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WOMEN IN NIGERIAN POLITICS (A CASE STUDY OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION AND IMPACT TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT)
Women are always regarded as second class citizens. They are seen as inferior to their male folks when compared. They should be seen and never heard. This has been the prevailing situation since ancient times as the world is being regarded as “the world of men”.
Women in recent time have debunked the claim of female inferiority and have since been challenging men, in all spheres of life even they argued that: in politics, what men can do therefore, women can do better .
This study examined the “Contribution and Impact to National Development of Women in Nigerian Politics”.
This work is divided into five chapters. Chapter one focused on the Introduction, Background of the Study, Statement of the purpose, Significance, etc.
Chapter two, examined Nigerian women in pre-colonial government such as the Unuada in the Eastern part of Nigeria, Egbe Iyalode women as well as Funmilayo Ransome Kuti in Yoruba Society, in the Hausa land, Queen Armina of Zazzau, women at the Grassroot Politics etc.
In chapter three, the researcher discussed the impact of Nigerian women in politics such as Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Ita Giwa Florence, Dame Virginia Etiaba.
In chapter four, the researcher enumerated factors militating against women in politics.
Finally chapter five, contains, the Summary, Conclusion and Bibliography.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of contents vi
Background of the study 3
Statement of purpose 4
Purpose of study 4
Significance of study 5
Research procedure 5
Limitation of study 6
Definition of terms 6
Literature review 10
Nigerian Women in Pre-Colonial Government 10
Women at the Grass Root Politics 18
Women and Corruption 21
Impact of Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Florence Ita Giwa in Nigerian Politics 25
Another woman who participated in politics; Virginia Ngozi Etiaba 34
Factors militating against women in politics 38
In the last couple of decades, feminist propaganda has sought to persuade the world that women are powerless in the society, and that men are natural oppressors of women. It claims that wives are subordinate to their husbands in the home; and that, outside the home; men have excluded women from political, economic culture power. This great division of opinion among women should prompt one to ask: Which kind of claim is true? Which picture is the illusion, and which is the reality? If the essence of power is the ability to get what one wants, then women are far from power. Women do get, and always did get, what they want - be it riches, or thrones, or the head of John the Baptist, or routine exemption from hardships and risks which their male folk are obliged to endure. That women operate by methods; which often differ from those available to men, does not in any way mean that women are bereft of power.
The issue of leadership is so important in our society today that we cannot afford to make a careless choice based on ethnic, religious belief, and gender sentiment: Everyone who has made a mark in the world leadership today or in time past succeeded not because he or she had a unique gender or birth.
Democracy is commitment to service at the society or a way of governing the people through their self-choice leaders according to written or unwritten constitution governing such a society.
Gender requires analysis because a common outcome of the gendering of social activity is an unequal and inefficient distribution, between men and women, of the capabilities for realizing well-being; many, if not most people would agree that women and girls are disadvantaged in life relative to men and boys, even though national statistics sometimes do a poor job of capturing the relevant inequalities.
The pervasiveness of female disadvantage is one of the most interesting and least understood features of economic life.
Moreover, because men govern most nations of the world, most societies have been set up to address the need of the male before the need of female. What about the 'sit tight' syndrome among African leaders? The perspective of the researcher her s that God has created the male and female equally to help each other rule over their world yet the makes pride always come to play when issue of politics is at stake. The question is can man be a successful leader all the time? Is man the only gender that is perfect to play politics? Should a woman be seen in the corridor of power? Can we say that the women are not good at politics? All these are questions to be looked into in this research work.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
People who seek for political office are elected into such honorable office and sworn in after taking national oath that binds them to that office, culture, religion and the people they are to serve, in a short while, turn against the will of the people that elected them into power. Could it be that the politicians deceived the people during campaign? Or does the problem of gender arise from the new elected political office? Was break down of constitutionaI laws and due process built on error?
Volume has been written and spoken, people have gone through education before taking political offices, yet a conclusive solution is not given to abuse of office and power most especially in African nations (where the norm is sit tight or 'the winner has it all' in public offices) what impact has the male or female politician made in our country (Nigeria)?
These are some of the question, the researcher will attempt to contribute to the success of governance in our nation Nigeria and its controlling purpose is to look critically at the contribution and impact of women in Nigerian politics.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This misconception, ignorance and archaic believe in our society today has put the woman off balance in her political will. It is so bad and fearful that in politics, the idea of ethics, ethical religion and gender complex background find it hot to the political arena.
Another problem of this study is that of electoral malpractices by the officials and politicians. This is common among politicians. Since they see power as a do or die affair. Another thing is greed that leads the elected officers into corruption and abuse of office and power in any form or ways.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This long essay intended to address real politics in Nigeria.
· To access politics in line with the Nigerian cultural norms, religious and gender case.
· To point out the problems and challenges that confronts Nigerian women in the corridor of power.
· To access the impact of women in Nigerian politics and the rule of law.
· To identify the impact of Senator Florence Ita-Giwa in Nigerian politics.
· To point out other women that participated in Nigerian politics and the roles they played.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is very significant and necessary to indicate the present, potential and value of women in the corridor of power.
The study will be important to government, National Electoral Commission, interested women politicians and to students of political science for further research.
It is also going to be a reference point to academia.
The research method of this study shall be major library research, reference to books, past works of other students, journals, lecture notes, handouts, and periodicals as they relate to issue of women in Nigerian politics. Personal interviews, opinion sampling with group of politicians, political scientists, and non-politicians embarked upon, will definitely give the data needed for this project.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is limited by time constraint. The researcher has no enough time to carry out extensive research work. Financial constraint was also another factor since it requires the researcher to travel out, cost of materials, typing, binding etc, some certain documents posed financial impediment to the researcher:
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Politics: Political science sees “politics” primarily as the struggle among individuals and groups to influence or control government or a struggle among different government, or a struggle among different governments. And it is also sad that politics is a struggle for power.
Aristotle, a Greek political philosopher said that man is by nature a political animal. He means that the essence of social existence is politics and that two or more men interacting with one another are invariably involved in a political relationship.
Aristotle concluded that the only way to maximize ones individual capabilities and to attain the highest form of social life, was through political interaction with others in an institutionalized setting, designed to resolve social conflicts and to set collective goals.
David Easton: Defined politics as the authoritative allocation of values for a
Max Weber: Also defined politics as; the operation of the state and its institutions that is, the strive for power or the distribution of power among individuals and groups within a state.
Oxford Advanced Learner's dictionary defined politics as:
(a) Political affairs or life. (b) Competition between political parties. (c) Matters concerned with acquiring or exercising power within a group or organization.
New English Dictionary defined politics as a science and act of government, political activities, beliefs or affairs, factional scheming for power.
Webster's Dictionary: Science and art of civil government, political principles or opinions; political methods.
IMPACT: violent contact, a shocking effect, the force of a body colliding with another to force tightly together to hit with force. (New English Dictionary)
Webster's Dictionary: Collision or impulse resulting there from Oxford Advanced Learner's dictionary defined impact as:
(a) A strong impression or effect on something (b) the action of one object hitting another especially with force. (Verb) To press or fix something firmly.
Oxford Advanced Learner's, dictionary defined Woman as:
(plural is women) (a) an adult female human being (b) Female lover or girl friend (c) The female sex (d) a, female worker or woman under the authority of somebody
Webster s Dictionary: Adult human female; female sex.
The Holy Bible, Collins Clear Type Press London.
Dr. Myles Munroe (@ 2001) Understanding the purpose and pfwQ1pan Whitaker House
Glazer, Daphne (1977) "Problems of Education of Girls in Nigeria" Aspects of Education No. 19 University of Hull, Institute of Education
Olaosebikan E.O. (2007) That this house may stand: Towards Rebuilding the Nigeria State. Published in Nigeria by Peace Gladiators Consult.