WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (A Study Of Bwari Local Government Area, F.C.T, Nigeria)
Background of the Study
Community development is an activity of people living in a particular region or people united by a common interest mainly for the sole purpose of a development program (Ohaegbuchi, 2014).
In the past, through it, women have fought against the cultural malpractices against them attract government intervention resulting from legislation in some cases and women’s mobilization in support of community development through self-Assistance is the root grass (Toyin, 2014)
The socio-economic problems in developing countries have encouraged the various communities to adopt strategies that allow them to raise their living standards and promote their social functioning. In an attempt to solve problems in the community, women in particular, engage in activities that lead to community development process (Toyin, 2014).
Lederach (2013) sees peace as a process that involves a wide variety of roles and activities, whose purpose is to “create and support the transformation and movement of restructured relationships.” The field of peace-building is a challenge into account the nature of the programs involved. Peace-building efforts are recognized in connection load between security and development. It aims to create and promote stability through the institutionalization of democracy, development, human rights, social justice, gender equality and other issues that could foster development in post-conflict society. All these are intended to consolidate peace and prevent a return to conflict.
In pre-colonial times to the early twenty first century, the role and standing of women in Nigeria have continually evolved. However, the image of a helpless group, oppressed and marginalized undermined their actual study, and little recognition was given to the various functions built that Nigerian women have made throughout history(Toyin, 2014).
In pre-colonial times, women have played a major role in social and economic activities. The division of labor was along gender lines, with women controlling jobs such as food processing, carpet weaving and pottery, and cooking. In addition, the land was owned in common, and women had access through their husbands or parents. Although a man was the breadwinner in a patrilineal system, older women had control of the work of members of the younger family.
The most serious threat to the influence and privileges of women took place in the 20th century, when combined with colonial patriarchy changes to change gender relations. As male leaders collaborated with the British colonial administration in the collection of taxes and to govern the position of women leaders has declined in importance. When the economy has become increasingly oriented towards the production of cash crops for export, Nigerian men and European companies have dominated the distribution of rubber, cocoa, groundnuts (peanuts), and the Palm oil. Women pushed to the background, were forced to switch to the production of food crops. A previous tenure which prevented the alienation of land gave way to land marketing, by favoring those who have access to the money earned from the sale of cash crops. Education Western style also favored boys over girls and women, and largely excluded from most of the new jobs introduced by colonialism. No society can only be good health when his women are excluded from decision-making and deprived of their voice.
The most powerful agency of change for the modern woman was formal education in Nigeria, from which a large number of elite women have emerged. Intelligent, educated, and confident, they can be found in all major business lines; they are now challenging many aspects of patriarchy and gradually organizing to ensure that the political arena is developed enough to accommodate them.
The role of women in community development can be dynamic to the health of a society knowing that, women make many of the decisions that determine the participation of a household in the community, including health care, education, and cultural decisions. In some parts of the world where women’s rights are still in development, the function of women in the growth of a community can be the strategic to reducing gender inequalities, provide for the needs of women and families, and wind-up eras of discrimination against women.
Although the days where women stay at home and cared for children are largely disappeared from Western society, women still have an important role in making household choices (Linda, 2011). In numerous families, women repeatedly choose where the family goes shopping, that schools and children attending activities, and the extent to which the family will participate in community events. As powerful Paid time off personal time off (PTO) decision, women are often familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of their community, and are well positioned to analyze the best way to improve society (Linda, 2011). As members of community development organizations such as outreach programs, associations of parents, cultural associations and planning boards of the city, women can use the knowledge garner household decisions make a substantial contribution to the future of their city (Ohaegbuchi, 2014).
The argument in the existing literature is that Nigeria profiles a large amount of violent conflicts that led to the destabilization and dislocation of the population. Series of regional conflicts, ethnic, political and religious have been tried in various parts of the country and together they led to the loss of many lives and many cases of displaced persons inside (Ohaegbuchi, 2014).
Women have been affected largely by the laws of the past that discriminated against them in a number of ways (Linda, 2011). Rural women have suffered the most because they were affected by national laws; those imposed by homelands, as well as those imposed by their local leaders. An example of this is legislation such as land, labor migration and others. By focusing on the impact of apartheid laws against women, pulling Dlamini and Julia (2012) as marginalization and dislocation not only threatened the position of women in society, but the social fabric and finally, the balance of the Nigerian society.
In rural areas in particular, the status of women is traditionally low. Most women were denied education by their parents, simply because they were women. Now some are being denied participation in paid employment. In most rural communities, there are few women who have reached any form of education. Some have dropped out of school before acquiring adequate education that could let them in skilled labor, and consequently to improve their socio-economic status.
Traditionally, there has been a perception that community development is a male activity. However, there was a preponderance of women in development in rural areas. kontagora the rural community that is the search area has a population composed predominantly of women who, due to circumstances mentioned above are engaged in development activities. Men have not been a force in development issues. The aim of this study is to understand the motivating factors for women’s participation in development, despite the perception of male dominance in the field of development. In addition, it is whether it is these circumstances that women find themselves leading them to engage in community development. Throughout the kontagora community more women are trying to involve in community development projects in relation to men.
As mentioned, developing communities have their own problem management styles that come through their lives. It is clear that people in the study area are also what they believe is beneficial or relevant to the resolution of their concerns. The researcher as a development agent is looking at this process of women’s involvement in community development as a means of strengthening their potential in the quest for development of resources within their communities and improve their status for greater recognition by the governing structures in case of the possibility of change and equality in terms of resources in Nigeria, Dlamini and Julia. 2012) argue that women have always been a major force in social and economic development of the country they deserve recognition and participation as an important element in this development.
Traditionally, women were expected to be involved in household chores like childcare and smaller economic roles. Nkopane (2011) argues that “women, on the whole in Africa, are more than two thirds of all jobs, but they earn only a fraction of the income generated. In most cases, their work is not recognized as a formal contribution to the economy.
In most African countries such as Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria, women are now recognized for their economic contribution and development cowards especially in rural communities especially Goodluck Jonathan’s regime (Linda, 2011). The countries of the Third World are now in line with trends worldwide as it has been established that there will be no progress in community development unless women are included in the work process. El Ghonemy (2011) points out that “the improvement of the situation of rural women is seen mainly as an issue of social welfare. Instead, governments see increasingly as an integral part of the solution of major problems: for example solve the food crisis in Africa to slow down the rural exodus and the reduction of poverty among poor households.
A better understanding of these problems has led to ongoing changes in policies and strategies on access to land, participation in rural organizations, access to credit, inputs and support services, diversification of employment opportunities through non-agricultural activities and women’s access to training and extension. “Women’s contributions must be taken into consideration because history shows that families survived because women were still there and their functions indicate that they are essential to their communities. Dlamini and Julia (2012) explain that before colonization (pending till the 19th century), women were once a dynamic force of economically independent individuals who have assumed responsibility for the production of food for the family.
Although other departments of the Nigeria administration like the Social Welfare and Development Department of the population before now have programs like the lighthouse and others to answer questions related to women being developed and these can not succeed unless there is much local consultation as possible. This study is another way to find out what women need and how they can influence these changes to take place for positive results in the development of their communities.
Despite these constraints, the rural African women have come a long way in community development. Through organizations, women began to help improve their lives and strengthen their participation in community development.
Statement of the problem
The drawbacks of multiple and discrimination that continue to plague rural women in many parts of the world was a problem expressed by many stakeholders as the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) continued its discussion on the promotion a few years Women with around 50 speakers took the floor (UN General Assembly 2014).
The advancement of women was one of the most important elements of the agenda of the Third Committee, the representative of Indonesia said, stressing that violence against women is still one of the violations the most persistent of human rights today. It was painful that the culture of impunity still exists in many parts of the world, the representative added (UN General Assembly 2014).
While addressing the issue of sexual exploitation of women and girls, the representative of Myanmar said the rape charges against military personnel in his country were “far-fetched” and based on unfounded reports by groups ” expatriates “who were part of a disinformation campaign against a sovereign country (UN General Assembly 2014).
Education is essential to the promotion of women’s rights, said by the then Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development of Nigeria, SaudatuUsmanBungudu. The Nigerian government was determined to improve the rate of girls in rural regions via better educational infrastructure and special incentives (UN General Assembly 2014) enrollment and retention. Some speakers added that women are still affected by poverty and unemployment problems, not to mention the discrimination and trafficking, which constitute barriers to self-fulfillment. He called the international community to make efforts to promote the rights of women more effective. The need of modernity had been the reason for Nigeria to break a number of social taboos, as a country that was a prisoner to archaic views could not develop and out with a model of society which enshrines the low status of women (UN General Assembly 2014). The researcher found it necessary to conduct this study in that particular area (Kontagora due to the abovementioned issues). Women have survived and continue to face difficult conditions in their daily lives. Over time, women are involved in community projects to solve their problems, like most rural areas, the host community faces many social problems such as poverty, unemployment and others, the population development Programme (2013) referring to Africa, says, ‘entire populations are already exposed daily to unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, disease, starvation and total social disintegration. An estimated one third of the population on this continent or over 150 million people suffer from famine. The writer has become interested in studying the impact of women’s participation in community activities to determine how their potential can be enhanced to improve their quality of life.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study aimed at exploring therole of women in community development as well as women’s involvement in community projects in kontagora Local Government Area of Niger state. Specifically, the sought:
- To look at the negative and positive factors which impact on women’s involvement in community projects.
- To investigates women’s views of their changing roles within the family structure.
- To explore what role rural women have in their rural community.
- To find out why some women are not involved in community development projects.
- To discuss the relationship between gender and development.
- What are the negative and positive factors which impact on women’s involvement in community projects?
- What are women’s views of their changing roles within the family structure?
- What role is expected of women in their rural community?
- What make some women not involved in community development projects?
- What constitute relationship between gender and development?
Significance of the study
This study is significant for knowledge building in the development and reconstruction, reform, modernization and restoration of rural areas where numerous changes have been caused by political violence andother economic factors. The migration of people from rural areas to informalsettlements nearer to towns is another problem facing Nigeria as in the case of boko haram resulting in IDPs. Theinaccessibility of facilities to meet the human needs in rural areas is perceived to be one of the major causes for this situation and regarding the area of study education plus sensitization believed to be necessary. This study is therefore significant for thisjurisdiction of kontagora which is affected by some these problems.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study includes an investigation of the role of women in community development as well as women’s involvement in community projects in kontagora Local Government Area of Niger state
The encounters that can pose an intimidation to this work include the following;
- Fund to be able to assess materials online and equally type the work
- Gatherings and retrieval of documents from archives, libraries and even those of higher institutions and courts turned to be vast hindrances.
- The cost of traveling to obtain these materials limits the movement to some places