on role conflicts and marital responsibilities among working women in Dutsin-ma local government area of Katsina state.

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                                              CHAPTER ONE



It is generally held view that, if you educate a woman you educate the whole nation. This view gains prominence with the introduction of western education by missionaries. The knowledge acquired as a result has made many women go out of their matrimonial homes to various employments so as to put their knowledge to use. Women in Nigeria and Africa in general are traditionally believed to be the custodians of the home front; they are rationally charged with the responsibility of taking care of the home particularly the home welfare and wellbeing of the members of their family. The women are expected to remain at home to cater for the fruit of the relationship and to make the home as comfortable as possible for the man when he returns from day’s work. The women (wives and mothers) welcome and prepare him physically and psychologically for the task ahead. With the advent of industrialization and urbanization, women have the right to enter the labour market on their own to secure job and promotion without the help of their husband. According to Draznin (2004) women become more qualified and eligible to move into or out of the labour market where they are expected as equal with the men, and also married women experience more roles because societies need mother’s participation in their home, a woman play a dual role of mother and that of a wife. Now she has added the responsibility of being an employee in an organization, which is an institution with a set of achievable objectives that cannot be compromised.  It is agreed among social and cultural theorist however, that when two or more roles whose expectation are not the same are performed together the end result is ‘’ROLE CONFLICT’’ which generate social, psychological and mental problems sometimes in the case of working mothers. The demand of the organization where the women is employed include that she neglect traditional duty of tending the family as a mother and wife for the achievement of the organizational objective. Women’s roles in working organization often take over most of their times, which at the end of the day may not allow them to be able to meet their matrimonial duties. To this she has to adhere, if she is to keep her responsibility as required to give out time as scheduled by the working policies, which will give her little or no time for the children (Strazdins, 2004).

A man is almost a forgotten face in the house, with this the children are left at the mercy of an outsider (Nanny, house help, relatives or neighbours) which has a great effect on the children’s development and also marital instability between the man and women. This could lead to lack of proper and high parental care for the children which may lead the children to poor socialization as a result their association with outside company where there is no mother or father to caution them on whom to associate with. Experience and time have shown that leaving the children in the care of paid nannies or relatives is not the best way of managing the role conflict experienced by the working mothers. Many cases of child abuse have shown that helpers are not reliable. Abuses such as sexual abuse among others are perpetrated on the children and this can be avoided if only parent, especially mothers have enough time for their children. Marital responsibility of the mother is therefore, partly neglected because of the western culture on the society (Wetworth, 2001). This is because most women have neglected their responsibilities due to work in modern organizations. The neglected marital responsibilities are increasing in demand because there is no one to carry them on. This increase led to the introduction of day care centres.

The children are now exposed to the hazards of having their life managed by these imported cultures. According to (Strazdins, 2004) family responsibilities are unique to survival of the family ties. In situation where one among the parent fails to uphold to roles responsibilities, the social ties, such as child-parent, husband and wife may be affected. The desire to hold onto the job by women which in many cases they took up because they are left with a meagre provision from the husband which is not enough for them to meet their personal financial demand make them to become married to the organizational goals at the expense of their marriage. It is based on the above factors among others that the women often loose their traditional goal particularly in the setting in which this research is going to take place.


            It is common for societies to undergo rapid social change which may be in line with the urbanization, industrialization and conflict between traditional roles and modern values. This is more imperative as the members are caught between incompatible roles. The problems of working mothers can be viewed is this way, since women are caught between traditional functions as mothers and housekeepers and their modern function as educated wage earner, such a conflict may have negative impact on the society. For example, there will be poor socialization of the children because the nannies would not socialize the child as the mothers would do. And the role conflict among couples may also cause high rate of divorce, which may result in problem for the society, such as broken homes, domestic violence, high rate of crime, delinquency and so on. This conflict also can produce anxiety for the married women as they are caught almost between two incompatible roles, the end result is stress and strain with psychological consequences especially those with preschool children.


  1. To find-out whether or not married women in Dutsin-ma experience role conflict.
  2. To analyze and examine the social and psychological problems faced by working mothers in Dutsin-ma local government area.
  • To study how the labour force participation and lives of women have been combined over time to produce role conflict among working married women in Dutsin-ma.


1.Do married working women in Dutsin-ma experience role conflict?

  1. What are the social and psychological problems faced by working married women in Dutsin-ma?

3.How does labour force participation produce role conflicts among married women in Dutsin-ma?


This research is very important both to sociologists and society in general as more and more women are being employed into the labour market, so as to contribute their quota to the effective functioning of the society and national development. But this situation is associated with some obstacles as things contradict the traditional view of life. The significance of this work then is to provide an insight into the problems and provide suggestions and possible solutions on how to manage, eradicate or if possible eliminate the problems.


This work limits itself to Dutsin-ma local government area. The scope of this research focus on role conflicts and marital responsibilities among working women in Dutsin-ma local government area of Katsina state. Specifically the study centres on role conflict and its effects on the family and societal development.



Defining the following concepts used in this research would provide a clear understanding of the research work.

  1. Marriage: – Obviously, there is no definition which is adequately perfect and covers all types of human marriages. It is the institution of the society, which can have very different implication in different cultures. In this study marriage is a socially sectioned sex relationship involving two or more of the opposite sex whose relationship is expected to last longer.
  2. Marital responsibilities: – These are rights and obligation of the spouse. For example the husband is the bread winner of the family. He is to provide a shelter, cloth and food. While the wife is responsible for the general welfare of the family. She should also respect her husband and socialize the children.
  3. Family:- according to (Bagroli, 2003) family is a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood or adoption constituting a single household interacting and intercommunication with each other within the respective social roles of husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister creation of common culture. Family is a group or social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It include adult of both sex, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children, own or adopted by the sexually cohabiting adults.
  4. Working mother: – A woman who has a child or children and engaged in paid employment outside the matrimonial home.
  5. Work: – Work implies the productive activities that people engaged in for the economic exchange. In contemporary societies the concept of work have a clearly and perfect meaning specially undertaken and clearly separated from other activities. Work is an activity which take place in an office, a market, or a factory.
  6. Role conflict: – Role conflict occurs when a person occupies two or more positions simultaneously and when the role expectation of one is incompatible with the role of the others.