1.1 BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Afolabi et al. (2013), women make up over half of the world’s population and contribute in important ways to societal development generally. In most societies and communities woman gender assumes five major roles: mother (wife), producer, home-manager, community organizer and socio-cultural, political activists. Of these key roles outlined, the least has been engendered by women movements attributed to gender discrimination and inequality in Nigeria and Africa. Hitherto the emergence of these key movements, gender roles was subdivided between the male and female genders. These key roles can be generally classified into- the productive and the reproductive gender roles. Whereas the former (productive gender) roles were mainly associated with the male sex, later (reproductive gender) roles were especially to their female counterparts. This societal believes was deeply rooted in the cultural beliefs and values of societies in the modern day world from those societies and communities we might want to refer most egalitarian to those which sexual stratification is marked, men are the locus of cultural value and belief part of the area of activity is always seen as exclusively or mainly male gender and therefore overwhelmingly and morally vital” (Rosaldo and Lamphere, 1974). ‘As a consequence, female gender had for long suffered different kinds of gender discrimination inequality and exclusion, exclusively in the area of politics’. The movement for alleviation and eradication of female gender discrimination is also a multiple consequence of this system of beliefs and cultural values and norms in the past decades. These societal beliefs towards the female gender, as well as ethnic and most times religious (especially In Africa) doctrines and norms, have turned into self-fulfilling prophecies. Gender role socialization assign distinct and often unequal task and political positions to biological sexes turning them into socially distinct gender in the perspective of economists see this as the sexual or gender division of labor. This concept is familiar to the Nigerian political system where genders are assigned to different complementary tasks or jobs, now inherent in the labor market and the political scene in Africa as a whole.
Efficient participation of women in politics and government is essential to building and sustaining democracy and general societal development in Nigeria and beyond. Comprising more than 50% of the world’s population, female gender continues to be under-represented as voters, political leaders and elected officials in the modern world. Democracy cannot truly deliver for all of its citizens if half of the population remains no or underrepresented in the political system. Despite the effort being made by our sister countries in Africa to bridge and close the gap between men and women in political system, Nigeria government has not deemed it necessary to implement this. However, the recent election of women in presidents in Africa, Latin America and Europe is being hailed by many as a seminal movement for the advancement of women in politics. The international community has encouraged countries and especially African countries to keep at least 30% seats in their national parliament reserved for women in other to encourage women participation in politics. In Nigeria, the roles of men are more highly recognized than those of women when it comes to politics and leadership (Banerjee, 2013).Female gender today is still seen as poor political/social problem solvers and therefore ineffective political leaders. Despite the key contribution they have made in developing the country, they are still side-lined in both elections and appointment into public offices in Africa. The Nigeria women have continued to receive a short shift in social, political, economic and reproductive matters. Available statistical data from 1999 general elections to 2019 shows that politically, women are disempowered.
The exclusion of women in politics has been identified in recent times as one of the major setbacks for societal development. The poor presentation of women in elective positions has been a major social development issue since the beginning of the current poor societal development in Nigeria. Politics as a real-world phenomenon is gendered. The world over, core conditions of people's lives—including their health, education, security, as well as access to markets, public space, freedom of expression, and their work—are fundamentally shaped by their identification as being of a particular sex or gender group and this has limit the general development which includes social, economic etc. This so because political office holders are usually the male gender who do not give or encourage female gender to be at the helm of affairs (Waylen et al., 2013). When women become economically, socially and politically empowered through participation in politics and giving a chance to serve the public through an elected position, not only do they benefit themselves, but so does their community, society, and National development (As Sen, 2001). The expansion of women’s capabilities not only enhances women’s own freedom and well-being, but also has many other effects on the lives of all. An enhancement of women’s active agency can, in many circumstances, contribute substantially to the lives of all people men as well as women, children as well as adults. For any country to experience an effective society development and change their must be an encouragement for women in leadership or to participate in politics.
Cramer (2015) opined that men and women allocate resources differently and that women tend to favor a redistribution agenda and to spend more on children’s education, social services and health. These are the basic needs of the people, which can bring about tremendous development to any nation. But women who have the tendency to carry out these programs of development are under-represented in the democratically elected parliaments around the world and this is an undisputable fact (Karp and Banducci, 2008).The vital importance of women’s participation in politics and governance is attested to by Daramola and Oniovokukor (2016) who found that intra-state conflict is likely to occur in States where gender equality in political representation, has not been achieved. The reason for this is that ethnic mobilization is more likely to readily develop where there are severe gender inequalities since gender relations contribute crucially to the shaping of group identities, in ways that influence the dynamics of inter-group conflict. In other words, ethnic nationalism is essentially patriarchal and it promoted more effectively where gender inequality is relatively high. And Daudu (2017) has shown that ethnic identity is particularly important for Nigerians.
The past two decades have witnessed an impressive rise in women’s political representation around the world, with the global average in the share of women in national parliaments doubling during that time, and all regions making substantial progress towards the goal of 30 percent women’s representation in decision making1 (IPU, 2015). Nowhere in the world has the rate of increase in the political representation of women been as fast as in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 1995, no African country had elected more than 30 percent women to their single or lower houses, but by 2015, twelve countries elected more than 30 percent women to such legislative houses, five elected more than 40 percent; while one (Rwanda) elected more than 60 percent (IPU, 2015). Lack of progress with women’s political representation in Nigeria is surprising considering that women’s role in the country’s socio-economic and cultural landscape appears to be increasing; and it is expected that the increasing role of women in the society would translate to greater inclusion of women in the political process. Ibeanu (2009) identified four major socio-economic and cultural changes with potentials to positively transform women’s political representation in Nigeria. The first is the growing “voice” and rising profile of women in the economy, community work and various spheres of professional and public engagements. The second is the gradual but steady withering of cultural restrictions on the perception of women in public affairs since the last three decades. The third is the rapid expansion in the work of activist women organizations supporting increased participation of women in politics and a resultant rise in the number of women joining politics and standing for elections.(ibeanu2009)While the fourth is the increasing tendency of women to take up economic roles in the family previously reserved for men and to question the myth of the “male as-breadwinner” in many middle and low income families..Therefore this study tend to examine women participation in politics and its impact on the development of society
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, there has been raging debates over the participation or desire of women in Nigerian politics. Some argue that: Women are regarded as weaker sexes are social constructs owing to social value, norms and beliefs, which have neglected their meaningful contributions and have placed them in a subordinate position to men in the nation’s political system. This ‘sexual division of labor’ in the political system is often traced to the onset of colonialism in Nigeria. Their Western cultural notion of male superiority reflected in their relations with Nigerians. This has created a gap between women and their ability to participate in politics today, thus affecting their influences on the society or community which they found themselves. This study tends to examine women participation in politics and its impact on the development of society.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to examine women participation in politics and its impact on the development of the society. The specific objectives are to;
1) Asses the level of women participation in Nigerian politics.
2) Examine women participation in politics and its impact on the development of the society.
3) Examine the factors that influence women participation in politics in Nigeria.
4) Examine the relationship between women in politics and development of the society.
5) Examine the barriers that limits women in the participation in politics towards societal development in Nigeria
6) Recommend solutions to the barrier that limits women in the participation in politics.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What is the level of women participation in Nigerian politics?
2) What is women participation in politics and its impact on the development of the society?
3) What are the factors that influence women participation in politics in Nigeria?
4) What is the relationship between women in politics and development of the society?
5) What is the barrier that limits women in the participation in politics towards societal development in Nigeria?
6) What are solutions to the barrier that limits women in the participation in politics?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: Women participation in politics has no significant impact on the development of society
H1: Women participation in politics has a significant impact on the development of society
H0: There is no significant relationship between women participation in politics and society development in Nigeria
H1: There is a significant relationship between women participation in politics and society development in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would have contribution to enlighten the society on to women participation in politics and its impact on the development of the society. It would also prepare ground for interested researcher who might wish to conduct further research in related areas and could contribute to the existing literature.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to women participation in politics and its impact on the development of the society
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Woman: A woman is an adult female human. The term woman may also refer to a girl (a female child or adolescent). The plural women are sometimes used for female humans regardless of age, as in phrases such as "women's rights."
Politics: Is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The academic study of politics is referred to as political science.
Societal Development: A process in which a society increases its various capital stocks across social, economic and environmental capitals.
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