also posit that from the inception of radio in Nigeria, more than 45 years ago, it was obvious that government had on dear vision of establishing more radio station in different arts of the country basically for information purposes. This according to Mr. Ejielo is crystallizing into policy objective aimed positively at influencing social values by improving and strengthening the social, cultural, political and economic fabrics of the nation. The establishment of radio stations becomes, as it was the embodiment of the nations strategy and political awareness. As a matter of fact, the strategy was anchored on information dissemination and galvanizing the opinions in support of w omen towards political enlightenment and objectives.

Apparently, development should not be seized from being mentioned while discussing politics. According to Nwosu 1985, he says that development and politics are so intertwined that one cannot talk about or deal with one with the other, especially in a developing country like Nigeria.

Hawing observed the above statement; it is rarely difficult to distinguish between politics and development especially as it relates to Nigeria politically.

Radio could be seen as a more possible agent of social and political mobilizing in the country than television especially in mobilizing women towards participating in politics. For instance, Mrs. Evenly chukwu a barrister in an interview with the researcher discloses that she got motivated from the various political messages she hears from the radio and felt that with these messages she could challenge the male counterparts. She also said that the woman who came to vote for her during the main election got mobilized

1.2 Statement of Research Problems

Nigeria gained independence since 1960, although the ruling colonial government dictated pre independence politics the Nigeria man did not want to be left out in the art of governance. The activities of the women folk not in the same scale as of the men were nonetheless not worthy.

Oyegbola (1986) in her address to the intra parliamentary union meeting. The role of women in Nigeria politics rightly points out the Aba women Riot of 1929 and the activities of few other women which contributed to the eventual handing over of power to the people, will always be remembered as some of the pioneer landmarks of the journey to political independence by this great nation.

However, a lot of write-ups are prejudiced while others are geared towards educating the society especially, African society, where it is frequently alleged that women are relegated to the background of the needs integrate. Well in all facets of life to enhance their social, political and economic development.

Obviously, it should be universally acknowledged that a woman is the most useful product of the creator’s skill. There is a “maxim” which says that, “behind every successful man there is a woman” for instance, there were some powerful woman who were the wheel on which their men rode to success, fame and acclaim. For example, the case of Lincoln and his wife who literally dragged him to the highest political seat, the United States presidency. Satellite (march 6, 1982) “ own through the ages, there have been examples of powerful women. The biblical Esther was a powerful, beloved of her husband who was also to redeem her people Israelites from slavery and oppression. The queen of Sheba gave birth to many nations. Cleopatra was a queen who through her Armour and political inclination nearly brought down the entire Roman Nation. Cleopatra was a queen who through her Armour and political inclination nearly brought down the entire Roman Nation. Queen Elizabeth l of England was one of that nation, more capable and popular ruler.

Back to Africa, Queen Amina of Zaria, a formidable woman, achieved many spectacular seats, ruling a vast kingdom and is still fondly remembered as a capable strategist and rule. Although in traditional African context woman were seen to be playing a second fiddle role by the male counterparts especially in Nigeria politics. It is widely held that woman are under privileged in traditional Africa culture, but pre-colonial politics in Nigeria represents a dual sex role, in other words, woman should stand alongside their male counterparts to find solutions to problems of prime national intersects. For instance, under the 1979 constitution, law prohibits indiscrimination of any kind women and very citizen male or female of eligible age can vote and be voted for. However, this is contrast to what the situation was in the past.

In recent years in Nigeria, women also engage themselves in some development projects. An example is the “Better life for rural women” championed by Mrs. Maryam Babangida and “Family support programmer” by Mrs. Maryam Abacha (Nationally).

Women also partake in petty trading association some of them bind themselves together in socioeconomic bodies or trade groups like “women cooperatives” to carter for the need of their common occupations and objectives this, collectively make substantial contribution to the social development of their immediate areas of operation and influence.

Another good example was the “National council of women society”, which was aimed at assisting women in towns and villages in their important role as nation builders. These organizations to mention but a few have strived to mobilize and sensitize women folk on the need of modern politics.

Also, the 1995 Beijing conferences help by women of raious categories from different countries, was also a forum to mobilize women towards their rights to compete with the male counterparts in politics participation. Apparently, the federal government has created ministry of women so that Nigeria women would be mobilized in participating in politics.

According to Agee Agult Emery (1998:45) radio with its peculiar characteristics is being present everywhere, the mail carrier walks a route with a transistor radio fastened to the mail bag, the crowd on the beach listens to good music through the portable radio they carry alongside them on the beach, the carpenter on roof nails shingles in time to rock beat. Hence, these women at their various places be it market, the office or shops, tune on their transistor sets and pay particular attention to political messages.

There are some who in one way or the other participated in the past national or star like Adetoun Ogunseye, Mrs. Ebun Oyegbola, Mrs. Janet Mokely, political advice to the Anambra state chief Executive (1982) chief Mrs. Uche Ofia Nwuli, legal luminary, Dr. Helen Chukwuma etc

Having looked into records or listened to various national women who had participated in one time or the other in Nigeria politics and seeing how decreasingly the women post in the Nigeria political positions are being occupied by their male counterparts, the questions which could be drawn here are.

  1. Will women in the state after being exposed to radio political messages gear more interest towards participating in the national politics?
  2. Could their exposure to radio political massages activate them towards holding political post?
  3. Could their exposure to radio political message expose them to political hatred?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To study the use of Radio to mobilize women to participate in politics.
  2. To identify cultural values in Nigeria that makes it difficult for women to participate in the decision making process.
  3. To stop the issue of women being victims of violence in the home.

1.4 Research Questions

In this study, an attempt will be sufficiently made to answer the following questions.

  1. Does colonial antecedent influences women participation in politics?
  2. To what extent does culture affect women participation in politics in Nigeria?
  3. Does Radio actually mobilize women enough towards political participation?
  4. Does women participation in politics depend on their exposure to Radio?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Since the inception of Nigerian politics women have been relegated to the background.

However, women raising shoulders in the areas of socio-economic development in the country, competing with their male counterparts, why then should their active role in politics be relegated?

Anyway, researches have been carried out in other spheres in politics issues, but there has never been any that carried out research on how effective the radio as a mobilization fool could be used to mobilize women generally towards their participating actively in today’s national politics.

One of such theoretical statement will focus on whether women in Nigeria form opinion on politics, following their exposure to radio news.

Again, on the effect of radio exposure on political attitude change on theoretical statement the researcher will consider the role of interpersonal communication in relation to women selective perception radio messages.
Furthermore, the study will help the government in making policy or radio use in a political situation among women.

Finally, the study will also contribute to our political and socio-cultural development through an empirical linkage of credibility and sycophancy in Nigerian’s environment. It6 will again enlighten our mind on the use of radio for socio-cultural integration of the women through fair political new management in the radio.

1.6 Definition of Terms

In this study the variables and concepts that constitute the study have to be clearly defined conceptionally and operationally.

However, the conceptual definition of variable, while the operational definitions involve the working definitions for the study.

1. Message Acceptance:

Someone’s favour reception of message.

2. Radio Exposure:

An individual’s access to the radio and its message contents.

3. Radio Mobilization:

The act of influencing someone by radio programmers and news.

4. Participation:

The act of someone taking part in something (political).

5. Politics:

The act of someone taking part in leadership of a town, state or in general, public affairs.

6. Media Sycophancy:

Supporting the government activities by the pluralist.

7. Opinion Formation:

Stated emotion of political idea after listening to particular radio political information.

8. Interpersonal Communication:

Act of mouthpiece or face to face discussion.

9. Radio Accessibility:

The act of someone being able to have a transistor set and turning the radio transistor set before news (political news).

1.7 Assumptions

This research work assumes that radio political information have been tale-guided and manipulated by the government and influential political woman that stake in the radio operators. In this regard the saying that he who pays the piper dictates the tune is assumed to be obvious political news management. Also, the media agents setting theory is likewise portrayed.

Furthermore, it is assumed that the government used the newsmen and radio editors to influence these women attributes towards politics through their repetitive radio political message appeal in order to make sure that the message appeal correspondent with what the sponsor (government) wants.

Besides the study assumes that the researchers target audience listens to radio political news.

Finally, there are literates and semi-literate women, this is because, if they are illiterates they will not understand news broadcast in English except when it is broadcast (aired) in vernacular.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

The study is focused on the mobilization and participation of women in political news on radio.

The study will focus on such aspect as the rate of usages of ride. This is because according to various researchers made by some researchers mass communication, it is observed that an averages of about 60 – 70 % of the women that listens to radio. Also, the study will associate some effective theories of the mass media.

Another aspect of exclusive interest in this study is pure political news. The study will however, be interested in political programmers.

Finally, the researcher presumes that the scientific nature of her samples and the standard of her measuring instrument (questionnaire) will help her to generalize the large population.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The press, gender and politics are at the core of this study. As Boafo and Arnold (1995), put it, “Radio is not only necessary to the various aspects of human development, but also to the process of participating and nurturing the polity.” However, from the gender dimension, Nwankwo (1996: XI) captures the position of this study that the Radio is found wanting in fostering the development of gender equality in politics. Thus, in Nigeria, it was also found that, despite the deliberating international politics aimed at gender friendly political representation, women are under-represented.

5.2 Conclusion

It is high time for everyone (especially women) to realize that gender identities are largely culturally created and no sex/gender is more important than the other. Women constitute about 51% of votes, but a review of the Nigerian political scene reveals that for gender- equitable development, considering the fact that women were in governance among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria during the pre-colonial period. This analysis showed that Radio media is partly to blame for this situation. Evidence revealed that there are various ways through which Radio media has helped to keep women in the private sphere. For instance, Radio media propagates masculine culture that pigeonholes women and presents them as unfit for politics. Radio media achieves this through its use of language, media coverage on women issues, image used and assignment of political editorial positions amongst others. These became evident in the analysis of motion pictures of Radio and the content of their editorial opinions and reportage. Also even when women are covered politically, they are not given prominence.

The historical past of Nigeria may have also affected the situation because, during the colonial period, the colonial masters suppressed established institutions which protected women and since then, the situation has remained the same (Nwankwo, 1996). Radio media helps bring development issues to public’s knowledge and thus could be catalytic in the quest for gender equitable representation in politics. According to Norwood (2005:5), “indeed it is difficult for people to be interested in things they know nothing about”. This calls for the need for feminist and development scholars to turn their searchlight to Radio media on the issue of gender and politics. McBride et al (1996:19 1), Submit:

Of course, the media are not the fundamental cause of the subordinate status of women, nor can it be remedied by the media alone. The causes are deeply rooted in social, economic and political structures, as well as culturally determined attitudes and solution must be found in far reaching change. However, it is within the power of the Radio media either to stimulate or to retard change to a significant degree.

Thus, development scholars and feminist must devise an overall strategy for change in the information and communication order of the world, especially as it, affects women and politics. Women issues should be properly integrated into the information and communication system. Furthermore, Radio media should be more responsive to the needs of women in politics. It should present information which do not distort, be little or demean women or confine them to stereotyped behavior and roles. Hence, the call for Radio media in which women participates and shares in determining the content, in decision-making and control. In fact, Radio media should be more committed to social responsibility and ‘gender accountability’ in the arena of politics.

5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations are made based on the findings of the study:

  1. Grassroots enlightenment campaign should be organized to change the negative attitude of most people to woman participation in politics as well as to inspire women to vie for elective position.
  2. “Godfathers” should be extended to women political aspirants in relation to sponsorship. They should give women a chance.
  3. The National Assembly as a matter of state policy should implement Affirmative Action involving the reservation of 30% elective posts for women.
  4. Economic empowerment of women should be vigorously pursued since it will provoke greater participation of women in electioneering.
  5. Electoral law should forbid political thuggery and violence while the senate should enact a law making electoral violence a crime punishable by hanging. This will no doubt create a conducive positive political atmosphere in Nigeria for women political aspirants.
  6. ‘Catch them young’ There is a serious need to give the girl child a re-orientation and a thorough brainwashing to disabuse her mind from the environmental socio-cultural intimidation that inhabits and limits herself worth, self-assertion and actualization. By the age of 5 years, Queen Elizabeth of England had already started practicing her speeches over wireless. An early start is advisable.
  7. Above all, women should encourage themselves and support female political aspirants. Equally, husbands should encourage and support wives with political visions and ambitions.

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