THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN IZZI LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF EBONYI STATE
This study was carried out to examine the Role of Women in Community Development in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. A total of six (6) communities in the study area were used for the study. 230 people were selected through simple random sampling techniques to complete the questionnaire. The instrument used for the study was a structured questionnaire designed by the researcher for the collection of data and the survey research design was adopted for the study. The questionnaire contained 20 items based on the research questions. The mean and frequencies were used for the method of data analysis. The data were analyzed and interpreted using mean scores. The results of the findings revealed that political and economic instability militate against effective role of women in community development because valued resources are not properly allocated to the appropriate quarters. Inconsistent policy formulation and programmes design as well as unpurposeful leadership militate against the Role of Women in Community Development. However, women are formidable productive force and a store of incredibly human resources which are required for community and national development. Therefore, women should not be discriminated and marginalized due to their potentialities in development sphere. Based on the findings, it was recommended that political and economic stability, review of government policies and programmes on the role of women, emancipation of women should be urgently and properly carried out completely, special child care/security allowance should be given to the women. Women should be heard, seen and involved in all ventures through their concerted efforts and all plans for the achievement of the objective of women development progress should be prudently designed and faithfully executed.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is pertinent to note that women are at the heart of development in various nations, state, local governments and even communities as they control most of the non-monetary economy (subsistence agriculture, bearing children, domestic labour etc.) and play vital role in the monetary economy (trading, wage labour, employment etc.) (Yawa,1995). Everywhere in the world, women work both around the home and outside the home. The most topical issue in international developmental programme is women.
In support of this, Eze (2008) asserted that the instrumental role of women in community development is obvious, hence, cannot be over-emphasized. The woman as an individual is an agent of production of life itself. This inevitable role places her in the position of the life blood of the entire humanity. Woman is the first teacher, the sustained and maintainer of the home, the peace maker, and the symbol of beauty as well as the major character molders of the child. She is the mother to human race. As mothers and wives, women do avert considerable impact on the productivity: male workers. As workers in their own rights, they can be linked to the rejected stone in the Holy Bible which has definitely become the corner stone of the house. By their sheer psychological and intellectual make up, women do perform more than mere complementary roles in the production process Jerminiwa, 1995).
To be candid, most of the contributions by women globally had not been recognized until recently when the United Nationsdeclared:-the Decade for Women (1976-1985), making it mandatory on governments to focus on issue of women as an integral component national development.
To ensure the actualization of this noble objective, the United
Nations General Assembly in 1979 adopted the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Consequently, subsequent conferences on women were held in Copenhagen, Demark 1980, Nariobi in Kenya 1985, and Benjing in China, 1995.
Notwithstanding, an international news magazines “Africa Today” reported in July, 1995 that the full implementation of all the strategies and recommendations of the various conferences on omen issues had still not been achieved and enthusiasm was waning. According to the magazine, the United Nations itself reported that only six out of the 184 ambassadors to UN are women and only four out of the 32 UN specialized agencies and prgoramme are headed by women.
But in Nigeria the 1995 constitutional conferences has only eight women out of a total of 369 delegates. Sadly, much of women’s work remains invisible, unremunerated and unrecognized. But women are now challenging the status quo to right women are working for an improvement in their socio-economic statues and for recognition in national development (Amah, 1995).