THE ROLE OF BROADCAST MEDIA IN MOBILIZING WOMEN FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON MASS COMMUNICATION
The low rate of female participation in politics compared to that of their male counter- parts in Nigeria creates a need to examine the situation in this study, “The role of broadcast media in mobilizing women for political participation in Nigeria”. This study examines the problems, first, defining the importance of women to participate in politics. The survey research method was employed in this study and questionnaires were used for data collection, then the hypotheses were tested using chi-square statistical procedure to reach a definite conclusion. The results reflect that broadcast media have positive impact in mobilizing women to participate in politics. In summary, broadcast media is found wanting in fostering development for gender equality in politics. In recommendations, suggestion of ways to stimulate female participation was made by looking at practical examples of how this was done in the pre-colonial era. Finally, in conclusion, the study emphasizes that no sex or gender is more important than the other because in politics, intellectual ability counts more than physical energy.
1.0 INTRODUCTION CHAPTER ONE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Women constitute a critical segment of the Nigeria population. They are active in the agriculture and economic sectors of the society and have also contributed immensely to the decolonization and general development of this great country.
Women struggles date back to the 19th century when women like Amina of Zaria, Madam Tinubu of Lagos, Olufuamilayo Ransom Kute of Abeokuta, Margaret Ekpo and Hajji Gabon Swabia among others fought to give women the pride of place in Nigeria’s history even after the struggle for independence was over and Nigeria became an independent soveign nation, women continued to contribute their quota in the post- independence match towards development and progress. In the areas of politics, the above named amongst others contributed immensely to the mobilization and sensitization of women with a view to ensuring that women are involved in the politics of the country.
At present, the issues pertaining to women have contributed to draw a global attention with the result that the problems that impede their progress are currently being addressed concretely. Consequently, the crusted for women empowerment has heightened the political consciousness of women. Some of them occupy strategic positions in government where they have continued to prove their mettle. For instance Dora Akunyili, Oby Ezekwesili of Due process Fame, Ndi Okereke Onyilike and Ngozi Okonji Iweala among others has undoubtedly distinguished themselves in their official assignments.
The role of women in development has for a long been taken for granted and relegated to the back ground. For a long time, politics in Nigeria has been played with the usual patronizing attitude which usually does not go far in enlightening women. Some of the factors employed are social and cultural practices which hither to have been misinterpreted to create biases against women. There is need for women to be properly oriented so that their numerical strength and voting power can be profitably galvanized and oriented towards empowerment of other women who will in turn look after the welfare of all women by formulating gender sensitive laws to promote women’s cause.