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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
History has shown that development can occur only when every member that constitutes the society participates in its development. Hence development should be seen as a collective responsibility of all the people that make up the society irrespective of sex, age class.
Though the colonial administration gave little recognition to the socio-economic status of women thus women’s role in economic empowerment was relegated to kitchen and catering to the needs of their children and husband. While empowerment and trade were for men.
Now the Nigerian woman has gone beyond the stage of merely agitating for liberation or equal right with her male counterpart. The nation’s current constitution of 1979 accepts the obligation to accord women the same treatment as is accorded to men in all spheres of life, particularly in all areas covered by the convention. Women, today contribute over 80% of the nations food supply.
Though women contribute over 80% of the nations food supply, their economic power are still limited. They have limited access to ownership of land and housing, limited participation in nation building. The role of women in economic empowerment is determined by the society and also by the societal perception of the status and place of women and the extents of their participation in economic development of their family and the society in general.
With the recognition of women as vital instrument for economic empowerment and the realization of the vital role of women in the field of Agriculture, health and commerce, Education, the need to properly organize equip and harness the potentials of women towards national development remains inevitable.
One cannot therefore, over emphasis the important role which co-operative movement can play in Nigeria, especially in this era of food shortage and economic depression. It is certain that the co-operative society plays in increasingly significant role in satisfying material, social and potential needs of their rural and urban women in Nigeria. It was as a result of this that the Federal Republic of Nigeria in her third National Development Plan (1975 – 1980) had a policy objectives of fostering the growth of co-operative movement as instrument for achieving increases Agricultural Productivity and rural transaction, some of these programmes such as Better Life for rural women, Family Support Programme and Family Economic Advancement Programme are yet another move by the government to ensure women participation in development.
Co-operative societies are organized groups, which are created to accomplish one or more functions including production, purchasing, supplying and the provision of credit facilities to its members.
Inspite of the government emphasis on the need for Nigeria to form co-operative societies in order to achieve self sufficiency in food production especially during this period of depressed economy. We are yet to experience the women’s full participation in co-operative societies. Ijere (1981) estimated that out of a population of 80 million, only 2.4% of Nigerian women were co-operative. It is against this backdrop that the present study goes on to investigate the role of co-operative society in Economic Empowerment of women and the problems militating against the full participation of women in co-operative society with a view of making recommendation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
It has been universally accepted that no nation can achieve a full economic power and sustainable growth it she leaves women out of development process. It is quite imperative for developing nation to consider both sustainable human development and economic growth as function of investment on girls and women as resources or engines of growth or social engineering. However in Nigeria, we find that to varying degrees. Women especially rural women constitute socially economically and politically disadvantaged group when compared to their male counterparts.
The introduction and formation of co-operative society in Nigeria is being targeted to correct the imbalance .Thus the problem to be solved in this research work are centered on the nature, organization role and relevance of co-operative society towards the economic and educational development of women .This research also intend to see co-operative societies solve the economic needs of women .
In Nigeria, guest for Education and Economic power have made a lot of plans and strategies to be implemented and amongst these measures in the recent past has been the clarion call for the formation of co-operative societies. This work will therefore enable us highlight its contribution and explore areas that need improvement for Economic Empowerment of women .The research will go further to make reason able suggestion with a view to putting zeal for its formation to be extended to the rural women . The research will go further to make reasonable suggestion with a view to putting zeal for its formation to be extended to the rural women.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study is guided by the following questions.
(i) Do co-operative societies contribute to national development?
(ii) To what extent do women engage in socio-Economic roles that contribute to national development?
(iii) To what extent do women experience difficulties in their role performance towards Economic Empowerment?
(iv) What problems confront co-operative societies?
(v) To what extent does lack of fund effect women in the struggle for economic emancipation?
(vi) To what extent does illiteracy effect women participation in co-operative?
(vii) What kind of aid or intensive do governments give to co-operative secretive?
1.4 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The research was therefore undertaken for the purpose of the following.
(i) To find out types and classification of co-operative societies.
(ii) To determine the extent to which these co-operative societies help their member economically.
(iii) To identify the problems that confronts women’s participation in co-operative society.
(iv) Base on the findings; make recommendations on how the efficiency of these co-operative society can be enhanced.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The value of any research depends on its contribution to knowledge and development. The study is important especially now that the present democratic government has placed great emphasis on the mobilization of women for rural and national development.
This study will enable the federal government to work out and implement realistic measures to motivate women so that they can embark on some economic ventures. No nation can grow beyond its enlightened populace. However, this form a confront towards educating and enlightening the rural women who constitute the greater part of the population inculcating in them the acceptance of the dignity and more superior option to form co-operative societies for their economic empowerment.
This study also highlights the activities of co-operative societies, ills and setbacks confronting co-operative societies in Nigeria with an aim of making recommendations on how these problems could be checked so as to improve the man-woman economic imbalance.
It will be a stepping stone for other similar research especially in the area of women and national development.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
The present study is delimited to the point that will concentrate on the socio-economic role of co-operative society in empowerment of women s well as identifying factors that militate against participation of women in co-operative societies.
This study is confined to co-operative societies in Bende Local Government Area. This will enable the researcher make adequate investigation within the limited time and resources available.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The definition of the underlisted terms is as used in the context.
CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY: This is an association of persons who have voluntarily joined together and having as its primary objective the promotion of members socio-economic well being through self efforts and democratically managed by members of the society in line with agreed principles.
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: This is the process by which group, communities or sex with low per capital national income may increase their production of goods and services employment level of demand so as to raise their standard of living.
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: This is the progressive quantitative and qualitative change of a country. To contribute to national development is to be effective in one’s role.
ROLE: This is the behaviour that is generally expected of ones who occupies a particular position or status.
ENLIGHTENMENT: This is getting an individual to adopt to the environment in which he lives by inculcating in him those knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required for his day-to-day activities. It could be seen as an instrument for modernization and change.
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