PARTICIPATION OF women IN COOPERATIVE IN NIGERIA
PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN COOPERATIVE IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background Of The Study
Women have become crucial in the affairs of any nation, particularly in economic and national development processes, whether in the formal or informal sector, urban or rural areas, according to the current world economic system. Women's participation in a country's economic life, such as Nigeria, is merely one facet of their evolving responsibilities in society (Onyejiuwa, 2016).
Etim (1995) illustrates the shifting status of women in Nigeria when she states that women are the most topical topics on the international or global development agenda.
Women's issues have various nomenclatures nowadays, such as women's issues, women's concerns, women in development, women in politics, and even women in science and technology.
Regardless of the nomenclature, there is global agreement that international development plans must include methods for integrating women into the development and economic processes. Cooperative activities are one of the areas in which women in Nigeria, particularly in rural areas, are supposed to be actively involved.
Women may be able to change some of their social economic realities by participating in cooperative activities, such as establishing chances for self-actualization economically, changing public image of their status,
and, most crucially, improving their general level of life. Women's roles in the modern world economy have expanded beyond child bearing and house management (Okafor, 2008; Arowolo and Achuko, 2010);
they have become key stakeholders in the economic and social growth of their families and societies (Okafor, 2016). However, women's active participation in cooperative activities may be unsustainable unless they have unrestricted access to relevant, timely,
and reliable information that is appropriately packaged and presented. It is the perceived lack of proper awareness about cooperative opportunities available to rural women that keeps their participation in cooperative activities from being satisfactory (Ikonne and Duru, 2015).
To unleash women's economic potentials through cooperative activities and thereby boost their enthusiasm to join in cooperative activities, information must be supplied at the appropriate time, at the right place, in the right quality, and in the right amount.
The information situation of rural women in Nigeria, when viewed against the backdrop of illiteracy, poor communication facilities, the presence of harmful cultural practices, and the like among rural women, leads people to believe that rural women lack adequate information on cooperative matters in general.
Women make up the majority in rural areas, and they are involved in all stages of agricultural enterprises, accounting for approximately 80% of all food items produced (Njar, 1990; Mgbada 2002; Rahman, 2004), as well as 70% of food production and 50% of domestic food storage in the country (Ritche, 1977).
Furthermore, they constitute an active and reserve labour force, but they rarely own the means of production (Rahman 2004), implying that the role of women in agricultural growth cannot be overstated. Cooperatives have long been viewed as one of the most important institutional mechanisms for empowering the economically disadvantaged sections of society.
Because cooperatives are commercial organisations that adhere to a larger set of principles than those associated solely with the profit motive, they are able to promote economic and social growth. Cooperatives contribute significantly to job development by directly giving self-employment to members and providing services to non-members.
In a wide number of countries, enterprise development, particularly the promotion of small and medium-sized businesses, has been adopted as a prerequisite and a strategy for job creation and economic growth (Essien, 2000).
Despite the availability of cooperative societies and government efforts at all levels, it appears that a significant proportion of rural women are either unaware of their existence or lack the basic socioeconomic characteristics required for participation in such activities (Idrisa et al., 2007).
In some societies, women are not allowed to conduct business independently or without the approval of their husband. Participation in cooperative activities is severely hampered as a result. Even if women's legal rights are mentioned in a cooperative in some circumstances, they may not be enforced or may be supplanted by customary law.
According to Ashanti (1993), a lack of social, economic, and legal rights explains women's poor participation in cooperative decision-making and leadership positions. Aside from cultural issues, women, particularly in developing countries, face formidable constraints that prevent them from actively participating in cooperatives,
most notably the traditional role of women in society and the widespread misconception that women's reproductive and domestic responsibilities constitute their primary role.
Despite women's key responsibilities in home health and nutrition, Eboh (1988) recognised that women's roles in agriculture span all aspects of agribusiness, including food production, livestock production, fishery, and farm management.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Cooperatives have long been viewed as one of the most important institutional mechanisms for empowering the economically disadvantaged sections of society. Because cooperatives are commercial organisations that adhere to a larger set of principles than those associated solely with the profit motive, they are able to promote economic and social growth.
Cooperatives contribute significantly to job development by directly giving self-employment to members and providing services to non-members. In a wide number of countries, enterprise development,
particularly the promotion of small and medium-sized businesses, has been adopted as a prerequisite and a strategy for job creation and economic growth (Essien, 2000). As a result, the researcher plans to explore the impact of women's engagement in cooperatives.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this research is to determine the influence of women's participation in cooperatives. The researcher seeks to accomplish the following specific goals to aid in the completion of the study:
i) Determine the influence of women's cooperative participation on rural women's development.
ii) To look into the role of cooperatives in empowering rural women in Nigeria.
iii) To research the impact of women's cooperative participation on rural women's development.
iv) Determine the significance of cooperative societies in women's empowerment
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The researcher developed the following research hypotheses to aid in the completion of the investigation.
H0:Women's participation in cooperatives has no effect on the economic growth of rural women.
H1:Women's engagement in cooperatives has an impact on the economic growth of rural women.
H02:The cooperative society has no part in empowering rural women.
H2:Cooperative societies play an important role in empowering women in rural communities.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that when the study is completed, the findings will be of great importance to the management of cooperative societies because the study will assist the management in implementing policies that will integrate women into the organisation.
The study will also be of great importance to the government at various levels because it will help the government establish cooperative that are female friendly in order to increase adequate participation of women in rural communities.
The study will also be valuable to researchers who want to conduct research on a similar topic. Finally, the findings of this study will be of great service to the government, academia, academics, researchers, and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study's scope includes women's cooperative participation; nevertheless, due to the nature of the investigation, the researcher encountered various constraints that limited the extent of the study.
a) RESEARCH MATERIAL AVAILABILITY: The researcher's research material is insufficient, restricting the scope of the investigation.
b) TIME: The study's time frame does not allow for broader coverage because the researcher must balance other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) FINANCE: The funding available for the research endeavour does not allow for broader coverage because resources are limited due to the researcher's other academic bills.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A cooperative is defined as “an autonomous association of people who have come together voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”
Participation in social science refers to various procedures that allow the public to voice their thoughts – and, ideally, exercise influence – on political, economic, management, or other social decisions.
A woman is a human being who is female. The term woman is typically reserved for an adult, while the phrase girl is commonly used for a female kid or adolescent.
1.8 ORGANISATION OF THE STUDY
This research paper is divided into five chapters for easy comprehension. The first chapter is concerned with the introduction, which includes the (overview of the study), issue statement, objectives of the investigation, research question, importance of the study, research methodology, definition of words, and historical backdrop of the study.
The second chapter highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, as well as a survey of related literature. The third chapter discusses the study's research strategy and methodology.
The fourth chapter focuses on data gathering, analysis, and presenting of findings. The study's summary, conclusion, and suggestions are presented in Chapter 5.