THE MARGINALIZATION OF WOMEN IN POLITICS AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN IN IGABI LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF KADUNA STATE.

THE MARGINALIZATION OF WOMEN IN POLITICS AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN IN IGABI LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF KADUNA STATE.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF STUDY

In all human societies exists marginalization whereby individuals or groups considered undesirable are excluded or removed from the prevalent systems of protection and integration, thereby limiting their opportunities and means for survival (Anupkumar 2008). The question of who is being marginalized often comes to mind as people lay claims to ethnic ties, gender, religion,  race, educational status and social class as reasons for marginalization. In reality, marginalization is of  the under-privileged, the  non elites whose slum dwellings are routinely demolished, who are evicted from urban centers, whose livelihood sources are criminalized, whose unemployment has reached pandemic proportions  and whose living conditions have been permanently made hellish and unbearable  (Gaskia 2013).

All over the globe, marginalization  exist in different forms. Examples, in part of india and south Asia, there is a strong preference for having sons, girls are perceived as financial burden for the family due to small income contributions and costly dowry demands (Brett 1989), in mexico, the high murder and disappearance rate of young women has received international attention for the last ten years (Zeleza 2003). Among the various types of marginalization that exist around the world, political marginalization is the worst form (Young 2000).

The essence of political participation in any society either civilized or primitive is to seek control of power, acquisition of power, dispensing power to organize society, harness and distribute resources and to influence decision making in line with organized or individual interest (Arowolo and Abe 2008). Arguments are on the increase on the specific role women should play in the society and the role they are currently playing. Opinions are divided on the whether the roles of women are predominantly in the home fronts or women can also engage in other socio-economic and political activities like their male counterparts. It is however believed that the natural relationship between mother and child may compel and confine her to sedentary activities, it is also important that such a mother contributes her quota to the development of that of her family and her society at large (Folorunso 2010). Political participation as one of the tenets of democracy is found to be liberal and unrestrictive, subscribing to this, Okolie 2004 perceives political participation as freedom of expression, association, right to free flow of communication, right to influence decision making process, the right to social justice,  health services, better working conditions and opportunity for franchise’’.

In Nigeria, despite the significant roles of women before and after independence, the development of women economically, socially and politically is still wanting. Politics though remains an integral part of democracy bearing the traditional definition which characterizes it as excluding women, it needs to be stressed that women’s political right remain an integral part of human rights therefore it is generally a necessary aspect of any democratic framework (Abiola 2004). Women’s aspiration to participate in governance in Nigeria is premised on the following ground that;

women in Nigeria represent almost half of the population s(census 2006), hence should be allowed a fair share in decision making and governance

Secondly, that all human beings are equal and women posses the same r   ights as men to participate in governance and public affairs (Nda 2003).

The right to democratic governance is an entitlement conferred upon all citizens by law. In southern  Nigeria , women traditionally had economically important positions in interregional trade and markets. They worked on farms as major sources and had influential positions in traditional systems of local organizations (Obasi 2002).  However, not on till 1979 that women in northern Nigeria were given the opportunity to vote and be voted for following the return to civilian rule. Northern Nigeria has the lowest percentage of women in politics (UNICEF 2000).  It is from this back drop that this research will focus on marginalization of women in politics and its effects on the development of women in Igabi local government area of Kaduna state

1.2   STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Marginalization of women politically is prevalent in most societies.  Over the years, there has been raging debates over the participation of women in politics. It must be noted that we live in a man’s world as a result men have domesticated all spheres of the society and women have been relegated to the background (UNICEF 2005). Their place is in the kitchen and they should not participate in anything except when given the permission by men (peters 1988). This has placed women at the bottom of the ladder politically, socially and economically as observed by UNICEF 2011.Women’s participation in Nigerian politics has been only in the shadowy fringes. Yet when it is time for election, women are mobilized to vote. Women are considered only good for dancing, after which they are given insignificant gifts like bags of rice, salt, magi cubes (Luka 2011).

Right from the point of being a child, gender inequality has condemned millions of children particularly the girl child to a life without quality education which results into a life of missed opportunities (Olatunji 2010). The situation is relatively common in the Northern part of the country where there is a problem of girl child drop out from school which has been attributed to many reasons like poverty, teenage pregnancy, early marriage and cultural as well religious biases as observed by UNICEF 2007. The low level of girl child education in the country is a contributing factor to the low level of women participation in politics. Politics needs solid educational back ground which enhances interaction. Education is generally considered as a core right as it is a fundamental gateway to other rights. In most communities in Nigeria today, many female children of school age are not enrolled into schools and in cases where they are enrolled, they do not attend school regularly because their labour may be needed at home to perform certain task, like hawking, taking care of their younger ones or helping their parents in the farm in other to augment for the family up keep (Aisha 2012).

More so, a number of barriers are imposed on women’s active participation in politics by cultural practices. Nigerian society is permeated by patriarchy where by women are expected to conform to and confine themselves to male dominance and female subservience (Nda 2003). Women are seen to be incapable of making sound decisions and it is unbecoming of women to expose themselves in public for political activities such as campaign rallies (Lloh and Ikenna 2009). The customary practices of many contemporary societies are biased by subjugating women to men and undermining their self-esteem (Ikonne 2005). The overall impact of gender bias, cultural norms and practices has entrenched a feeling of inferiority in women and place them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their male counterpart in the socio-political scene even in urban centers. These socially constructed norms and stereotype roles make women overplay their ‘feminity’ by accepting that they are ‘weaker sexes’, overemphasizing the dainty nature of their sex and regarding exceptional achievement as masculine (Genyi 2010).

The high cost of financing campaign is a big obstacle to women. The minimum cost of gubernatorial election could go as high as 200million Naira. How many women can mobilize such huge amount of money and how many men can mobilize such amounts for their women? Which political party will nominate a woman for a high post considering her very small contribution to party finance and formation (Nda 2003).

Furthermore, the nature of political party formation also affects women’s participation in politics. It is usually in form of a club and informal meetings initiated by male friends and business partners. Other members of the society of the society including women are contacted at a later stage when party structures have been put in place. So women are naturally excluded from the formation stage of political parties thus denying them of the benefits accruing to foundation membership (folorunso 2010).

More so, religion in Nigeria is an instrument of women oppression (Ikonne 2005) they have dictated women and men relationship for centuries and have entrenched male dominance into the structure of social organizations and institutions at all levels of leadership (Abe 2004). It justifies women marginalization in education, labour market, politics, family and domestic matters (Nda 2003). Most religions tenaciously hold the belief that women must not occupy leadership positions in the society but can only play second fiddle. It is on the basis of this that this study on the marginalization of women in politics and its effects on the development of women was carried out.

          1.3     RESEARCH QUESTION

1.    What are the factors militating against women’s participation in politics in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State?

2.    What is the effect of political marginalization of women as it affects development in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State?

3.    To what extent can women participation in politics enhances development and growth in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State?

4.    To what extent can the menace of women marginalization in political participation be remedied in Igabi local Government Area of Kaduna state?

1.4 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The general objective of this study is to examine the marginalization of women in politics and its effects on the development of women in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna state. In other to achieve the broad objectives, the specific research objectives are as follows;

1.       To identify factors militating against women’s participation in politics Igabi Local Government of Kaduna state.

2.       To determine the effects of political m arginalization on development of women and the society in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna state

3.       To examine the extent to which women participation can enhance political growth in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna state   .

4.       To identify the extent to which women marginalization in political participation can be remedied in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna state

1.5   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study investigates marginalization of women in politics and its effects in the development of women in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State which enabled the researcher to provide an in-depth understanding of the problem of marginalization of women in politics in Nigeria.  This study is significant because it took place in a period of continuous discussions on women development, the emancipation of women in politics, the need for equal rights among men and women. In similar direction, the society is better informed about the factors that are hindering women’s participation in politics so that necessary steps can be taken to reduce them. Furthermore, this study contributes to existing literature on the effect of lack of women’s participation in politics on the development of women and the society at large and it will equally help us in appreciating the place of women in national development.

1.6     SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY

This research covers marginalization of women in politics and its effect on the development of women with focus on Igabi local government area of Kaduna state. This was  due to financial constrains as it requires huge resources to cover the whole of Kaduna state.   


1.7     DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS

What is marginalization?

Marginalization refers to processes in which individuals and entire communities of people are systematically blocked from rights, opportunities and resources. It is a process by which an individual or group is denied access to important positions and symbols of economic, religious or political power within any society.

What is Politics?

Politics from Greek politikos (of , for, or relating to citizens) is the art or science of influencing people’s belief on a civic, or individual level, when there are more than two people involved. It examines the acquisition and application of power. Political scientist Harold Lasswell defines politics as ‘who gets what, when and how’.

 What is development?

This refers to a specified state of growth or advancement. Accordingly, it is a significant event, occurrence or change as well as social movements.




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