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ASSESSMENT OF WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

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NSUKKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE AS CASE STUDY

Topic Description

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The participation of women in social, political, and community development was addressed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment, and Development held in Cairo. The Egyptian Capital, at the Conference, roles and other related issues on women as well as their social positions were freed from the narrow confines of reality to act beyond being only relegated folder development in all spheres of however, women play better greater roles today in community development,

According to Umeleke (1994) Participation means to sensitize people and thus to increase the receptivity and ability of rural people to respond to development. Community development according to United Nations Organization (UNO) is a process by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those of the government authorities to improve the socio-economic and cultural conditions of the communities, to integrate those communities into the life of the nation and to enable them to contribute fully in the national progress

Women’s participation in community development project in Nigeria has widened today to cover self-help projects in the areas of heath, environment, etc. And in order to bring the projects to realistic end, they have for so long a time started pulling together for identification of their needs on their own initiatives, and resources as well as grants from either government or non-governmental organizations, especially when on a shoestring budget. All these concerted effort are means of ensuring that ignorance, poverty, poor health, and social vices such as drug abuse, theft, savagery, etc are curbed to better the lives of the populace.

Development activities cannot be successfully carried out without the support of women because women represent a powerful economic force. Women pursue their own interest and right in the society, against their relegated social class position and status in a society; to fight all forms of exclusion, discrimination, inequality and all forms of psychological disadvantages.  Oduoran (2006) clearly stated that women generally have contributed immensely towards the development of some physical projects such as construction of boreholes, building of civic centres, walling of market premises for security purposes, building of health centres, clearing of bushes, building of churches and primary schools. These projects have today been improved to meet up with the current demand of our contemporary societies from reactive to proactive.

The concern for women in development or women progress and women participation in community development activities when compared with the men in the recent past is really encouraging as demonstrated in the construction and the commissioning of schools and several projects in Nigeria, this among others includes: A governmental struggle and popularized programme. Miuanyil (1996) listed programmes geared towards the upliftment of women by government and groups in Nigeria for participation to include establishment of government institutions such as civil societies, WACOL etc, which safeguard and facilitate the mobilization and involvement of women in national, state and local government affairs.  In another development educational policies initiated by the government like National Policy of Education (981-1989) lays emphasis on liberalizing professions to put women at par with their men counterparts. A factor which highlighted women’s consciousness towards finding bearings in community developmental projects No wonder there are women professors, lecturers etc in our education sector today than before. Government also encouraged through the media, the formation of voluntary organizations that would orientate and mobilize women for participation in national development. Various successive Nigerian governments both military and civilian since independence have initiated a number of programmes to boost the standard of living of the people especially those in the rural areas, such establishment like Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), Green Revolution (GR), Directorate of Food,  Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), Better Life for Rural Women (BLFW), Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)Women fund for economic empowerment(WFFEE),Business development fund for women. etc

In Enugu State, the life and position of women generally and particularly those in Nsukka have changed drastically by such programs as the Rural Women For Change(RWFC) a program designed by Enugu State government and directed towards rural women in 2010 as recorded a reasonable impacts in waking up women folks in Nsukka to being appendages on men especially in community development projects as well as breadwinners, among others towards the establishment of the community development project funds has crippled development mainly in Nsukka area due to their self-centeredness. The participation of women towards community development projects have also been hampered by some factors such as poor financing, lack of sensitization workshops, of development, illiteracy and mismanagement of funds. set aside  for community development projects by grassroots government officials, executives of associations or those entrusted with community development funds. Moreover, in the face of these aforementioned daunting odds, men seems to rub salt into the wounds by monopolizing community projects due to their sensitivity and manipulative powers. this they do by organizing themselves into various age grades with different names like “Udoka age grade”, “Ikemba age grade” , “Ugomba age grade” to mention but few. Each accomplished community development project undertaken by these age grades, especially in Nsukka..

Consequently, in Nigeria as a result of poor economy the government alone cannot provide all the comforts of the people. In line with this, Ezeh (1999) asserts that more often than not community’s needs which via for government’s attention are unlimited and constantly cause the limited resources of government on a lot of pressure  thus making community development often a necessary alternative way out. Hence, community development has almost gained a universal acceptance as one of the alternative and veritable vehicles for positive transformation of societies which must be obligations for both men and women. Koozberiski(1998) and Federic (1993)

Literature showed that women are involved in all stages of community development processes beginning from the identification of the felt need to execution and evaluation of projects. Women also help in mobilizing themselves for physical participation in developmental plans in the local communities as well as enlightenment campaigns on government policies.  This is because community development projects are effective weapons to fighting unemployment, stealing, low standard of living, sufferings, premature/untimely death, bribery and corruption, all sorts of crimes and for poverty reduction in particular. The various groups that participate in community development projects include literates, illiterates, fixed income earners, self-help groups, welfare groups, church groups, and women trader associations, August Women Function Groups in Nsukka and Office of Women Affairs and Community Development Section Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. Women constitute a powerful social class, they are partners in this task, and there should be no limit whatsoever placed on what they can collectively contribute to community development projects.

In the researcher’s own point of view and understanding, participation means people partaking in doing it themselves in order to be independent and self reliant. It presupposes that people should supplement government efforts in the provision of goods and service.

Statement of Problem

Generally, women in Nigeria over the years have been discriminated against by their male counterparts; for instance women in Nsukka are being left out. In traditional and modern society, women are marginalized by men in all facets of life and this has hindered their participation in community development and society at large(community development journal,2006).

For instance, when women from Nsukka engaged in development projects in their various communities, they were often considered inferior thereby causing a blend of emotions to ferment inside them second class citizens. This showed cold and domineering manner men of Nsukka were displaying against their counterparts instead of encouraging appreciation of their roles in community development. this attitude continue to  discourage the women from being active with their activities towards the development of Nsukka community. Again, Despite the diverse activities of women in Nsukka to wake up to their wheels of progress are still being clogged in the marshy land of strategies such as inability to stick together, identify, initiate, support and focus in a particular project, with these mobilization strategies that can be used for enhancing participation organization lack on and on, women and community development projects will remain parallel lines. For instance   Most of these women organization are not properly organized and cannot work smoothly or as a result of lack of a dedicated leader. Even when they are organized, they are still faced with the problem of finance and financial management on the part of their leaders. These women sometimes are found to be antagonized working with one another towards achieving the objectives of the organization which they belong and this tends to erode away their actions towards participating in development of Nsukka. Based on the above problems and many others, the researcher undertook to evaluate the participation of women in community development.

Purpose of the Study

Intends to:

  • Determine various community development projects carried out by the women in Nsukka;
  • Find out the extent to which women participate in various stages of community development projects in Nsukka;
  • Ascertain constraints to participation of women in community development projects in Nsukka;
  • Determine ways to enhance participation of women in community development project in Nsukka;

 

Significance of the study

For instance, the study will generate information on the various project carried out by women in Nsukka (information on completed on going and proposed projects) as well as various stages in which women participated in such projects

ii Determine who either benefit from such projects.

iii Access the benefits derived from such projects .

iv Beside the study will also provide insight for other researchers who may wish to carry out   further studies on the involvements of women in community developments projects.

Research Questions

  1. What are the various community developments projects embarked upon by the Nsukka women?
  2. What is the extent of women participation in various stages of community development project in Nsukka?
  3. What are the constraints to women participation in community development projects in Nsukka?
  4. What are the ways to enhance the participation of women In community development projects among Nsukka women?

 Hypotheses

(a) Literate and non literate women equally participate in community development projects

(b) A literate and non literate woman does not equally participate in community development projects

          For instance, the study will generate information on the various project carried out by women in Nsukka (information on completed on going and proposed projects) as well as various stages in which women participated in such projects

i Determine who either benefit from such projects.

ii Access the benefits derived from such projects .

iii Beside the study will also provide insight for other researchers who may wish to carry out   further studies on the involvements of women in community developments project

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