interpersonal relations are common with women, generally, most women would rather vote or support men to win election than their fellow women in spite of their numerical strength (Ngara et al., 2013) and such is applicable to Nigerian women. However, this has placed the Nigerian men at an advantage vis-avis their women counterparts when it come to mobilizing support for elections. In Nigeria, “a classical example of this scenario was the case of Mrs Sarah Jubril, who contested against the President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar in the Peoples Democratic Party presidential primaries preparatory to the 2011 general elections. At the end of the exercise, Sarah Jubril pulled only one vote -obviously an own vote. This shows that even her closes female supporters did note vote for her (Ngara et al., 2013). However, many Nigerian women psychologically regard and perceive the social stigma that politics is a “dirty game” and as such tend to wrongly perceive fellow women into politics as arrogant and irresponsible and want to pull them down. As a result of this syndrome, most Nigerian women dread politics to retain their good personality traits and not break their matrimonial home (for the married ones).
As research on the interface between women, media, and politics begin to develop the common means to begin to look at early research. In Images of Women in Mass Media, Tuchman (1978) coins the words "symbolic annihilation' to describe "the media's condemnation, trivialization and omission of women." Since then an avalanche of scholarship has quantified and qualified the news media's sin against women. (Fountain, ) For examples: Coverage of gender, media and politics has been explored by Norris, (J997): institutional sexism that relegates women to 'maternal punditry slots’ by Wolf, (1993). Media presentation of women politicians in a gendered lens in terms of sex role (see, Ross,(1996); Rakow, (1994); and Koch (1999); Iyengar, (1991) discussed the effect of framing and Jamieson (2003) considers how media set the agenda for national debates. Based on this background, the way media portray women is contentious (Norris, 1997). This paper explores weather media coverage of women in Nigeria reinforces rather than challenges the dominant culture, and thereby contributes to the marginalization of women in public life. Added to this, the paper seeks to explore whether the media depict women through gender-relevant or gender-neutral perspective. In order to do this, the central question to answer are: are there significant differences in reporting news about women? Are women in Nigeria portrayed in sex oriented terms? And finally, is the portrayal of women seen in the news as gendered frame,(Norris, 1997). It ca failed in their functions as instrument for educating the masses.
Democracy is a system of government that seeks to involve, entrench and demand the participation of all stakeholders. It seeks to bring about societal development through equal participation of stakeholders in infrastructural and economic development. The Nigerian democratic experience has been plagued by interruptions by military regimes, political violence, corruption and notably the discrimination and marginalization of women. This therefore, is not the essence and purpose of democracy and consequently affects the development of the society, economy to mention a few. Hence, to attain equal stakeholder’s participation with a view to eradicating these challenges there is need, for female empowerment to be encouraged so as to stimulate participation and decision making in the democratic terrain. This paper therefore, seeks to critically analyze and discuss the effect of female empowerment on the Nigerian democratic experience. It highlights the importance of gender/female empowerment and history of the Nigerian democratic experience, while stressing the importance of gender empowerment for democratic stability and societal development. It finally concludes that addressing female/gender empowerment and tackling the challenges of womenparticipation in politics would go a long way in ensuring democratic stability and entrenching democracy in Nigeria.
UNESCO (2002) stated that women form high percentage of the population and they have come a long way in businesses, politics, education, sport and other profession. However, women entrepreneurs suffer a lot of challenges and inhibition which militate against them in the country.
The paper has dispassionately captured the present subordinate position of Nigeriawomen in the culture of male supremacy exacerbated by patriarchy capitalist ideology, foreign religions and the sex-biased legal structure. In addition, it also identified the crucial roles women played in the process of community development as well as the challenges impeding on their contributions. It is gratifying to note that at the individual level, the women in Nigeria are not only responding to changes around them but are also reshaping their own reality. For example, familial relations tend to be losing their hold on the individual life. Many women now marry for love and not because they are forced and freely go out of a relationship when it seems socially unbearable. Law reforms giving recognition to women‟s rights to land and property is the first step necessary to promote gender equality in land property rights. The law as an instrument of social change needs to be supported by an efficient law enforcement mechanism devoid of corruption. In addition to law reforms, the only way to meaningfully contribute to the emancipation of woman in Nigeria, is to broaden access to quality education which will in-turn advance their position in society. Attempts are also currently being made to expose girls to science education in addition to various empowerment programmes at all levels of government. Finally, although there is still much to be done in bridging the gap between the men and the women, it is cheering to note that the woman‟s question has come on-board the national and international agenda for appreciate attention.
It is observed that 33 percent reservation of seats in Three-tire Panchayat institutions has made Indian womenactive participants in political arena. So, certain measures for effective participation of women in the arena of state and national level politics may be suggested in this connection: At least one-third of the Tripura Legislative Assembly seats may be reserved for women; among two Loksabha seats in Tripura, one seat may be reserved for women; Periodical training for newly elected women representatives may be conducted; training-cum awareness building programmes may be initiated for greater impact on male mentality towards their counterparts, so that women are given enough space to exercise their role in political institutions; economic independence is a pre-condition for political empowerment of women. Elected women representatives have to depend on their husbands or other male members of the family for their living. In such a situation it is difficult for women, mostly coming from the marginalized sections of the society, to perform their responsibilities effectively. Hence, means of livelihood should be ensured for them. Honorarium and sitting allowance of elective representatives in grass-root level may be increased.
From bank of records that exists in Centre of the Gender Alliance it results that out 110 NGO’s for women that are registered, 23 percent of them work as attorneys; 18 percent perform in mission of Woman and Family (children); 11percent work in field of economy; 10 percent in that of culture; 9 percent in information; 6 percent in counseling and direct services; 6 percent of them have rural women as their objective; 4 percent of these NGO’s belong to political forums of women; 2 percent are involved in decision making, health, religion, education, media, employment and trafficking. With all of the achievements of women movement in Albania, it still faces challenges and difficulties, moreover such as the rest of the Albanian community. What is noticed is the need for cooperation and coordination of activities, programs and projects with the purpose of increasing impact of these movements in social and political events of the country. Another difficulty noticed by the non-profit organizations is that international donators are leaving. In such terms chances for survival are only few and competition is growing. Continuance of these social services will be possible if only state locally or centrally or business will financially support their activities (Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania, 2006).
Accordingly, gender mainstreaming has become a central issue currently receiving a global attention. The concern on gender issues can be traced to the UN’s 1975 declaration of International women’s year. This interest was further climaxed during the fourth international women’s conference held in the year 1975 in Beijing, China which focused on “ Equity, Development and Peace” with the sole objective of reviewing and appraising the accomplishments recorded by the UN on women’s concerns over a period of ten years (1975-1985) (Akinboye, 2004). The growing concern to integrate and extend gender related issues beyond academic discourse into public policy and advocacy domain is borne out of the fact that women represent more than half of the world’s total population and have continued to contribute to human development. Thus, democracy, which is predicated on the principle of majority rule, is believed to be capable of providing a window of opportunity for the marginalized groups to participate in shaping policies and decisions that affect their lives (Walby, 2008). This assertion is based on the reasoning that programmes and policies formulated by any democratic government should be all inclusive in which case equal opportunities and improvement in socio- economic conditions are provided for everyone regardless of their colour, age, ethnicity, religion or gender. It is against this backdrop that the study carried out a situational analysis of women’s political participation in Nigeria. Thus, the study raised the following research questions: To what extent are gender inequality and discrimination against women in Nigerian politics? What are the factors responsible for the imbalance in women’s representation in elective positions? What are the explanations available for the emerging new trend in appointive positions of women in Nigerian politics?
As part of effects of cultural factors on women‟s participation in Politics, the study sought to establish respondent‟s views of the statement of “In our norms women are not allowed to participate public issues since it will damage her dignity”. From the data analysis, the majority of the respondents with spectacular percentage of 20 (38.5 %) agreed the statement, while, 16 (30.8%) strongly agreed the statement, on the other hand, small percentage of 9 (17.3%) disagreed the statement, also only 4 (7.7%) strongly disagreed the statement, the remaining 3 (5.8%) neither agreed nor agreed the statement. However, the study found that cultural aspect that women are not allowed to participate public issues since they believe it damage her dignity which over whelming percentage 36 (69.3%) either agreed or strongly agreed the statement. Therefore, the study is in line with Kamau (2001) findings that exposes women are not given a room to actively participate Politics in India, due to pressure that they encounter impressment at community level if women participates in public issues. The table (4.5) below presented now local norms negatively effects women‟s participation in Politics.
The young people in most democracies have been branded as lazy, politically apathetic and unwilling to assume leadership roles (UNDP, 2013). However, recent studies indicated that the youths are beginning to show greater interest and actively playing very significant roles in politics and the political processes in their respective countries, as the socio-political up-risings in the Arab countries in 2011/2012 have demonstrated (Mengistu, 2017). The seeming disinterest of the youths in the political process has been attributed to unfavourable legal frameworks, low socio-economic status, and other discriminatory practices (UNDP, 2013; Mengistu, 2017). Young people between the ages of 15 and 25 constitute a fifth of the world‟s population, but their level of political participation is insignificant because they are not informally represented in political institutions such as parliaments (UNDP, 2013; Mensgistu, 2017, ThisDay, June 19, 2018). Globally, the average age of parliamentarians is 53, while the minimum age for vying for elective post in parliament is 25 years (Mengistu, 2017). While the World Bank and the UNDP reports have indicated that the youth accounted for more than 70% of Africa‟s population, the young people have remained neglected and excluded from main-stream politics. The consequence is they have become disorganized, unemployed, and vulnerable to radical ideas including spear-heading major demonstration in most parts of the African continent for example in Sierra Leone, leading to the formation of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), and in Rwanda, where young people were implicated as major players in the genocidal war (Mengistu, 2017). Youths in Nigeria constitute about half of the country‟s population, but they have hitherto been ostracized from engaging in politics at the state and federal levels (National Democratic Institute, Wednesday, May, 10, 2017). It has now become obvious to the youths that the older generation of politicians are unwilling to handover the mantle of leadership to the younger breed; therefore to demonstrate their interest in the democratic process and political participation, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy
According to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj‘s mid-term appraisal of the ‗State of the Panchayats 2006-07‘, ―No less than 10 lakh women are in our Panchayati Raj institutions, comprising 37 percent of all those elected and rising to as high as 54 per cent in Bihar, which has 50 percent reservation for women‖. Increased political accountability to women comes out only from increasing their numbers amongst decision-makers, although this is necessary and important. It must also be linked to improved democratic governance overall, understood as inclusive, responsive and accountable management of public affairs. The benchmark generally selected for evaluating women's participation in politics is their representation in term of numbers or percentages. This does not facilitate adequate understanding, because representation does not, in itself, constitute evidence of participation. Thus, several indicators have been identified for determining the status and quality of womenparticipation in the local political process.
The high number of male in elected position undermines the position of women in the Turkana County government, this situation has stimulated the democratic call that that women in all positions regardless of ethical background and economical status should be empowered by giving them due status, rights, and responsibilities to enable them participate actively in policy decision making at the political level (Kasomo, 2012). According to Byron (2016), this is clearly a stereotypical signals of power that is evidence in the manner women are treated as weak as spearheaded by cultural believers and perceived to occupy the lower positions within the social hierarchies / spheres, and therefore, should not be actively involved in leading their societies in policy decision making and political governance. Additionally, the study findings revealed that political parties which were vibrant in the county had not yet incorporated gender equality into their policy frameworks and selection procedures making women who seek appointment from the party to vie for any leadership position more vulnerable. More so, the findings established that there were no party rules and regulations for identifying, selecting and nominating women candidates for political leadership positions within the parties. The only solution to this menace would be the willingness of the society as a whole to work together and understanding the roles women play in the society towards dispelling the gender stereotypes in which the society inputs in the relationship between men and women in a manner that creates gender parity (Pietila, 2007).
Abstract: This paper examines women’s participation in politics and their perfor- mance in electoral contests. Nigeria embraced democracy in 1999 after 16 years of consecutive military rule. Among the features of democracy, there is universal suffrage which ensures participation of all eligible citizens in the process of electing a leader. This paper adopts a qualitative method using data collected from In-Depth Interviews and Key Informant Interviews in some selected states in Nigeria. The findings of the study reveal that there is an increase in the number of women who participated in political party rallies, campaigns and registered as a voter but the percentage of wom- en who won elected political offices and political appointments are not commensurate with their level of participation. The study establishes that despite the number of reg- istered female voters in the general elections, they lack identity consciousness to vote for female candidates to reduce the gap between male and female representation in government. The preference of male candidates over female candidates could be at- tributed to religious, cultural, economic and psychological factors. The paper con- cludes that the absence of identity consciousness among women has aggravated the marginalized condition of women in government. Therefore, the reasons for the low participation of women in democratic governance in Nigeria – apart from cultural, financial and religious factors – are emotional factors and a lack of identity conscious- ness.
In Nigeria, just as elsewhere in the world, women inclusion in government has gone beyond a campaign issue to implementation. As in other democracies of the world, successive governments in Nigeria have been engaged in the sustained campaign for greater and effective womenparticipation in politics, which have predated the thirty percent affirmative action that came into existence in 1995. In the attainment of the said target, the Federal Government National Gender Policy and other programmes were used. Prior to the present civilian administration, previous military governments had several programmes in place to empower women politically. For instance, the Federal Government on June 13, 1985 signed and ratified the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (Okwum, 2012). The Nigerian political parties are not left out in pursues of gender equality; they claim to have adopted measures that will ensure women’s participation in decision-making through their Party Manifestoes. These manifestoes indicate various plans by the political parties in ensuring that a minimum of 30% representation for women is attained within the party system especially in decision making positions. The table below shows the various plans of three major political parties in Nigeria devised to encourage womenparticipation in politics:
According to the Inter-Parliament Union (2016), the world’s average percentage of women’s representation in parliament was only 17.2 percent in 2008. This position increased from 19.25 percent in 2012, to 22.7 by the end of 2015. Similarly, the world’s average percentage of women’s representation in the lower houses of parliaments was 22.8 by the end of 2015. Women’s presence in parliaments around the world is a reality that impacts the social, political and economic fabric of nations on a global scale. Yet, their accesses to important legislative structures, learning how to work within them, and the extent to which they impact on and through them, remain serious challenges. A team of editors of the handbook, Women in Parliament: Beyond Number (2014) has identified several significant challengeswomen have been facing in their active role in politics and to increase their political representation in parliament and other legislative bodies throughout the world. These challenges can be grouped into (1) political obstacles, (2) socio-economic obstacles and (3) ideological and psychological hindrances. The first group comprises: masculine model of politics, lack of party support, cooperation with women’s organizations, and electoral system. The second group comprises: the feminization of poverty and unemployment, the dual burden, and the lack of education and training. Finally, the third group comprises: traditional role, lack of confidence (of women), the perception of politics as “dirty” and the role of the mass media.
organizations is to base group membership on an individual basis rather than a household. As explained previously, when membership is limited to one person per household, then it is often taken by a man, or conversely, restricting membership to household heads or one member per household is likely to disadvantage women. There are examples of how producer organizations have changed membership rules to address this. For example, the National Smallholder Framers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM) bases membership on an individual instead of a household (FAO forthcoming 2016). As a result, several members from the same household are allowed to join. Evidence from a study in Ethiopia also found that cooperatives that allowed dual membership by husbands and wives also experienced a rise in female participation (Oxfam 2013). Likewise, forestry groups in India that introduced dual
Nigeria like most developing nations of the world is faced with myriads of problems and harsh realities which include poverty, unemployment, conflicts and disease. These situations pose great challenges to the very existence of individuals in most developing nations thereby calling for the training of educated men and women who can function effectively in the society in which they live in. However, it is a known fact across the globe that for a country to attain growth and development, its economy has to be diversified. This study examined the challenges and improvement strategies in the diversification of Nigerian economy through entrepreneurship. Two research questions and hypotheses guided the study. The population of the study was 183 registered Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Warri Delta State. Simple random sampling was use to select 91 SMEs owners. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire which was validated by 3 lecturers. The reliability of the instrument was .75 which was obtained using Pearson’s correlation technique. Data were collected through the aid of 15 research assistants. Data collected were analysed using mean for research questions and t-test for hypotheses. The study revealed that various challenges affect the diversification of Nigerian economy through entrepreneurship which include: low capital, poor access to loan, over taxation, inadequate infrastructural facilities, and poor transportation system amongst others. Hence, it was recommended that government and financial institutions in Nigeria should continuously support SMEs in Nigeria through the provision of better and efficient policies and support for SMEs to thrive for economic diversification.
When we put together the various views on the empower- ment debate, it becomes obvious that the concept goes beyond the issue of participation. As Crawley (1998) aptly observes, “it is more than simply widening access to decision-making”. De- fining the concept, Gajanayake (1993) notes that empowerment implies “enabling people to understand the reality of their situation, reflect on the factors shaping that situation and, most critically, take steps to effect changes to improve it”. This view was re-echoed by Ake (1994) who sees the term as a process that enables the ordinary people to effectively participate in governance. In the view of Garba (1997), women empower- ment involves enhancing their capacity to influence and par- ticipate in making decisions which directly or indirectly affect their lives. Garba further distinguished between static and dy- namic dimensions of empowerment which was summarized by Gabriel (2000) thus:
The intervention was carried out from Feb – October 2017. Although we intended to finish by May, but the recruitment was hindered first by the Easter holidays (it is quite a common practice in Norway that immigrants travel to their home countries during the Easter vaca- tions as the schools are closed for almost 2 weeks), dur- ing which a lot of women were travelling. Secondly, the holy month of Ramadhan and the summer vacation forced us to extend our intervention period to October. The principal author, a senior researcher of Pakistani origin, approached the women by mobilizing different channels such as Pakistani organizations and community centres to identify one informant in each of the four areas. After a time consuming process, including use of personal social circle and involvement of organization or community centres, including the Imams of the mosques in the study areas in the intervention areas, four key in- formants were recruited, and they further recruited par- ticipants through different channels such as personal phone calls, community gatherings and social media (Facebook). Women who did not show up for the first meeting despite having agreed to it, were contacted again to attend the second meeting through personal visits, phone calls and through women who attended the first meeting.
The challenges faced by the Refugee Women Living with Disabilities participation in IGAs is represented in Table 4. Among the leading challenges that the study established to be affecting participation of WLWD in the camp in IGA were lack of capital 133 (51.4%) and disability based discrimination 46 (17.8%) as highlighted in the table. This is also consistent with the study spearheaded by Action Africa Help International through the Support for Protection and Assistance for Refugees in Kenya (SPARK) consortium in 2016 in Kakuma refugee camp that sought to understand refugee participation in livelihoods. The women 5 (1.9%) ,also decried that in as much as assessments were being done in the camp especially on disability, the feedback rate was poor and they could not thereby enhance their participation with the limited information. Intercommunity conflict and inadequate support linkages with NGOs and other disability groups, poor market environment with poor demand and supply were also a challenge. An interview with 7 (seven) key informants’ (KI) also respondents 1-7 (KI 1-KI 7) ,5 (five) from the bodies responsible with providing services for People Living With Disability and 2 (two), a female (KI 6) and male (KI 7) representatives of People Living With Disabilities in the Kakuma camp established factors that affected participation of women as discrimination, prevailing weak disability structures, literacy and especially minimal focus on special needs education, psychological stresses relating to low self- worth and esteem from stigma and culture, poor programming where one of the key informants (KI 1) mentioned that,