Women Involvement In Politics (A Case Of Study Of Ondo State, Nigeria)
Political participation is a voluntary act which encompasses wide range of political activities, including voting at election, contesting for political and party offices, attending political rallies, joining political parties and many more. Although, these political activities are considered to be “free zone” to all qualified citizens, especially in liberal democracies irrespective of disparities in wealth, education and gender, experiences in African countries generally and Nigeria in particular show that certain cultural values have systematically over the years impeded female gender from participating in politics, at least to a certain degree which to some extent tend to re-define the tenets of participatory democracy. With convincing data, the paper unveils the extent these cultural values have impeded the female folks from participating in politics in Nigeria and proposes alternative suggestions.
1.1 Background to the Study
The question many people ask or will likely ask is why have the issues of women become so pronounced in both political and academic cycles today? The immediate response is that, there has been an awakened consciousness that women worldwide suffer all kinds and forms of discrimination. This, it has been argued, can only be fought if a worldwide and collective approach to the problem is evolved (Madunagu, 2003; Aliegba, 2005). The women question has also come up seriously as attempts by proponents of women’s rights have fought and continue to fight to make the women issue a major agenda for developmental.
Thus, programmes related to women have gained prominence, and have brought about the (2009) Cairo Programme of Action, which came under the auspices of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). One of ICPD’s critical goals is to bring education, and encourage women’s economic contribution, which will ultimately lead them to political participation (Agishi, 2002). We need to note that the struggle for the rights of women started long before the creation of the International Human Rights System. For example, in 1993, the Inter-American Women’s Commission of the Organisation of American States (OAS) that was formed in 1928 adopted a convention on the nationality of women, which was the first legislation on women’s rights (Aliegba, 2005; CENGOS, 2002).
In the United Nations system, women fought for the recognition of sex discrimination in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Committee on the Status of Women(CSW) was created parallel to the Commission on Human Rights itself, at its first meeting in1946. As a consequence, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, signed in 1979 and came into force in 1981 (Aliegba, 2005). In addition, the Berlin Conference of 1995 gave worldwide collective support for women issues for world attention.
Nigeria is a signatory to several international instruments affirming women’s rights and equality with men (World Bank, 1994). Prominent among these international instruments are the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, which was adopted as far back as 1952 but ratified by Nigeria in 1980. The convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted in 1979 and ratified by Nigeria in 1985. Furthermore, the Nigerian Constitution enshrines in it the principle of gender equality. In spite of the numerous international and national instruments as well as Constitutional provisions affirming the equality of men and women in all spheres of life, Party Politics inclusive; very few womenhave participated in the management of Nigeria, public institutions such as Political Parties, Legislative Assemblies and executive councils are depicted as “male clubs”. A peep into what transpired in the past republics including the most recent election (2011) that brought the present government into power still witnessed the marginalisation of women in politics.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The incessant discrimination against women in politics is reaching a breaking point in Nigeria as a whole. There is even the problem of women discrimination among the female folks, not to talk about discrimination between men and women. Women are regarded as second class citizens as a result of the presumption that the kitchen is the place where women belong, bringing into question their role in politics.
- What is the level of women involvement in Ondo State politics?
- What are the challenges facing Ondo State politics?
- How can women involvement in Ondo State politics be improved?
- How can improved women involvement in politics accelerate overall national development?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To know the level of women involvement in politics
- To know the challenges facing Ondo State politics.
- To know how women involvement in Ondo State politics can be improved.
- To know how improved women involvement in politics accelerate overall national income.
1.4 Basic Assumptions
The basic assumptions that will guide this research work is as follows
- That there is levelling ground for women to participate in politics in ondo state
- That women are willing to participate in politics in ondo state
- That there is more charismatic and able body educated women who are ready to lead the people
- That there is no discrimination of women in ondo politics
1.5 Definition of Basic Terms
An adult female person
The art of science of government or governing especially the governing of a political entity such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
To occupy or engage the interest of something.
The major Trust of the Liberal Framework
- Lens of gender and gender equality
- Emphasis on traditional understanding of human nature and personhood: rationality, individual autonomy, self-fulfillment (characteristics possessed by all).
- Sex and gender neutral; all human beings possess a common nature.
- A just society is a society that allows individuals to exercise their freedom and fulfill themselves.
- Emphasis on equality of opportunity; all persons deserve an equal change to develop their rational and moral capacities so that they can achieve personhood.
- Because society has the false beliefs that women are by nature less intellectually and physically capable than men it excludes women from many opportunities and civil rights as men are given.
Both the primary and secondary sources of gathering data would be adopted in carrying out this research.
The primary sources: these are the data that would be generated by me for the purpose of this research. The primary sources of data collection which will be most suitable for a quantitative research of this kind will involve the administration of questionnaire on people on their views on political participation. The questionnaires will be well structured in a close-ended form which will provide the respondents with several options to choose one without being bias.
In administering the questionnaires a purposive sample method of probability will be used. This means random selection of people from one entire population. For this research a sample size of 200 people would be selected from the estimated population of 1000 people. The selection will be made based on efficient representation of the entire population.
This can be either primary or secondary sources or both.
The study population will centre on people from Ondo State.
Sampling procedures will be employed to determine the number and specific respondent of the study.
Techniques of data collection
A self administered questionnaire and interview guides will be used to collect data from respondents. In this method, the respondents will be asked to complete the questionnaires themselves. This method will be chosen because it will help respondents to complete the questionnaires and interview guides at their convenience.
Method of Data Analysis
The data will be arranged and collated in order to sort for the ones that have been answered partially or not answered. After editing and coding the data will be entered into the computer using the statistical package for the social sciences software. The data will be analysed using basically descriptive statistics involving mainly frequency distributions and cross tabulations.
1.7 Scope of the Study
Basically the scope of this research will only be woman participation in politic in ondo state.2007-2011
1.8 Limitation to the Study
The limitations to the study are as follows:
In ability to gather all questionnaire from respondent as a result delay on the part of respondent in answering questions
Bureaucracy problem as a result of in ability of respondent to fix appointment for interview.
Another problem that i may encounter in the course of this research is the inability to cover all areas of interest as a result of time constraint
But I will try my possible best to cover all lapses and make sure this research carried out within the limited time frame given to me.
Organization of Chapters
This study will be organized into for five chapters.
Chapter one introduces the background of the study and gives a description of the background to the study, it enumerates the research problems, issues, time, events, aims and objectives of the study, the scope and limitations of the study. It further gives a general overview of the subject matter.
Chapter Two dwells on a review of the literature and the theoretical framework of the study, it focuses extensively and essentially on previous and existing work on women participation in politics.
Chapter three and four of the study will focus on the research method itself, here data from the primary and the secondary would be analysed. Here the various independent variable particularly women and politics in relation to the research questions formulated. This shall also be evaluated and interpreted accordingly. This shall be followed by detailed discussions.
Chapter five includes the summary, suggestions, recommendation and conclusion of the study, the area uncovered in this research be shall be identified, suggestions and recommendation shall be given for further studies.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
It should be stressed that despite constituent declaration of the equal status of men and women in most countries of the world gender hierarchy still remains at the social and informal levels of societies with consequences of limiting women’s participation in education, economic activities and the political processes.
Women have always been an integral part or infact one say the backbone of my society. Any society that decides to subjugate women and keep them in the background with their contribution unrecognized and unappreciated can never move forward.
The study assessed and discussed the various causes of political cases in Nigeria and the involvement of women in Nigeria and Ondo State politics between 2007-2011. It also looked into the factors that militates women involvement in Nigeria politics and decision making. Nigeria case material was discussed in terms of both assessment of the weak status of women and the way forwards. Data showed that the impact women is not felt.
The major factors responsible are cultural glass barriers weak position of women in education and business, lack of affirmable action, the paper suggested that women participation can be enhanced in the intermediate future through affirmative action’s though legislation, greater women cooperation and economic empowerment of when. In the long term, the cultural barriers would have to be dismantled through campaign programmes and projection of positive women role models for peace, one must remember as a bird cannot fly with one wing as a man cannot applaud with one hand, so a country cannot make peace with one state, with itself (Odeyemi)
Towards the attainment of women involvement in Ondo State politics the following recommendations will be helpful.
1. Constitutional Provision:
To ensure women’s maximum participation and involvement in the political process. Apart from the general reference to non discrimination on the basis of sex, there is nothing in the Nigeria constitution that is aimed at redressing the disparities that exists along gender lines in Nigeria. The Electoral Act and INEC also need to put in place similar provisions. In particular, if INEC’s role continues it should include women’s participation as a condition for registration of political parties and the composition of cabinets after election.
2. Economic Empowerments:
This would drastically reduce the dependency ratio (level of unemployed dependents on the productive population). Since women are over represented amongst the poor, empowering women economically by various governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations would mean substantial reduction in the poverty rates and this would definitely increased the number of women participating in politics.
3. The roles of Media and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs):
The media could devote more screen/airtime or pages to women political participation characters and their activities. Women journalist should influence their managements to reserve column or create programmes that would support women political activist. Women issues in NGOs should constitute watch dogs and draw attention to areas of women’s low involvement in the political party process. It may be considered that they may be empowered to report identified cases to the Human Right Violation Investigation Commission (HRVIC).
4. Provision of Adequate Security:
As part of reducing election related violence that at times discourage women from engaging in “hard core” political activities, security agents most of whom are men should be encouraged to be a political and extra sensitive to the special needs of women. Also, there should be law banning thuggery and violence in all future elections any politician caught engaging in the use of money and things that can create political turmoil should be banned and sanctioned. The political ideology which says politics without bitterness” should be imbibed and encouraged by all and sundry.
5. Political Enlighten:
Political parties need to engage in mass political education against subsisting marginalization of women and the benefits of involving women in the political and party process.. this will go a long way to reduce traditional, cultural, religious societal misgiving about this. After all, political parties are supplied to educate and mobilized citizens.
6. Provisions of Adequate Education for Women:
All barriers to female education should be removed, education in Nigeria should be free at primary and secondary levels or heavily subsidized; and parent who withdraw their girls from school for whatever reasons should be prosecuted.
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