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POLITICAL SCIENCE

GUIDANCE NEEDS OF RIVERS STATE WOMEN TOWARDS IMPROVING REPRESENTATION IN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

NEEDS OF STATE WOMEN TOWARDS IMPROVING REPRESENTATION IN POLITICAL

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GUIDANCE NEEDS OF RIVERS STATE WOMEN TOWARDS IMPROVING REPRESENTATION IN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

ABSTRACT
This study looked into the requirements of Rivers state women for advice in order to improve their representation in political leadership. The goal of this study was to look into the educational,

vocational, and personal-social guidance requirements of women in Rivers State in order to improve their representation in political leadership. Six (6) and six (6) null hypotheses based on the women's educational level and location drove the investigation.

The Need Assessment Survey was used by the researcher. The women were sampled initially using the multi-stage sampling procedure. Later, from a population of 2,474,713 females, 2000 women were purposely chosen for the study: 500 literate, 500 non-literate, 500 urban, and 500 women.

The researcher created the Inventory for Women's Political advice Needs (IWPGN) questionnaire, which was used to collect data from respondents on their educational, occupational, and personal-social advice needs.

The instrument was validated by three specialists from the Faculty of Education at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and its reliability was assessed using Cronbach Alpha statistics.

The final result was an Alpha Coefficient of 0.90. To answer the research questions, descriptive and inferential statistics were employed, including frequency tables, mean and standard deviation. The null hypotheses were tested using the t-test at the 0.05 Alpha level of significance.

The study's major findings included, among other things, that literate, non-literate, urban, and rural Rivers state women require educational and vocational guidance to improve representation in political leadership, while non-literate and urban Rivers state women require personalsocial guidance more than literate and rural Rivers state women.

There was a significant difference in the mean scores of literate and non-literate rural Rivers state women's educational and personal social guidance needs for strengthening representation in political leadership.

There was also a substantial variation in the mean score of the educational and vocational guidance needs of Rivers state women in urban and rural for strengthening representation in political leadership.

The study found that women are more aware that education and political ideology have a negative impact on their political prospects; women are no longer comfortable lobbying for political leadership positions but need guidance on how to be assertive and manage themselves, and so on.

The study's recommendations included the construction of advice and counselling units in urban and rural regions, the establishment of adult learning centres in communities, leadership training for women, and so on.

1 INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER ONE
Background of The Study
Participation and representation of women in political leadership appears to be a worldwide issue beyond national and international borders. Women's low political participation has contributed to their lack of representation in political leadership.

The United Nations and other international organisations have organised worldwide conferences, seminars, and other initiatives to address the issue of women's underrepresentation and participation in political leadership.

The Beijing Platform for Action (1995) emphasised the importance of women's equal involvement and representation in political life in the overall process of women's development and accomplishment of the goals of equality and peace of nations.

It also advocated that women have equal access to, and full involvement in, power structures, decision-making, and leadership. The United Nations Development Report on Executive Opinion Survey study (2004) on women political empowerment found that:

Women are poorly represented in lower levels of government; they are even rarer in the upper echelons of decision-making; and women are absent from structures of governance at the national, regional, and local levels, implying that they do not contribute meaningfully to how resources are allocated.

According to Ogunna (2003), politics is the process by which people are kept in orderly and peaceful behaviour and through cooperative effort; skilled management of tensions and resolution of conflicts, disagreements, social leadership, the general interest and welfare of the people are attained, sustained, and the survival of the 1 2 state is maintained.

According to Northouse (2007), leadership is the process by which an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal; Unanka (2002) defines political leadership as politicians who implement or interpret laws while encouraging the active and intelligent cooperation of the ruled.

Pitkin (1967) defines political representation as the action of making citizens' voices, opinions, and viewpoints “present” in the process of determining public policy. Pitkin further observes that political representation happens when political actors talk, advocate, symbolise, and act in the political arena on behalf of others.

Women appear to participate in politics passively in Nigeria, which has hindered their representation in leadership roles. According to Agbara's (2007) assessment on women's engagement and representation in Nigerian politics, from 1979 to 1983, there was only one female senator out of 57, three female representatives out of 445 in the Federal House of Representatives, and two female ministers.

Between 1991 and 1993, only 27 (2.3%) of the 172 legislators in the House of Assembly were women, and only nine women challenged the office of state governor out of 300 candidates,

with none of the women winning. During the same period, only 143 of the 8,800 counsellors were women, and only nine of the 774 local government chairmen were women.

Only 12 women were represented in the State House of Assembly out of 983 members. Women empowerment projects were developed in response to these poor representations in order to empower women socially, economically, and politically.

These projects include, to name a few, the Better Life Programme for Rural Women, the Mass Mobilisation for Self-reliance, Economic Recovery, and Social Justice (MAMSER), and the National Orientation Agency (NOA). Furthermore, numerous women's professional associations were established across the country to empower women.

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