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1.0       Introduction

This study titled “A discussion of the effects of war and on women and children using Femi Osofisan’s Women of Owu is intended to elaborate on the issues concerning the impact of war on citizens in the society. In any society on earth war is one of the worst misfortune that there ever could be because of its devastating effects on the people especially women and children. Children born in war zones suffer from hunger, injury and death from weapons. Women that happen to find themselves in these zones suffer from hunger, injury and death from weapons, they also suffer from rape, diseases and a lot more. This is so because warfare has changed from being a battle between soldiers to being a battle that includes and focuses on civilians. In some war zones babies’ skulls are dashed against rocks; toddler’s heads are thrust off in a bid to wipe off generations. Levy Bary and Victor Sidel. Stated that “Women and children make up 80 percent of refugees world wide” (187-188)

For women, the dangers of war go far beyond the violence of combat. In situations of armed conflicts, women suffer some of the greatest health and social iniquities in the world. A war gutted health system can be a death sentence for both mother and child in countries where even the peace time risk of dying from pregnancy is staggering high.

It is very crucial to end wars and conflicts because the threat of violence remains long after fighting ends. This study would focus on a lot of materials that would aim at a better understanding of the impacts of war.

            1.1       Statement of the Research Problem

The effects of war on women and children is a very critical one which has caused loss of lives, poverty, health disasters and a lot more. War has affected women and children in a way that most of them carry these injuries and scars for the rest of their lives. It is important to elaborate this problem because war is like the taste of a bitter pill that lingers long after it is swallowed, therefore in this research work the various ills of wars would be discussed extensively along with possible remedies that could end it.

The concern of this research is to discuss the impact of war on women and children in war zones.

The study also tries to evaluate the major causes of war, the roles played by citizens in the war and the achievement and failure.

1.2       Purpose of Study

The concept of conflict and its effects especially in Africa and specifically in Yoruba land of Nigeria have been misjudged by lots of people. Women and children form more than half of the population of a society yet, they are the population of society yet, they are the most victimized during war, hence, this research aims at providing ways to end these conflicts and open the eyes of the world to the predicament of women and children. In  the western region of Nigeria.

The purpose of this work is to explore the effects of war on women and children to draw more attention to victims of war in Nigerian using the play Women of Owuby Femi Osofisan; to discuss the need to prevent wars and conflict; to discuss the need to prevent wars and conflict to investigate possible remedies to the challenges. It would achieve this through the use of the sociological theory and concept of conflict theory.

1.3       Scope and Delimitation

The scope of this study ultimately focuses on the views of Femi Osofisan on war and its effects on women and children.

The study is delimited to women and children in Nigeria who have been affected by war in one way or the other and also Femi Osofisan’s Women of Owu.

1.4       Methodology

This study would be based on Women of Owu by Femi Osofisan which would serve as the primary source. The secondary sources would be information for journal, newspapers other scholars view, internet research and books from the library. It intends to use sociological theory and specifically conflict theory in order to arrive at certain facts in the research.

1.5       Justification

War is a recent phenomenon in human evolutionary history. It is a serious global public health problem in many years. This research shall examine the trauma women and children face during war by looking closely at Femi Osofisan’s Women of Owu, and the suffering imposed by war, the empathy and pity for the victims of war especially the women in which to make war less damaging to women and children and to also make it a reference work to other prospective researchers.

1.6       Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework to be adopted in this research is the sociological theory. The sociological theories are the core and underlying strength of the discipline. These theories are responsible for guiding researchers in their studies and also guide practitioners in their intervention strategies. Without the knowledge of this theory, a practitioner cannot know the right way to apply help when needed, it also provides ways to understand how to see the larger social picture in one’s personal life.

            A theory on the other hand can be seen as a set of interrelated concept used to describe explain and predict how society and its parts are related to each other. The sociological theory is like a pair of glasses that helps the researcher to see happenings in a society clearly. Sociological theory can be used to study society millions of people in a state, country even world level and when a theory is applied at this level, it is considered to be a Macro theory this theory best fit the study of massive numbers of people i.e typically conflict and functional theories. Macro theories are those theories which best fit the study of small groups and their numbers.

            On a general note, sociological theories are classified into four main parts: structural or functional, symbolic interactionism theory, social exchange theory and conflict theory.

Social exchange theory claims that a society is composed of ever present interactions among individuals is who attempt to maximize words while minimizing costs. This theory is very similar to conflict theory in terms of assumption and it uses formula to measure the choice making process. (Reward – cost)

Symbolic interactionism theory. This theory comes in two theoretical forms; symbolic interaction and social exchange. The symbolic interaction is used for theory for understanding other people, improving communication, and learning and teaching skills etc it also at helping the researcher understand that man by its very social nature is very symbolic.

Functional or structural theory. It claims that the society is in a state of balance and kept that way through the function of society’s component parts. Socialization, religious measurement, injustices, peace, friendship, love, healthcare etc are just a few of evidence of functional process in our society.

Conflict theory. This is especially useful in understanding war, wealth and poverty, the loves and the love notes, revolution strife, exploitation, child abuse slavery, and more conflict-related social phenomenon. This theory claims that society is in a state of perpetual conflict and competition for limited resources. This theory assumes that those who have perpetually try to increase their wealth at expensive and suffering of those who have not. Falola agrees that “insufficient, inaccessible and even distribution of  resources are some reasons that people natures to wage wars against one another” (28). Therefore the purpose of this research, the conflict theory would be used throughout the study as if affects the care subject of women and children in war situation.

1.7       Background of the Author

Born in 1946 in Erunwon village in Ogun state, Nigeria, Femi Osofisan is a prolific critic, poet, novelist, and playwright, whose work mainly attacks political corruption and injustice in Nigeria. He was educated at the universities of Ibadan, Dakar, and Paris. A professor of Drama since 1985 at the University of Ibadan where he has spent most of his adult career, Osofisan was the General Manager and Chief Executive of the National Theatre Lagos. He has won prizes from the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) for both drama (1980) and poetry (1989) and in 2004 he was awarded the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), the highest academic prize in Nigeria.

Femi Osofisan is also known for his critic of societal problems and his use of African traditional performance and surrealism in some of his works. A didactic writer whose works seek to correct his decadent society. He also believe so much in the ability of literature to address and solve societal issues. He is also the heir apparent to Wole Soyinka among the second generation of dramatist in Nigeria. His plays are the most frequently performed in Nigeria theatres as it enacts myth,, legends and past historical development or link to other people’s origin.

1.8 Conclusion

This chapter discussed the basics of the research work and also builds the foundation which the project would begin. At the end of this chapter the reader is able to understand to theory to be adopted and scope of study.

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