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POLITICAL SCIENCE

ROLE OF WOMEN IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

ROLE OF WOMEN IN IN

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ROLE OF WOMEN IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This aims to highlight the positive and negative aspects that affect or limit women's roles when starting on initiatives in Umuagwu, Ejemekwuru, Oguta local government area, Imo State of Nigeria.

The inspiration for selecting this topic stems from the awareness that women's contributions to community development have served as a catalyst in the rapid progress seen in so many countries around the world.

A sample of 120 respondents was gathered from the four villages that comprise Umuagwu, Ejemekwuru. All of these respondents took part in the survey. However, the interview approach was the primary research instrument used in this study, as it was designed to cover all components of the investigation.

The findings of this study highlight the fact that women in Umuagwu, Ejemekwuru play a critical part in the community's development efforts. It also discussed how individuals face challenges when attempting to fulfil their tasks.

Based on the preceding, the researcher recommends that the government at all levels, financial institutions, and other relevant authorities learn to provide maximum support to women's community development projects in Umuagwu, Ejemekwuru.

Chapter one

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Over the years, the government has made various attempts to address the inelastic demands of communities with limited resources, but these efforts have been ineffective. As a result, Eze. C. (1999: 126) considers community development to be one of the alternative vehicles for constructive societal transformation.

Mere (1982:304) emphasised the importance of community development as a tool for social improvement and communal upliftment. Also, in 1956, the United Nations issued a concept of community development that is now widely accepted around the world.

According to them, it is the “process by which the efforts of the people are united with those of governmental authorities to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of communities,

to integrate these communities into the life of the nation and enable them to contribute fully to the national progress” (Khindula, 1971, p. 1).

Given these viewpoints, there is a need for help from other organisations to supplement the government's efforts to promote better living patterns for members of society. Women organise themselves into groups for aid activities in towns and villages based on this principle.

Women participate in all stages of the community development process, from identifying felt needs to implementation and evaluation. They implement enlightenment programmes for government policies related to tracking their members, the significance of family child care, and home economics. Most significantly, they help extension workers connect with the community's women.

Women have attempted to introduce an understanding of societal changes and how to deal with the issues that such changes bring. They promote religious belief, the care of motherless and abandoned children, the care of the poor, modern household management,

, day care centres, and so on. These women could be members of cooperative, self-help, welfare, church, communal, or exchange labour groups that promote economic, social, and political development.

The wisdom and determining qualities imprinted in the women of the Umuagwu community have contributed significantly to the development initiative. Exactly like any other community. The women's group in Umuagwu has made significant contributions to the community's growth.

These women take on a variety of physical initiatives, such as building stores and market walls, constructing maternity homes, renting canopies and so on. Indeed, their importance to the social and economic growth of Umuagwu and society as a whole cannot be overstated.

As moms, they play essential roles in their children's education and socialisation by teaching new trends in house administration, body care, environmental cleanliness, and contributing to society's physical growth. They are always eager to offer their skills in whatever capacity is requested.

Women are a powerful social class, so there should be no limit to what they may do collectively to community development. However, various issues have hampered women's attempts to form such groups and work together. Women's roles in community development in Nigeria are frequently viewed as secondary and, in many cases, far inferior to those of men.

In our society, elements working against women's roles in community development have resulted in numerous economic, social, and political setbacks. At times, the primary impediment to women's participation in community development in Nigeria is unintentional; rather, it is the result of unexamined preconceptions about women's cares and interests that have gone unchecked throughout time.

Meanwhile, the purpose of this study is to investigate the reasons that delay and inhibit women's participation in community development in Umuagwu in order to give answers to the difficulties.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The underrepresentation of women in community development has produced a major issue in our society. These issues have piqued the interest of many governments, writers, and anybody concerned with Nigerian progress.

Three decades ago, hundreds of seminars, conferences, and workshops were held in Nigeria to promote women's roles in community development.

The prevalent practice nowadays is to mobilise professors and professionals to publish papers that identify the purposes and propose solutions to the numerous obstacles impeding women's roles at all levels without actually studying those causes.

However, it has increasingly been recognised that such attempts have not yielded the desired results. This is why Olowole (1998) stated that the reason most poverty alleviation projects and programmes fail is that the operators are unfamiliar with Nigerian women's ideas and ambitions.

Johnson (1995) emphasised that no nation can flourish if its women are neglected. Women are Nigeria's most valuable resource for stability, economic growth, progress, and unity. Okere (2008) also recognised that women's strong engagement in national decision-making is a development indicator.

Thus, the causes limiting women's participation in community development in Nigeria will be studied, and solutions will be presented.

1.3 GOALS OF THE STUDY

The primary goal of this research is to investigate the role of women in community development in Nigeria, with a focus on Umuagwu in Ejemekwuru.

However, other specific goals of this study include:

1. To raise awareness of the crucial responsibilities that women play in community development in Umuagwu.

2. Identify some of the barriers to women's participation in community development in Umuagwu.

3. Make recommendations for solutions to women's difficulties in Umuagwu community development programmes.

1.4 Significance of the Study

There is no research done merely for the purpose of adding to an already existing body of knowledge. This effort will help to further women's studies and responsibilities in community development in Nigeria.

It will also contribute to existing understanding on the subject. The study will also be useful for other researchers who want to conduct additional research on women's activities.

The study's findings will assist the public and government in changing their attitudes and perceptions about women, which are impeding Nigerian progress, such as believing that politics is for men.

The study would teach governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) how to support women in their quest for rights and freedom.

Women will greatly benefit from the findings of this study in the following ways. The study will highlight the primary areas in which women are underserved, such as economics, social justice, politics, and health. The research findings will inspire women's organisations to continue their fight to end discrimination against women in employment, job promotion, and other areas of fundamental human rights.

Again, the study will persuade society to stop believing that one part is superior to the whole, as well as to stop undervaluing their human resources (women) and, as a result, to try to integrate women in all activities.

The study will also focus on the real difficulties surrounding women's roles in community development in Nigeria. This would encourage society to work towards removing the barriers that have hampered women's roles in Nigeria, particularly in Umuagwu.

The findings will help society greatly since they will highlight the essential responsibilities that women play in community development.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION.

This research will be conducted using the following research question.

1. Identify the barriers to women's participation in community development in Umuagwu.

2. What are the reasons why Umuagwu residents refuse to recognise women's contributions to community development?

3. What essential responsibilities do women play in community development in Umuagwu?

4. What are the remedies to women's problems in community development in Umuagwu, Ejemekwuru community?

These and other concerns are the driving forces behind this research.

1.6

This study includes the null hypothesis (Ho) and the alternative hypothesis (Hi). The Hi would be rejected anytime it was proven to be true. The hypotheses are as follows.

According to the first Ho, there are no barriers to women's participation in community development in Nigeria.

The first Hi, on the other hand, asserts that there are numerous barriers to women's participation in community development in Nigeria.

According to the second Ho, various fetishistic and specious elements work against women's participation in community development in Umuagwu.

The second Hi asserts that there are no fetishistic or spurious forces working against women's participation in community development in Umuagwu.

According to the third Ho, women participate in numerous development initiatives in the Umuagwu community.

The third Hi, on the other hand, claims that women in Umuagwu do not participate in development activities.

The fourth and final hypothesis suggests that people's thinking will help solve the difficulties of Umuagwu women.

On the contrary, the fourth Hi states that changing people's ideas will not assist solve the situation affecting Umuagwu women.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will primarily investigate the relationship between women's engagement in development initiatives and development itself.

It will cover topics such as the factors that work against the efficacy of women's roles in community development, as well as potential remedies, but will not focus on society as a whole as it affects women and development, but rather on Umuagwu women in Ejemekwuru.

1.8 Limitations of the Study.

One of the study's weaknesses was data gathering, which was carried out using the interview approach.Naturally, the interview method of data collection has always been problematic because some people may be suspicious of interviews and their motives,

resulting in information distortion (either as a result of honest misunderstanding or as a result of purposeful misinterpretation).

Second, the lack of concern for development difficulties among certain women was a challenge during the course of this research.

The study was further hampered by a lack of time due to other pressing matters.

In addition, a lack of funding and sponsorship, which almost discouraged the researcher, was a significant limitation.

1.9 Definition of Terms

During the process of conducting this research, the following concepts were defined and implemented within the context of this research activity.

Community: There is no specific explanation of the idea of “community” because different writers and authors have given the word various meanings. According to Onyenwigwe (2011:293), Chaturvedi (2006:60) defines a community as “the total organisation of social life within a limited area”.

Warren (1971:324) described community development as a purposeful and ongoing effort to strengthen the horizontal pattern of a community.

Development is a complex, confusing, and multifaceted concept. It has no acceptable definition because each definer experiences it via his or her own theology. The Business Dictionary describes it as “the process of economic and social transformation based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions.”

Women's Organisation: The act of organising female adults into groups with varied purposes and names.

Role: relates to the function or significance of women.

Women: This term refers to the female adult in humans.

Stereotyping: This term refers to an idea or character that has been fixed or standardised, and the idea may be incorrect.

Politics: Lasswell (1936) defines politics as “who gests what, when, and how?”

Ventures are businesses, projects, or activities that entail risk-taking.

In this study, Felt Need refers to the most pressing need that people identify and strive to address.

Efficacy refers to achieving the desired or intended outcome.

Factors are facts, events, and other elements that contribute to the production of an outcome.

Population refers to the total number of people living in a given area, city, or country.

Orientation refers to the training or information provided before to the start of a project or a new job.

Enlightenment is defined as knowledge and comprehension of something, as well as the process of comprehending something or convincing someone to understand it.

Sexism is the unfair treatment of people, particularly women, because of their sex.

Abdicate means to fail or refuse to complete an obligation.

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