ROLE AND IMPACTS OF WOMEN IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, A CASE STUDY OF UYO LGA
This work studied women participation in community development with special emphasis on Igbo Eze South Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. The exercise was carried out due to the observed lag in women participation in community development all over the country. The work had four key objectives which it sought to realize. These include: to ascertain the barriers to women participation in agriculture within the local government, to ascertain the impact of low level of education on women participation in community development, to determine how to enhance women participation in the politics of Igbo Eze South Local Government Area and finally to identify ways of empowering the women for optimal participation in the overall development of the communities. The researcher made use of both primary and secondary sources of data to generate data used for the study. These data were presented in tables and analysed using simple percentage. The researcher found out the various barriers to women participation in community development to include cultural practices, low level of women education, poverty among the rural women and violent that characterize the country’s politics. It is therefore recommended that cultural practices that deny women free access to land should be abrogated; Government should provide modern farm implements to the rural women farmers and also educate them on how to use these implements to enhance productivity; girl child education should be made free and also compulsory at least at secondary school levels. Globally, women participation in community development has been generally less than encouraging despite their numerical strength. The situation has grown so worst that it has generated both national and international recognition. Women empowerment remains the focal point of international conference on women held in Beijing, China in 1995. The number three item in the table of Millennium Development Goals is gender equity and women empowerment. Before MDGs programme, there has been other global treaties, declarations, and conventions on women such as the one held Mexico, Nairobi, Dakar and New York in 1975, 1985, 1994 and 2000 respectively. In Nigeria, various interventions and conferences such as the one held in 1989 was embarked upon to improve the status of women in the society.