Women Empowerment In Nigerian Politics

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Women Empowerment In Nigerian Politics


One of the major impediments to development in Nigeria is labour unrest. This is given the fact that no Nation can develop without human resource because they constitute and play very significant role in Nation building and development. The Nigerian case has been so pervasive that labour unrest extends to every situation when the Government takes major public policy decision that seems to affect the labour union and generally the masses without due consultation of labour statement; especially that which affects the social life of their member and welfare packages of the entire masses, specifically that which affect the socio-economic and political aspects, hence Nigerian development remain dependent.

Thus in our attempt to analyze and investigate this problem, we use the relative deprivation theory for theoretical framework while documentary research method was also used for gathering and analyzing data.
This research work, labour unrest and underdevelopment in Nigeria: An appraisal from 2000 – 2013 is being carried out for the purpose of assessing various means of curbing labour unrest.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The organized labour union movements in Nigeria dates back to 1912, Nigeria workers like their counterparts in other developing countries have witnessed fundamental changes in their condition over time. To a large extent, labour unions have played significant roles in the transformation of most developing countries.Government is the largest employer of labour with private individual employing a minimal proportion of the working class (Fajara, 2000). In Nigeria, labour unions has become a very important agents of socio-economic transformation and class struggle (Aremu, 1996, Akinyanju, 1997) which began from the colonial struggle and continued till in the post-independence era. In the later, labour unions played significant role in the struggle against dictatorial military rule in the country. In the same vein under the current civilian dispensation, labourunions is at the forefront of the struggle against unpopular government policies such as deregulation of the oil sector, retrenchment of workers and refusal to honor agreement on wage increase.Nigeria is a third world country that comprise of labour unions spread across the country. The unions are structured into industrial line and as at 1977 precisely 42 labour unions were recognized by the Government and allowed to contribute enormously to the development of economic, social, cultural and even political system of the state. The role of these labour unions is usually regarded as people oriented because it tends to oppose Governmental policies and decisions not favorable to the masses through strike actions, protest etc popularly called labour unrest.However, in a multi ethnic democratic country like Nigeria, there exist different labour unions across the country. But for the purpose of this study, we shall dwellmore on those labour unions that have in one way or the other succeeded in influencing Governmental policies and decision. In the past such as: National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAU) Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ).In 1978 however, it’s important to note that Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) was formed and inaugurated and the 42 industrial unions became affiliates of the Nigerian Labour Congress with a legal backing of the trade union amendment Decree 22 of 1978. Again in 1989 the trade union was restructured to become 29 affiliates unions to the Nigerian Labour Congress after their role against the anti-people Structural Adjustment programme of General Babangida. Consequently, in 2005, the trade union act section 33 (2) was amended by substituting the phrase “central labour organization” for the phrase “federation of trade unions” the intention was to weaken the cohesion of the trade unions. Since time immemorial labour unrest has always occupied the front burner of criticisms and oppositions. in Nigeria whenever the Government through its policies makes life unbearable for its citizens. Nevertheless most activities of the organized labour in the form of unrest to attack Government policies and programmes often result in underdevelopment and grounding of the economy culminating in loss of revenues and sundry economic activities. However, it is not implausible to aver that one of the greatest problems that result to labour unrest and consequently underdevelopment is Governmental policies and programmes on certain National issues especially those that affect the labour unions across the Nation.In the light of these, this research work is inspired out of the burning desire to interrogate the motive of the labourunion in their activities through protest, strikes etc against certain Governmental policies and programmes through a critical analysis and alternative roadmap to labour unrest with a view to averting resultant and decay in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Labour unrest remain one of the most glaring problems hindering the development of this great nation especially when Government tends to implement policies and programmes not favorably for the majority of the people in the society (country). This is because the labour unions, using the NLC (Nigeria Labour Congress) ad TUC (Trade Union Congress) as the umbrella bodies tends toconstitute parts of organization or union that keeps the country going through their daily activities. In order words, when there is labour unrest, the economy of the country tends to be disrupted and destabilized which is why whenever Government policies and programmes that are not favorable to labour are formulated, there is usually a mass protest and strikes that dislocates the economy as the civil servants who are very significant to the Government of the day also partake in the strike and protest by not going to work.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The main objective of the study is to examine women empowerment in Nigerian politics, but to aid the successful completion of the study, the researcher intend to achieve the following specific objective;

  1. To ascertain the role of women in Nigeria politics
  2. Explore ways of ensuring full participation of women in Nigeria government
  3. Examine the relationship between women empowerment and women participation in Nigerian politics

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: women do not play any role in the development of Nigerian politics
    H1: women do play a significant role in the development of Nigerian politics
  2. H02: there is no significant relationship between women participation in politics and the growth of Nigeria’s politics
    H2: there is a significant relationship between women participation in politics and the growth of Nigeria’s politics

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study brings clear insight on role of women in Nigeria politics. The study will be of benefit to women, government and political parties. Finally the research work will be of help to scholars who wish to carry further research on role of women in Nigeria politics as the material of the work will be of great importance for enquiries.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the role of women in Nigeria politics. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.

1.7 Definition of Terms


A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation


A woman is a female human being. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent.


Politics is the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organized control over a human community, particularly a state.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain women empowerment in Nigeria politics.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of women empowerment in Nigeria politics

5.2 Summary

According to Jenifer (2012), education plays a majors in today’s society future education is highly important in the society. It is a formal process of learning in which some people consciously teach while others adopt the role of learner. Without education one may not get far in life.

  1. To the life of women
  2. Education is knowledge
  3. Knowledge is power
  4. Power is respect
  5. Respect is happiness

Having education also means having money/wealth, a better future and knowledge one need to be successful in life. Going beyond high school and getting degree is a smart choice because the higher the education the better the opportunity. The higher the education more the earning and better the employment.

But not all the women are interested in education. To them it is left for their children to put effort and pursue career.

5.3 Conclusion

The transition from military to democracy in 1999 has tremendously improved the stake of women in politics in Nigeria than any other time in its post-independence existence. It is no doubt that women still remain highly marginalize in all spheres of the socio-economic and political life of the nation. This is more obvious when the proportion of men to women in politics and decision making position is compared. Several challenges such as lack or inadequate finance, cultural and religious discrimination, political violence, illiteracy and inadequate education, marginalization in political party hierarchy among others has been identified as responsible for this state of affair. In spite of these challenges, women have made considerable in-road into the political landscape of the country since 1999. The tremendous energies of women activism and advocacy groups, the track records of achievement of women in politics and decision making, the increasing number of educated and professional women, the positive disposition of successive government towards women political empowerment and the growing interests of women to participate in politics have place women as important players in the Nigerian political topography with bright future prospects. To consolidate on the current gains, women leadership organizations, government and relevant stake holders should continue to advocate for the revision of legislations to favour the protection of women from abuse, empower them economically and politically especially through the strengthening of affirmative action and allocation quotas for women in politics and decision making position

5.4 Recommendations

In order to promote women empowerment towards national development, the following recommendations are hereby made:

  1. The creation of awareness is important in any issue of vital importance to this global challenge. The awareness should centre on what women empowerment is, its benefits to individuals and to the society and way of achieving it.
  2. The Nigerian nation owes the women folk the responsibility of removing those artificial and institutional barriers based on religion, culture or traditional considerations which have incapacited the ability of Nigerian women to participate effectively and freely in national affairs particularly at the political and economic levels.
  3. Government should as a matter of deliberate policy promote gender balance in access to education in Nigeria by insisting on the enrolment of certain percentage of girl children in schools. This is in line with the Affirmative Action that requires about 30 percent of women to be elected to political positions in African countries.
  4. The ministries of Women Affairs all over the Federation should play a great role in bringing to focus the fundamental challenges of the women folk which the government and other institutions of state owe the responsibility to tackle. To achieve this, constant pressure should be brought to bear on the authorities to create positions of responsibility and advancement for the women folk.
  5. Women on their part should strive to break through development barriers with great determination, perseverance, unbreakable solidarity and genuine desires to conquer the natural challenges of their origin.
  6. Every women forum, whether in the city or rural areas, should be effectively utilized as an avenue to educate the illiterate ones among them on skills, knowledge and values that will help them improve their social, economic and political life style.

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