THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The focus of this project is to know the social definition of women. The ways in which social Institution, practice define women in contemporary societies are going to be examined, institution such as tne family, the economy and the state as well as institutionalized pattern of sexuality and worms of appropriately “feminine” behavior. Women are constantly defined in relation to men. Whether they are, similar to men, different from or complementary to them, men, masculinity and male behavior are always the reference points. Most obviously, women are define in familiar terms as careers and nurturers. Their identity and status derive from their relation to the explicitly gendered categories of mothers, daughters, and wives. Women are thus defined not only in relation to men, but as dependent on men and subordinate to them. Men on the other hand, are not defined in relation to women, or in purely familial terms, but in relation to a larger public world in which they operate as workers, colleagues or citizen. As black and coward put it: “women are precisely defined, never general representative of humanity or all people, but as specifically feminine, and frequently sexual, categories. Black and coward, 1981 said being a “men” is an entitlement not to masculine attributes but to non-gendered subjectivity”. Men’s specific gender is thus ignored: they represent the universal and the human to which women are “other”. This perception of women as “the other” has been taken for granted in most social and political thought as well as in everyday life. It was first examined in detail by Simone de Beauvior whose book “TheSecond Sex” published in France in 1949, became one of the founding texts for ‘women’s studies’ as distinct area of enquiry.
The statuses of men and women have been constructed around a whole series of dichotomous categories. The “one” and the “other”, the public and private domains, work and home, rationality and emotionality; culture and nature, mind and body, autonomy and dependence,to name just a few. The first of each of these pairs tends to be associated with men and positively valued, while the second is associated with women and negatively valued. The interpretation of social reality in this way, as a series of opposites leaves little room for gradation or overlapping categories. Women represent what men are not. Thus reason and emotion are treated as incompatible, home is presented as the domain of women, the public world of politics the domain of men.
Three dichotomous relationships which are particularly importance in the social definition of women must be stated. The first is the relation between public and private spheres, which are conventionally associated with men and women, respectively. Secondly, there are relations of dependence and independence women have been defined as dependence on men, both financial and in the sense of being under their care and protection, rather than as independent individuals. But, at the same time, women are likely to have children husbands and increasingly, aged parents dependent on them and to undertake a great deal of the emotional, psychological and nurturing work within households. In other words, relationship of dependence are multiple and complex.
Thirdly, there is the question of sameness, or, equality and difference. Do their differences from men disadvantage women or are these differences to be celebrated as a source of strength?
Should women focus their political demands on equality with men or demand differential treatment?
But feminists have challenged women’s marginally in all three areas, and in the process have challenged the very categories themselves. They have broadened the definition of ‘work’ to include much that was previously perceived as private and hence undertaken for ‘love’ and hot for wages, and have expanded the nation of politics way beyond its formal boundaries. The idea of politics and state intervention as being separate from domestic and everyday life has also been questioned. Notions of ‘worker’ and ‘citizen” apparently gender neutral terms, have been shown to be masculine in so far as they embody masculine attributes and behavior outside the so-called private world. Feminists have also questioned the idea that power is concentrated in the political sphere, arguing that power is constitutive of all social relations. Many feminists are worry of overstating the impact of the state or formal powers in public sphere on private life, stressing instead the continuities of men’s power across all domains (Allen, 1990). The exercise of power within personal relationship especially abuses of power as seen in domestic violence and child abuse, for example politic al question which has been redefined by feminists.
Feminist thinking on all these questions obviously has not remained static over the past twenty years. Therefore we shall be tracing connections between a number of levels changes in feminist practical are linked to the development of a body of feminist theory and to shift in the actual conditions of women.
This invitation will be directed to the topic proper which is the role women are playing in term of community development. The women in the community is still an awareness not to community but also of the individual citizen relationship to the government and of the responsibilities and social life.
Women participate in the activities of all local institutions. However, their level of participation and positions they occupy in the running of these community development is not easy to quantify.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This research work is intended to provide an additional information on community development as it affect women.
1. The standard of living for women in rural centre are inadequately compare with that of the urban centre.
2. There is problem of counseling which constitute to the set back of the women in community development.
3. The problem of socio-economic factor and status m community development can also affect women performance.
4. The problem of inconsistency of power sharing between male and female.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the extent to which the role of women in community can be safeguard in Nigeria.
Other specific objective includes:
i. How to investigate the relationship between women in rural area with that of the urban centre.
ii. To determine whether there is adequate participation of womenin community development.
iii. To assess the role of women in community mobilization and their local government.
iv. To create awareness in generating whether there is adequate participation of women in decision making process.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study will attempt to provide answers to the following questions;
i. Is there any role of women in community development?
ii. What is the relationship between community development and urban development?
iii. How does the role of community development participation affect women performance?
iv. What is the relationship between local government and community development?
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
This study will attempt to provide answers to the following hypothesis,
i. That there is a role of women in community development.
ii. That there is adequate relationship between the people in the community.
iii. That there is role of women in community development.
iv. That the role of community development participation would not affect women goal.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be limited to Alimosho Local Government and other Local Government in Nigeria or places throughout the countries will be used for further research on the role of women in community development.
1.7 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
Who are the beneficiary of this research work;
i. The beneficiary of this work are governments, federal, state, local government.
ii. The scholar of public admin in general and local government scholar in particular.
Linde. McDowell & Rosemary Pringle “Defining women social Institutions and wonder divisions.
Dele Olowu ‘Local Institution and National Development in Nigeria” Simone De Beauvior “The second sex”
Mac C. King “Localism and Nation Building”.
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