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Women empowerment is all encompassing, so this work will want to narrow it to
the subject of women development and the impact of skill acquisition and
economic empowerment. This topic has generated so much controversy in Nigeria,
and the debate centers on appropriate type of development and whether they would
help stimulate women toward their development. There is much ambivalence
within every society as to the proper place of women in all the vital spheres of life.
However, there seems to be a consensus that the future of women development is
greatly enhanced with these two variables mentioned above. This study therefore
examines the role of skill acquisition and economic empowerment on women
development and how women have contributed in the development of their
community. This will be done by defining each of the concepts involved, showing
their specific relation and reaching a conclusion on the topic.
Title page – – – – – – – – – – i
Approval page – – – – – – – – – ii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – – iii
Acknowledgment – – – – – – – – – iv
Abstract – – – – – – – – – – vi
Table of content – – – – – – – – – vii
1.1 Background to the study – – – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the problem – – – – – – – 8
1.3 Research questions – – – – – – – – 9
1.4 Objective of the study – – – – – – – 10
1.5 Significance of the study – – – – – – – 11
1.6 Definitions of terms – – – – – – – – 12
2.1 Overview of women empowerment – – – – – 14
2.2 Obstacles to effective participation of women in community
development – – – – – – – – – 19
2.3 Roles of women organizations in women empowerment – – 21
2.4 Contributions of women in national development – – – 24
2.5 Strategies for developing capacities of women – – – 29
2.6 Review of relevant theories – – – – – – 31
2.6-1 Liberal feminism – – – – – – – – 31
2.6-2Radical feminism – – – – – – – – 33
2.6-3 Socio cultural determinants – – – – – – 35
2.6-4 Marxist approach – – – – – – – – 36
2.7 Theoretical framework – – – – – – – 37
2.8 Hypotheses – – – – – – – – – 38
3.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 40
3.2 Research Design – – – – – – – – 40
3.3 Study Area – – – – – – – – – 41
3.4 Population of the Study – – – – – – – 43
3.5Sample Size – – – – – – – – – 43
3.6 Sampling Techniques – – – – – – – 44
3.7 Method of Data Collection – – – – – – 44
3.8 Method of Analysis – – – – – – – – 44
4.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – 46
4.2Presentation of personal characteristics of respondents – – 46
4.3 Analyses of research questions – – – – – – 50
4.4 Analyses of questionnaire – – – – – – – 55
4.5 Testing the hypotheses – – – – – – – 63
4.5-1 Working Hypothesis one – – – – – – 63
4.5-2 Working Hypothesis two – – – – – – 65
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – – – 68
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – – 69
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – – 70
REFERENCE – – – – – – – – – 73
Introductory letter to the respondents – – – – – 76
Questionnaire – – – – – – – – 77
The discriminatory practice in education which favored the male over the
female was very unprogressive yet the government could not do anything to either
stop or reverse it (Kema, 2003). The colonial government laid a very bad
foundation for education generally and women‟s education in particular. It is on
record that in Nigeria, the colonial government initially did not show any interest
in educational development at all. The early efforts were made by the Christian
missionaries who came to evangelize to the people.
In 1986, the federal ministry of education in Nigeria created a special unit,
women‟s education unit. This showed that the government was beginning to
respond to the urgent need for the development of women. This special right
accorded to women in education suggests that apart from women benefitting from
general education, there will be a measure of encouragement to them towards
specialization in sciences, engineering, and technology. Another area were the
federal government of Nigeria intensified effort to develop women‟s education was
in the establishment of mass literacy commission. The effort of government has
been complimented by the non-governmental organizations, who in several ways,
especially through the offer of scholarships, and grants to secondary and higher
institution female students have greatly promoted women‟s education.
Women empowerment is dated back to 1970‟s and the beginning of the
international women movement. Many women organizations worldwide set up
credit and saving components as a way of both enabling women to increase their
incomes, and coming together to address wider gender issues. The micro-credit
summit programme is not only out to reach women but also to empower them.
Women empowerment is not a modern concept. Women all over the world
including countries in the south have been challenging and changing many gender
inequalities since the beginning of history. These struggles have not been
supported by many men who have not been outraged at injustice against women.
Man is by nature an independent social being and cannot develop, actualize
and objectify himself through labor in isolation from others and from the social
environment (Mbah, 2005). Men have to interact with others to live well and to
achieve more meaningful sustainable socio-economic development. The
relationship between men and women has for a long time been marked by the subordination of one group to the whimps and caprices of another. Women‟s position
being relegated to the background and placed in a dependency position makes it
almost difficult if not impossible for them to take their own decision on issues and
problems to affect them more especially on reproductive health.
Onu (1998) opined that “women are at the heart of development. They
control most of the non-money economy (subsistence agriculture, bearing and
raising children, doing domestic labor) and taking important part in the money
economy (trading, the formal sector, wage employment)”. He further stressed that
every where world, women have two jobs, around the home and outside it. This
assertion implies that women have a lot in of contribution to make towards the
healthy socio-economic development of every county but women are constantly
denied this opportunity by the nature of our societal organizations, and the cultural
set up that makes it more comfortable for men to maintain the status quo. Today,
awareness has led to the recognition of the important role women can play in
national development and this calls for an urgent need to address these critical
areas that have hindered full recognition of women‟s talents, women‟s right,
women‟s development and empowerment.
CEDPA (1997:8) argued that there exist countries barriers that hinder
women‟s efforts to improve the qualities of their lives. Compared to men, women
have less access to crucial resources such as information, education, skill training,
health (especially reproductive health and family planning), cash income and
credit, all of which are necessary for survival within the current economic
According to the United Nations Millennium Campaign to reduce world
poverty by the year 2015, women work two-third of the worlds working hours. The
overwhelming majority of the labor that sustain life-growing food, cooking ,
raising children, caring for the elderly, maintaining a house, hauling water is done
by women, and universally this work is accorded low status and with little or no
pay. The ceaseless cycle of labor rarely shows up in economic analysis of a
society‟s product and value.
Women earn only 10 percent of the world income. Where women work, they
are limited to a set of jobs deemed suitable for women invariable low pay, low
status position.
Furthermore, there are certain laws or customs that prevent women from
getting loans or credit, or having the right to inheritance or to own their homes,
they have no assets to leverage for economic stability and cannot invest in their
own or their children‟s future.
Presently, women have more opportunities for education and stronger legal
rights in many countries; they are taking leadership roles in local communities and
stand at the fore front of peace movement. Perhaps the greatest change will come
when women and men agree to work together for gender equality. Women‟s rights
are well established by international agreements, notably the international
agreements on eradication of discrimination against women (CEDAW), which
explicitly include women within the definition of human and hence in all
international human right conventions.
In our society, community development practice is not new. Before the
colonial era various communities employed communal efforts as mechanism for
mobilizing community resources to effect physical improvement and functional
facilities in their various localities. In the social, political and economic aspect of
their lives. Through communal labor farmland were cultivated, homes steeds
constructed and other needed amenities provided.
In the colonial era a new concept of community development was introduced
in the area of mass mobilization for self help activities. Community development
in recent times has come on top of the agenda of federal, state and local
government in Nigeria .This re-awakening is justified for obvious reasons. It is
common knowledge that Nigeria communities have been showing no appreciable
improvement in the provisions of basic needs like food, house, medicate
educational facilitates and provisions of social amenities like roads, water supply
electricity e.t.c.
This situation has steadily degenerated into state of poverty diseases, filth,
ignorance, unemployment for the majority of the people and their coping
mechanism drastically eroded and is at the brink of collapse.
In the third National development plan (1975-1980) the country„s rural
development policy was for the first time incorporated in the framework of
national development. The policy stipulated that the main objectives of the rural
development are to increase rural productivity and income, diversify rural
economy through the provision of basic social amenities such as health centers,
pipe borne water and feeder roads .Also the establishment of local government
areas in 1976 by the military government down to the grassroots in order to
enhance full participation of the community members. But this has not made
transformatory impact; it rather seems to have aggravated the problems. Rural
areas (communities) still remain in deplorable conditions.
Under the present administration, the reviewed community development
policy seeks to build the enthusiasm among the various partners involved in rural
development. This study focuses on women who have also been recently affirmed
as principal prerequisites for a successful approach to rural development.
From the onset, women have prided themselves in participating in what is
today rural development. However, in societies where the agrarian‟s mode of
production dominates, roles are often directed or dictated by the society and
culture. This limits the role, challenges of women to family related activities (criele
and smoke1977).
Women in Nigeria like their counterparts in other parts of developing
countries ,are mostly involved in food production to feed their families .According
to world Bank(1993),women in Nigeria are responsible for production of about 70
percent of the total food supply. NCEMA (1990) and FOA (1979) also showed that
the contribution of women to food production was 50-60 percent in Asia and more
than 30 percent in Latin America. The main activities of women in rural
communities is mainly participating in agricultural production (cocoa,oilpalm,
rubber ,coffee).This crops serves as sources of revenue for the government . The
women also are involved in agro forestry production particularly around the rural
compound and farm stead.
The major problem facing the Bwari community and every other community
in Nigeria is that of deprivation of women‟s right to participate in their full
capacity in religious, economic, political and social activities just like their male
counterparts. This hinders their ability to operate in their full capacity in
development project in the local government, like every other local (rural) area.
The literate women in Bwari outnumber that of the illiterate but still create little
ignorance among some of other women defending their rights
Another major source of problem is the men controlling the affairs of their
families, prevents or sanctions their wives from participating or partaking in some
activities of women from the local government.
Some men whose wives are appointed or elected leader stopped their wives
in such leadership roles thereby compounding the problems of women organization
in the Bwari local government area of the F.C.T.
Another source of problem is lack of finance. This affects the organizational
structure of men as a result of the fact that majority of the women are house wives
who depend on their husbands. There is need for the women to finance themselves
independently so as to stand a better chance to assist in their homes and also in the
society. Also incompetence in management and control of women organization by
their executives hinders their development and efforts. At times some women
leaders seem to antagonize one another when working together towards achieving
a set goal. Child bearing also affects women in participating in other activities.
The problem of community development in Nigeria is a serious concern to
Nigerians and the international community. The situation has engendered political
instability, dictatorial governments, lack of rule of law/social justice, and
irresponsible leadership‟s e.t.c, resulting to stagnation in poverty and
underdevelopment; this raises some major questions such as
What are the factors responsible for the failure of community development
and women empowerment in Bwari local government area of Abuja?
How has the government contributed to women empowerment and
community development in Bwari local government area of Abuja?
How has the lack of government assistance hindered women empowerment
and community development in Bwari local government area?
What are the problems hindering women‟s participation in community
In what ways have women contributed to the development of Bwari local
government area?
How can women be empowered in Bwari local government area?
What strategies can be adopted to enhance women participation in
community development of Bwari local government area?
The major objective of the study is to find out problems that militate against
women empowerment and community development in Bwari. The specific
objectives can be summed up to this.
To identify ways by which government assistance can help in women
empowerment and community development in Bwari local government
To identify the problems that hinder women‟s participation in community
To find out ways women can contribute to the development of Bwari local
government area of Abuja.
To find out how women can be empowered in Bwari local government area
of Abuja.
To suggest strategies that can be adopted to enhance women‟s participation
in community development in Bwari.
Recalling that the character of the UN (United Nations) re-affirms faith in
the declaration on the elimination and discrimination against women at the present
convention of which Nigeria was a signatory (CSW, 2005:8).
Recalling that under the auspices of the UN, African Union (AU),
International and Local Organizations, the National policy on women was designed
to protect women against all forms of discrimination (Newswatch: 2000).
Concerned, that women‟s right are human right and poverty is feminine.
Aware that, a change in the traditional role of women, as well as men in the family
and society is needed to achieve full equality between women and men. Whereas
common understanding of women as principal prerequisite in the development of
their communities, nation, region and globe.
This study will therefore measure the realization of the pledge to grant
women equal access to health, education, legal rights, labor market opportunities,
public life and decision making position by year 2015 (MDG 2006).
With the drawing plans for a new gender policy on the way, this study will
contribute to an effective policy that will give all Nigerian women irrespective of
class, age, tribe and religion a strength that can be reckoned with.
Also through this study international and local sponsors will be educated
about the contributions of women networks to community development in Bwari
local government.
Finally, for the rural community these women belong to, the study will
improve on the awareness of individuals and groups to not limit the activities of
these women but to help them in articulating their positions, situations and
demands. This will in turn improve the standard of living, enhance rural
community resources and add to national development and a successive
continuation of human race.
Community: A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific
locality, share government and often have a common cultural and historical
Development: The gradual growth of something so that it becomes more
advanced, stronger. This is also defined as skill and capacity, greater
freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well-being.
Rodney (1972)
Empowerment: To give someone the power to do something. To give
somebody more control over their own life or the situation they are in.
Women: It is the plural of woman. It is defined as an adult female human
being. Women all over the world constitute a gender group; they are a
disadvantaged group based on their sex.
Women Network: Women coming and working together in a group to
achieve an objective


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