THE ROLE OF WOMEN ASSOCIATION IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT
This research presents the results of investigation into the role of women association in rural development a case study of Izza LGA in Ebonyi state. The population for the study consists of the men and women in Izza LGA Ebonyi state. A sample of 40 civil servant. Data were gathered using a self -constructed questionnaire. The validity and reliability of instrument were ascertained. The result of the study revealed that that women in Izza community are not given the chance to participate in the affairs of the community at all, this is because part of their culture is almost the same with the Igbo
Therefore it is recommended that there is urgent need to focus on developing strong institutional supports for gender mainstreaming. Nigeria has not made significant progress in domesticating relevant international agenda through local legislations. This challenge also applies to virtually all aspects of gender and women development issues including property inheritance, violence and other forms of abuse against women, universal education and gender equality.
1.1 Background to the Study
Developing the rural areas has been at the core of national, regional and international governments and non-governmental interests the world over. Different countries have different approaches determined by some structural and cultural peculiarities. Most industrial and developed societies depend on the neoliberal approach in which rural development are attracted from the outside through the ‘trickle down’ processes brought about by increased production of capital in the rural areas Macgarvey 2003. Capital production, in this context, is attracted to the rural areas through tax concessions, development of critical infrastructures and other public spending activities. This market-based approach to rural development tends to focus more on the growth in the rural areas than real development (see Wolman and Spitzley 1996). Consequently, matters of human capital improvements, social justice and environmental concerns are hardly at the core of the neoliberal development agenda at the rural areas. Such development trajectory rarely promotes inclusivity and participation for the rural people (Piore 1995). Rural development approach that fails to incorporate the participation of the rural people remains exploitative. The question of participatory and inclusive development at the rural level is more important especially for developing countries with low human and infrastructural capital and high level of gender discrimination. In the literature, for instance, the rural economies in developing and underdeveloped countries are characterized by enormous informal activities dominated by the women. Women in the rural areas are involved in several productive activities yet their roles are never reflected in the mainstream public development agenda. A study by Gopinath and Kalra (1985) in India observed that women are typically involved in farming, domestic activities and other community-related engagements. For sub-Saharan Africa, several studies have reported that women form 60-90% of the agricultural labor, depending on the area, and that they produce about two-thirds of food crops (Pala 1976, Lamming 1983, Ogunlela and Mukhtar 2009). Women constitute the central pillar of rural development in developing countries yet they are not visible in the mainstream rural development policies and programs. According to Brandt (1995: 3), the many productive and development activities necessary for human well-being are made possible by women, yet they are not officially considered part of the conventional economy. Citing Waring (1999), O Toole and Macgarvey (2003: 175) noted that the conventional economy includes paid work, the activities of businesses and the making of profit, whereas women’s voluntary contributions towards the well-being of rural communities has not been considered part of the conventional economy. In the role of women in rural development is mostly located in the informal agricultural sector. However, most government at the center of policy and programs hardly place women at the center of policy and programs development agenda. Statistics vary, but the general impression is that women involvements in public rural development programs are at minimal level (Damisa and Yohanna 2007, Ogunlela and Mukhtar 2009). The importance of this study is to find out the level of participation of women in rural development by assessing some aspects of public rural development.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite significant improvements since attainment of independence in like many nations in the developing world, extreme poverty remains widespread. The n economy began to experience recession from the early 1980 and as a result, she moved from middle level income and a developing industrial nation to become one of the poorest nations in the world (Central Bank of , 2002-2003). Specifically, the incidence of poverty has been high and upward swinging since 1980. Data from the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS) on the poverty profile of (1999) showed that the incidence of poverty rose from 28.1 percent in 1980 to 46.3 percent in 1985 but dropped slightly to 42.7 percent in 1992 before rising to 65.6 percent in 1996.
The rural areas in most parts of exhibit great poverty, poor health condition and ignorance as a result of varying degree of geographical, social and political isolation. In , more than 75% of the population live and work in rural areas though the emphasis of spatial planning has for a long time been on urban areas rather than regional problems whereby the rural areas would have benefited. This has led to the relegation of the rural areas to the background in the spatial economy of the country resulting in a wide spread of rural-urban migration of able women. This problem has been compounded by unattractive opportunities of generating income from agriculture.
Women rarely have access to the resources that would make their work more productive and ease their heavy workload. Ultimately, it is not just women who are held back, but also their families, their communities and local economies. Despite their many responsibilities, women have significantly less access to the resources and services they need to increase their productivity and their income and ease their burden of household duties. Women are held back by lack of education, unequal property rights and limited control over resources. It is on this backdrop that this research will examine the role of women in rural development with particular attention to Izzi Lga in Ebonyi State.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to find out the role of women association in rural development; specifically the study intends to
1. To find out the causes of downgrading women in the community
2. To investigate the role of rural development in Izzi LGA, Ebonyi state
3. To find out the effect of women association in rural development
1.4 Research Question
1. What is the causes of downgrading women in the community
2. What is the role of rural development in Izzi LGA, Ebonyi state
3. What is the effect of women association in rural development
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will expose the general public to the role and relevant of women in the community, the contribution they can impact in developing our rural communities in. Also the research work will make the general public understand that women too can have a say in the community, some women association NGOs should be given say in some political and social issues in the country. And finally the study will serve as a guide to other researcher who will embark on the same topic.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is intended to address various issues as it affect the role women play in community development using Izzi LGA, Ebonyi state as a case in point. All these include position of women in the decision making process of the community, the examination of the level of women participation in political social development.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The challenge of finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.
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