To Examine Colonial Rule and the Socio-Economic Life of Women in Uromi

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

The socio-economic life of Uromi women obviously differed in some respect to other ethnic groups in Nigeria. A woman’s position varies according to the (1) kinship structure of the group and (2) role of women within the economic structure of the society, common factors among women of different ethnic groups, however included the domestically orientated jobs and the range or economic activities that the society reserved for women.

Economically speaking the people of Uromi maintains an agrarian economy where everybody effectively engaged in Agricultural practices, although most of them are simple farmers. The main crops are food crops, such as yams, corn, cocoyam’s, cassava, rice, plantain and fruits. The larger part of Esan – land is practically a forest region with the agricultural practice as main stay of the economy, which necessitated the emergence of other agro-allied industries. Moreover, the fertility of the soil is very high.

Women held a basically complementary rather than subordinate position to men in indigenous colonial society in Uromi, which based power on seniority rather than gender.

However, despite the lack of emphasis placed on gender by Nigeria indigenous societies, the lifestyle of the legislation concerning women, therefore attempted to control them, their sexuality and fertility further dxining their subordination. The beginning of colonial rule brought to Africa the European notion that women belonged in the home, nurturing their family. At the same time the societies expected women to work-work which the society considered complementary to that done by men.

The state and the beginning of colonial rule began to change the roles of women by means of legislation restricting women and focusing of colonial economy on men.

Aims and Objectives

The main objectives of this study is to examine colonial rule and the socio-economic life of women in Uromi other specific objectives include:

  • to critically examine the historical background of Esan as well as the political, social and economic institutions.
  • To investigate colonial rule and social economic life of Uromi women.

Scope of Work

The scope of this work is focus on a major group in Edo state are of Nigeria. It is restricted to an area called Uromi; in Esan land particularly women in Uromi during colonial period.

Methodology

In the course of research for this work relevant data and information here carried out from the main sources. These were primary and secondary sources.

  1. Primary Sources: This section will present the study techniques that will be used for the study. It will include the source of materials gathered which will be materials of those in who had written about the economic, social institution in Esan as well as oral interviews.
  2. Secondary Sources: Secondary sources, consulted in the university library. Edo state library included text books, journals and newspaper. These sources helped to provide data for a historical analysis of economic development in uromi in the colonial period.