Women In Edo State Politics, 1991-2020

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Women In Edo State Politics, 1991-2020


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine women participation in politics in Edo State from 1991-2020. The study was set to examine the factors militating against women participation in politics of Edo state between 1991-2020; identify the level of women involvement in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020; and evaluate the impact of women participation in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020. The survey design was adopted. Using cultural lag theory, data were collected through triangulation of quantitative and qualitative methods. Specifically, an 18-item Likert scale questionnaire was used to elicit responses from 450 respondents while 10 in-depth interviews were conducted. Data collected through questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency, percentages and mean) while qualitative data were content analyzed. The findings revealed that women have not been active in politics in Edo state. Financial resources, socio-cultural inhibitions, family responsibilities, child bearing, lack of family support and lack of enabling opportunities were the major factors reported by women which has militated against their participation in politics. Few women who hold political key positions affirmed that their participation in politics brought positive impact in their communities. This tudy submits that the prospects of Nigerian women in politics are optimistic if some of these factors highlighted above can be addressed. Women should be empowered in their political participation pursuits to enhance their contribution to viable political development in Nigeria, especially at the grassroots’ communities.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

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 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms
  • 1.9 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

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

Nigerian women constitute about half of the population of Nigeria and they are known to play vital roles at the individual, family and community levels. These roles include being a mother, producer, time manager, empowerment builder, community organizer, social and political activist. But despite their major roles they partake and their significant contribution of their population, women have not been given recognition, especially in political participation activities. Hence, they are being discriminated against owing to patriarchal structure of the African and Nigerian societies inclusive. Other factors responsible for discrimination against women include cultural stereotype, abuse of religion, traditional practices, high level of illiteracy, low participation in labour force, early marriage and lack of empowerment.

Over the years, Nigerian women have therefore become target of conflict, violence and stigmatization of diverse forms, based on their positions in promoting transformative politics. Nigerian society is deeply rooted in cultural beliefs and values of societies irrespective of the ethnic groups or geo-political zone stratification of the country. Thus, men are seen as the “locus of cultural values” and male-controlled society where the characteristics of patriarchal societal culture points to male gender as the most powerful members of the society. Some areas of activities such as agricultural export of cash crops and political arena are always seen as exclusively or predominantly male; therefore overwhelmingly and morally important (Rosaldo and Lamphere, 1974).

As a consequence of that, women faced various forms of gender discrimination, inequality, stigmatization and exclusion, especially in the area of politics. These various forms of discrimination against women are a multiple consequence of system of beliefs, cultural values and norms. These societal beliefs, as well as ethnic, religious doctrines and cultural norms have relegated women to remain idle at the subsistence and family level. Sex role and socialization had assisted in assigning distinct and often unequal work and political positions to biological sexes; turning women into socially distinct gender which is central to the Nigerian political system where sexes are assigned to different complementary tasks in the political scene.

Besides, debates over the participation or desire of women in Nigerian politics have raised arguments that women are being seen as weaker sexes. These are socially constructed owing to social value, norms and beliefs, which have neglected their meaningful contributions and have placed them in a subordinated position to men in the nation‟s political system. Political participation is good for democracy, but all democracies are plagued by systematic inequalities in participation (Lijphart, 1997; Galston, 2001). One of the most persistent has been according to gender, such that women are found to participate less than men, and suggesting that half the population‟s interests are less well represented (Andersen, 1975; Schlozman et al. 1994). This study therefore focuses on assessing women participation in politics in Edo State from 1991-2020.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country. Achieving the goal of equal participation of women in decision-making will provide a balance and it will promote the proper functioning of democracy. Women’s equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for simple justice but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women‟s interest to be taken into account.

Democracy entails conferring responsibilities on a few on behalf of the general community or at least the majority to represent their interests (Afolabi, 2009). In order to ensure this in the true sense of it, there should be proportionality of the two genders in the representative body. However, as it stands in the case of Nigeria, men dominate, thus relegating the women to the background, thereby defeats the main idea of a representative democracy (Afolabi, 2009). In spite of the international declarations affirming the rights and equality between men and women of which Nigeria is a signatory, available literature shows that women still constitute a disproportionately small percentage of those participating in political decision-making and leadership (Bello, 2013).

Despite the fact that women constitute about 49% of the country’s population, their participation and representation in the governing process of the country remain in the shadows. However, recent administration, there has been a slight remarkable increase in women participation in politics. This was measured with certain standards like the number of women who are being voted in public offices, the number of appointive or elective positions held by women, number of women related policies implemented by government, and so on (Ugwuegede, 2014). Yet, there is observed extensive discrimination against women and under-representation of them in politics and governance in Nigeria when compared with their male counterparts in actual practice. Thus, the representation of women in politics and decision making in Nigeria is still far below the global benchmark of 35% affirmative action (Bello, 2013; Fayomi, 2014; Ugwuegede, 2014; Okafor and Akokuwebe, 2015). It is against this background that this study seeks to assess women participation in politics in Edo State from 1991-2020.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general object of this study is to evaluate women participation in politics in Edo State from 1991-2020.

Specifically, the study is aimed at;

  1. Examine the factors militating against women participation in politics of Edo state between 1991-2020.
  2. Identify the level of women involvement in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020.
  3. Evaluate the impact of women participation in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020.

1.4 Research Question

The following questions will guide this study.

  1. What are the factors militating against women participation in politics of Edo state between 1991-2020?
  2. What is the level of women involvement in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020?
  3. What is the impact of women participation in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Marginalization of women in local governance is nothing but an elongation of male dominance in virtually all political affairs. As such, historical fact of this nature is strongly associated with the attitudinal views which had often impede the chances of women to having more political representatives at the various local government levels in Nigeria.This therefore makes the study both timely and significant. A detailed analysis of this phenomenon will help contribute to the sparse knowledge in this area. The research will equally be beneficial to NGOs, scholars and government agencies on gender related issues such as Inter-parliamentary Union, United Nations’ Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) Committee for the Elimination of all form of Discriminations against Women (CEDAW) as it will aid them in their search for gender equality. In addition, the suggestions and recommendations that will be proffered in this study will help improve the level of political participation of women in Nigeria particularly Edo States.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on women in Edo State politics. The study will also assess the factors militating against women participation in politics of Edo state, the level of women involvement in politics in Edo state, and the impact of women participation in politics in Edo state. The study will cover a period of 29 years – from 1991-2020.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. Despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Politics:

Politics is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status.

Political Participation:

Political participation includes a broad range of activities through which people develop and express their opinions on the world and how it is governed, and try to take part in and shape the decisions that affect their lives.

Grassroots Politics:

A grassroots politics is one that uses the people in a given district, region or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots politics and organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national or international level.


1.9 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, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on women participation in politics in Edo State from 1991-2020. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine women participation in politics in Edo State from 1991-2020. The study was specifically set to examine the factors militating against women participation in politics of Edo state between 1991-2020; identify the level of women involvement in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020; and evaluate the impact of women participation in politics in Edo state between 1991-2020.

Using cultural lag theory, survey design was adopted and data were collected through triangulation of quantitative and qualitative methods. Specifically, an 18-item Likert scale questionnaire was used to elicit responses from 450 respondents while 10 in-depth interviews were conducted. Data collected through questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency, percentages and mean) while qualitative data were content analyzed.

The findings revealed that majority of women were not active in politics. Financial resources, socio-cultural inhibitions, family responsibilities, child bearing, lack of family support and lack of enabling opportunities were the major factors reported by women militating against their participation in politics. Few women who hold political key positions affirmed that their participation in politics brought positive impact in their communities.


5.3 Conclusions

This study examined women participation in politics in Edo State from 1991-2020. The result of this study shows that several factors inhibit women from active participation in politics in Edo State. These factors include; financial constraints, poverty, socio-cultural and religious practices, lack of equal opportunities, women traditional role, nature of Nigerian politics, lack of women empowerment and so on. However, since the return to democracy in Nigeria in 1999, there has been an increase in women’s political participation in both elective and appointive capacities compared to what it used to be.

For instance, during President Goodluck administration, the hopes of women in Nigerian politics were raised by his appointment of 33% women into ministerial, ambassadorial and key decision-making positions. In spite of these increases, women are still highly marginalized considering the disparity in the proportion of men to women in politics and leadership positions. As Olufade (2013) rightly notes, equitable participation of women in politics and government is essential to building and sustaining democracy; and democracy cannot truly deliver the expected dividends if women‟s under-representation continues.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. Women should be given equal access to credit facilities and factors of production like land, capital and labour just like men to enhance their output and income generation.
  2. Since poverty is a factor to women participation in the politics, economic empowerment could be a better way of enhancing women participation in politics.
  3. Government, NGOs and other stakeholders should engage in programmes and policies that would empower women politically, socially and economically.
  4. There should be the inclusion of gender-sensitive provisions in the constitutions and manifestoes of parties. This will serve the purpose of mainstreaming gender into their activities (Okafor and Akokuwebe, 2015).
  5. There should be equal representation of Nigerian men and women in governance to ensure that enacting laws of the land and making policies particularly those affecting gender issues will always remain equitable.
  6. Family members (especially husbands of married women) should give women political aspirants the relevant consent and support to venture into politics and governance.
  7. There should be enabling constitutional amendment to ensure equitable appointive and elective positions in governance for meaningful national development.
  8. Nigerian women should develop positive attitude to politics no matter the hurdles.

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