WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN NIGERIAN POLITICS
This study or research on women empowerment in Nigerian politics is divided into five (5) chapters. The first chapter is on the topic that deals with the introductory part of the study by providing a comprehensive historical background to the study, identifying the major problems, grapples with the review of relevant literatures and the methodological issues involved in the research process. Chapter two (2) highlights the relationship between politics and women participation in Nigeria, taking into cognizance the periods of pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial. Chapter three (3) focuses on how culture is hindrance to women participation in Nigeria, other factors affect the participation of women in politics. Chapter four (4), how high educational attainment enhances women participation in Nigerian politics. Finally, my chapter five (5) is based on my summary, conclusion, and recommendation. Then this study tends to establish gap between the existing literatures in terms of whether there is any relationship between politics and women participation in politics, as well as how culture hinders women participation in politics, and the enhancement of women participation in politics by high educational attainment.
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study
Politics is very important in every human society. According to Pennock et al (1967) “Politics refers to the forces that constitute and shape the government of the state and it’s politics and actions” According to (Goodnow, 1904: 1959). Politics involves the activities of the officials institutions of state. This can be ascertained that the stability, cohesion and level of socio-economic development that any society enjoys are reflective of its political leadership. It ensures that human, natural and economic resources are controlled by few people who are interested in the art of management, on behalf of the generality of the people. These are of course positions of responsibility that confer on the holders, certain rights, authorities and privileges of the politicians. In order to take care of all human interests, the two genders are supposed to be fully engaged in politics. However, the reverse is largely
dominated by the male gender, often to the detriment of the female (Afolabi, 2008). The result is a “malevolent” militarization of politics in Nigeria.
Participation in politics refers to different ways in which people exercise their rights over the political process. It is seen as a means to an end, where the end may be referred to as political leadership Milbrath (1955) sees it as ranging from voting to taking part in decision process, attendance, at political meetings, funding and holding public and party offices participation according to him involves discussion, debates, and lobbying (both formally and informally).
The concept of participation lies in the culture of democracy. The first principle of democracy adopted by the council of the inter-parliamentary union Cairo, 16th September 1997, is stated as being
“… a universally recognized idea as well as a goal, which is based on common values shared by people through out the world community irrespective of cultural, political, social and
economic differences. It is thus a basic right of citizenship to be exercised under conditions of freedom, equality, transparency and responsibility, with due respect for the plurality of views, and the interest of the policy.”
This concept gives room to every human being to have rights to share in the making of decisions that affect their lives and that of their community. This right was affirmed by the establishment of the commission on the status of women (to promote women’s political and economic rights) by the United Nation in 1946. The year 1952 saw the adoption of the convention on political rights of women world; wide, and in 1967, the convention for the elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CE DAW) was endorsed. This convention is upheld by all international, regional and national legal instruments that concern children and women, such as the convention on the Right of child (CRC) and the organization of African unity (ONU, New African Union, AU). Charter on the Rights and welfare of the child. It also includes
the National policy on women (NPW) adopted by the federal government of Nigeria. In July 2000. with the ratification of CEDAN in 1985, Nigeria undertook to work towards the elimination of discrimination against women and goals in all fields, whether political, economic, social or cultural. Since the adoption of this policy by the government, very little improvement in the exercise of women’s rights (especially in the area of politics) has been witnessed. The Beijing conference of 1995 on women articulated. Some areas crucial to the empowerment of women. These include poverty, education, healthcare, violence against women, effects of conflicts on women, power-sharing and decision-making mechanisms to promote the government of women, management of natural resources and the environment and the girl child. The Beijing platform for action made concrete plans to ensure women’s equal access to and full participation in power structures as one of its strategic objectives. It also affirms the needs to increase women capacity to participation
leadership and decision-making processes and bodies. One of the key initiatives in this ongoing process was the security council resolution of 1325, which urged member states to ensure increased representation of all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institution and mechanism for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict (UN, 2000AD/1325).
Taking the census of political activities both in the country and in the world at large, the number of political practitioners is quite insignificant as it is infinitesimal compared with men. In African, with particular reference to Nigeria, no women have been elected as governor of a state either during the civilian or military rule. Much they have been commissioners in the state or ministers at the federal level not to take of presidency, though some critics may be quick to mention, the case of Dame V. Etieba of Anambra State, but the truth remains that she was not elected. However, when the seat became vacant due to the treacherous and kangaroo
impeachment of the PDP led house of Assemble, being the second in command she had to boss the show for the in term which she did credibly well more than most of her male counterparts in other states. No other event can adequately represents the inhibitions and political road-blocks set for women than, in which even when Hon. Patricia Etteh managed to emerge as the first female speaker of the National House of representatives, these male chauvinists working round the clock saw to her exist.
It is therefore, on this background that this work. “Women Empowerment and Politics in Nigeria” is born.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Women empowerment is revolutionary development in the political history of Nigeria, Africa and the contemporary global society. Since Nigeria independence women in Nigeria have been given unfair representation in public affairs and with increased demonstration of their managerial capabilities
in all spheres of human endovear, there is therefore, the need to give attention to the quest for wider participation of women in public affairs especially in leadership responsibilities.
Politics as well as I know is a game of numbers, the history of Nigerian politics is mostly with male domination, which have systematically excluded women from equal participation in Nigeria political activities.
Women usually constitute a smaller of political partly membership because of the social, cultural and religious attitudes of different Nigerian societies which most often lend to relegate women to the background. As a result, only very few men, even among the educated, allow their wives to come out and participate in politics. In Northern Nigeria, for instance, an important factor inhabiting women’s participation is the purdah system (i.e. house seclusion of women).
The essence of this research work is to investigate the various causes of marginalization of women in Nigeria politics, were the call for women empowerment.
To achieve this target, we therefore, pose the following research questions:
1. Is there any relationship between politics and women participation?
2. Does culture constitute a hindrance to women’s participation in politics in Udi Local Government?
3. Can high educational attainment enhance women participation in politics and lack of finance?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to investigate women’s participation and factors that affect their participation in Nigeria. The specific objective are therefore, as follows:
1. To examine the relationship between politics and women’s participation in politics.
2. To determine how culture hinders women’s participation in Udi Local Government Area.
3. To find out how high educational attainment enhances women’s participation in politics.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Every research endeavor is prompted by a societal need to address a pressing problem. This study therefore is no exception, it has both academic and political importance.
The study will fill the existing gap in knowledge, it will also serve as an academic contribution to the movement for the recognition and realization of gender quality in the Nigeria matrix, particularly since Nigeria is a nation constitutionally based on the principle of democracy and justice.
The practical significance of this study include among other things that its findings and recommendations will be useful to policy makers, non-governmental organization, women organization and other stakeholders in the quest for gender equality.
It will equally be of importance to students, scholars and researchers in the field of political science and public administration that are saddled with the task of organizing and managing the public issues and affairs of the larger Nigerian society