INFLUENCE OF MOBILIZATION ON WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
This research report made a critical survey of the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state. The researcher made a view of some related literature, relating to the topic of the research, to give some ideas of what other scholars have written. A questionnaire titled the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development was developed and administered to 200 respondents who were randomly selected from local Government workers, teachers, farmers and traders in the area. Questions were asked on the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development. From the questionnaire it was found out that age, education, mobilization, government and non-governmental organization influence the level of participation of women in community development and that the programme they engaged in served their interest. Based on this findings from the study, the researcher made a number of suggestions to increase women’s participation in community development through mobilization. Women in rural communities (farmers and traders) should not be discriminated upon but given open hand to work with male counterparts and seen as equal in the society. Lastly women should be helped with useful projects that will effect and change their financial status and enable them support in community development programmes or projects, all constitutional constraints against women should be removed to erase gender inequality in the society.
Background to the study
Women play a pivotal role in national development, however this has not been taken into cognizance in national planning and even to lower levels such as community development. Women are special set of people in the world as a whole. They have been involved in social voluntary activities in the community for many years. Through women’s organizations, they have helped communities to take care of their needs. Women work within the household as mothers, home keepers and outside such as in the farming economy in agriculture and childcare. Before the mid 1940’s, women in all parts of the world were victims of different kinds of traditions. They were victims of cultural bias that determine how they should behave and what they are suited to do. This perception has tended to reduce women’s participation in socio-economic and political development.
Almost everywhere women are asked to take their place in the kitchen, to become more informed mothers, more effective home managers, to satisfy the sexual passions of their husbands, rear babies and above all play the roles which are essentially complementary to those of men (Hibert,2004). However since the 60’s, 70’s began to influence women’s role or participation in community development. This awareness has been more since the 1975 women’s year programmes directed towards women have multiplied throughout the third world countries(Bernard and Hayer,2001). Hence women now want to take part in politics to have power and influence their status in decision making in society. To make their dreams a reality, women who see themselves as leaders in communities, have a fair share in decision making and politics.
However little is known about the quality and impact of such programmes and about the extent to which women are involved in decision making, the implementation of programmes and project execution and their management. In those days employment of women was not recognized because they were not absorbed into public or civil service (Akintola,2003). As stated in Adamu (2004), unemployment makes a woman to limit her participation in development activities. The recognition of the role of women have further given rise to the organization of women programmes in rural development in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. Such programmes include weaving, fashion designing, catering, etc. These programmes for women are designed to enable women in the local Government Area participate in the socio-political and economic development of their communities. It is important therefore to study how far women in rural communities like in Oredo Local Government have integrated into the system. It is also intended to find out the type of projects. The age distribution, the level of education, the factors that influence them to play those roles and the problems which they face in playing those roles and in such programmes and to find out whether the programmes on which they play such roles and to serve their needs and contribute to their advancement generally.
Above all, women’s dual responsibility to support the family, home and child rearing are significant barriers to participate in community development often withdraw from participating effectively in community development programmes, hence in recent times there has been the need for mobilization to renew women’s interest in community development participation. Mobilization of women gives them the assurance that the programme is meant to serve their needs, and interests. Mobilization before organizing any community development programme ensures that the programme best suits clients for whom it is meant especially for the disadvantaged group and women. Mobilization has always increased the number of participants in any adult education programme and community development is no exception. Hence the need to study the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
Statement of the problem
The study is centred on the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. Entrepreneurial programmes such as bead making, weaving, fashion designing, interior and exterior decorations have all been made available to women in the community, In order for them to participate in programmes such as better life for women, women empowerment initiatives have all been put in place. Despite all efforts been made by the federal, state and non- governmental organizations to enhance the education of women so that they can actively and effectively contribute to the development of communities, many women still do not participate in community development.
Like every other communities, Oredo local Government needs to develop their own rural areas through the help of women. The involvement of women in rural development as it is observed has not been effective. Therefore could it be that women are not being effectively mobilized to participate in the development of rural communities, hence the need for the study.
For the purpose of this study the following questions were asked:
What are the various community development programmes for women in Oredo Local Government Area?
What is the extent of women’s involvement in community development projects in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state?
What factors influence women’s participation in community development programmes
To what extent can mobilization be used to effectively engage the women in community development programmes?
Purpose of the study
The general purpose of this study is assess the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development programmes but the specific objectives will be;
To identify the various community programmes available for women in Oredo Local Government Area.
To ascertain the extent of women’s involvement in community development projects in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state.
To determine the factors affecting women’s participation in community development programmes
To determine the extent to which mobilization has effectively engage the women in community development programmes.
Significance of the study
The study will generate data and information that will be useful for identifying the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. It is also hoped that this study will create better knowledge and change of mind and attitude among the inhabitants of Oredo local Government Area concerning women’s participation in community development programmes. Mobilization will no longer be seen as a waste of economic resources in community development. The result will help to improve participating in community development. Again the findings of this study will help in carrying out further research on the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development.
Scope/Delimitation of the study
The researcher’s study has been limited to highlighting the influence of mobilization on women’s participation in community development in Oredo local Government Area of Edo State. Women within Oredo Local Government Area will be involved in this study with a view to determining whether women participate in decision making and planning of development oriented activities in the area. It will also focus on determining whether women have access to those services that promote better living and the contending forces in the participation of women in these activities.
Limitations of the study
The researcher would have liked to cover a much wider area and scope but the following have constituted limitation to this work and they include:
Lack of up to date records of women’s activities
Large population of women in society
Illiteracy and ignorance among the respondents sacred them away from the researcher
Failure of respondents to give correct answers to question asked due to fear that exposure of the information might be used against them
Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this study and for the avoidance of ambiguity, the following terms are operatively defined:
Women’s participation: This is the process by which the female folk have a share, take active part in an event or a programme.
Community Development: A process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. It is a process of social action and planning for change by members of a community.
Participation: The activity may be of any kind; religious, social, political, e.t.c.
Mobilization: The act of creating awareness, about the importance of particular programme mobilization involves both human and material resources.
Women: According to the chamber universal learners dictionary are defined as adult female human beings.