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AN EVALUATION OF THE ROLES OF WOMEN IN GRASS ROOTS DEVELOPMENT

 Format: MS WORD   Chapters: 1-5

 Pages: 68   Attributes: COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH

 Amount: 3,000

 Feb 14, 2020 |  08:09 pm |  1438

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

        Historically, women in both eastern and western societies were viewed as the weaker sex and this view placed women in the category of a lesser being (Obinna, 1985). Even today women in most of the world are less well-nourished than men, less healthy, more vulnerable to physical violence and sexual abuse and less paid. They are much less likely than men to be literate, and still less likely to have professional and technical education. In many nations, women are not fully equals under the law, often burdened with full responsibility for house work and child care, they lack opportunities for entertainment and imagination. In all these ways, unequal social and political circumstances give women unequal human capabilities (ibid)

         Women are more than half of the world population. They are the mothers of the other half. As mothers and careers, as producers and farmers, the work of women supports their families and communities. Yet, throughout the world, the poorest people are predominantly women and their dependent children. Women face an increasing level of violence because of their gender and half a million die each year as a direct or indirect result of pregnancy.

          For most of the last 50 years, development theory and practice was focused on economic development. Moreover, the development of infrastructure such as road, electrification, irrigation, schools and hospitals was seen as the basis for economic growth and development. During the 1960’s, education and health care become the two important elements of development programs because well trained and health workers were seen as crucial for productivity. Although the various programs were introduced in this period, they ignored women as economic actors.

          There is increasing recognition around the world on the necessity of gender sensitive orientation of development work on a practical as well as on a political level. The proclamation of the UN’s decade for the advancement of women in 1975 set off a process in which people began to talk about, and became aware of the economic contribution that women make in the fight against poverty and their role in the development of society. Women were increasingly included as target groups in development projects. However, following the experience of the 1980s two conclusions can be drawn on. It is clear that the efforts made to improve the lives and working conditions of women will not succeed if the existing social, economic and political conditions go against these efforts. In addition these efforts are made in vain, if there is no way of ensuring that the improvements made can be sustained in the long term. At the same time, more attention was being paid to women’s role in the development process, people began to recognise that all the development strategies implemented up to that point had either to be questioned or regarded as complete failures. The work done by women is often unpaid and they tend not to work on the formal labour market (Monaheng 2000:124). The women themselves, and the work they do, are therefore statistically unrepresented and thus they remain invisible. Women were defined in terms of what they lacked: paid work, access to education and health care etc. The conclusion was then drawn that it was the absence of these things that resulted in women being excluded from taking part in the development of their societies.

          By the late 1960s, the social and political up heal in the developed countries open the way to the emergency of women’s movement. In these movements, women started questioning their roles in the society and the discrimination they face in labor markets, political and economic area (ibid). According to the Easter Boserup’s study on the role of women in economic development in 1970 women’s agricultural production was critical in sustaining social and national economy. In most low income developing countries such as Nigeria, women have a triple role. Women’s role includes reproductive work that is required to guarantee the maintenance and production of the labor force, productive role and community managing work. In rural areas, their productive role usually takes informal sector and small enterprises located either in the home or neighborhoods. Women’s community managing work involves the provision of items for collective consumption undertaken in the local community in both urban and rural contexts. In this case, a major and until recently often over looked feature of least developed countries(LDCs) agrarian system is the crucial role played by women in agriculture particularly in Africa. In Africa, where subsistence farming is predominant and shifting cultivations remains important, nearly all tasks associated with food production are performed by women. Although men who generally perform the initial task of cutting trees and bushes on a potentially cultivatable plot of land, women are responsible for all burning field trees, planting the plot, weeding, harvesting and preparing the crop for storage.

Historical evidences indicate that women had been participating in their political, social, and economic aspect of their country, however, their role in development in general and economy in particular had been challenged and well not recognized.

          The Evolution of ‘Women in Development’ to ‘Gender and Development’ In the 1970s, research on African farmers noted that, far from being gender neutral, development was gender blind and could harm women. Out of this realization emerged the Women in Development (WID) approach, which constructed the problem of development as being women’s exclusion from a benign process. Women’s subordination was seen as having its roots in their exclusion from the market sphere and their limited access to, and control, over resources. The key was then to place women ‘in’ development by legislatively trying to limit discrimination and by promoting their involvement in education and employment.

          The WID approach led to resources being targeted at women and made particularly women’s significant productive or income generating contribution, more visible. Their reproductive contribution was less well emphasised. While WID advocated for greater gender equality, it did not tackle the real structural problem: the unequal gender roles and relations that are at the basis of gender subordination and women’s exclusion. This approach also focused on what have been termed practical gender needs, such as providing better access to water, which would reduce the amount of time women and girls must spend in domestic activities and thus allow them more time for education or employment. There was no questioning why collecting water has been constructed as a female responsibility, or why improved access to water is a need of women and girls only. In the 1980s, the Gender and Development (GAD) approach arose out of the critique of WID. GAD recognized that gender roles and relations are key to improving women’s lives, with the term ‘gender’ suggesting that a focus on both women and men is needed. More recently, the need to understand how gender intersects with other characteristics such as age, ethnicity and sexuality has been noted. The GAD approach recognizes that it is not sufficient to add women and girls into existing processes of development but there is also a need to problematise why they are excluded, advocating that the focus should be on addressing the imbalances of power at the basis of that exclusion. GAD also questions the notion of ‘development’ and its benign nature, implying a need to shift from a narrow understanding of development as economic growth, to a more social or human centered development.

          For the majority of large development organizations and agencies, the WID approach has now largely been replaced by GAD, which has been institutionalized within the notion of gender mainstreaming. Mainstreaming involves ensuring that a gendered perspective is central to all activities, including planning, implementation and monitoring of all programmes, projects, and legislation. While critiqued if undertaken merely as a ‘tick box’ exercise, gender mainstreaming offers a potential for placing gender at the heart of development. However, women’s ‘rights’, particularly sexual and reproductive health rights, are not universally accepted as rights, and violence against women remains prevalent across the globe, and women still lack full and equal participation in economic and political life. Mainstreaming has yet to succeed and there is a need for a continued prioritization of integrating women into development.

Economic development is unthinkable without the active participation of women. Economic role of women is the main thing in which everybody should give much emphasis. Therefore, this research is an attempt to provide a succinct evaluation of the role of women in the grass root development using Oluyole as a case study.

 

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

          This research highlighted that societies that discriminate by gender tend to experience less rapid economic growth and poverty reduction than societies that treat males and females more equally, and that social gender disparities produce economically inefficient outcomes (World Bank 2001a). For example, it is shown that if African countries had closed the gender gap in schooling between 1960 and 1992 as quickly as East Asia did, this would have produced close to a doubling of per capital income growth in the region (WBGDG 2003).

          The proclamation of the UN’s decade for the advancement of women in 1975 set off a process in which people began to talk about, and became aware of the economic contribution that women make in the fight against poverty and their role in the development of society. Women were increasingly included as target groups in development projects. In addition these efforts are made in vain, if there is no way of ensuring that the improvements made can be sustained in the long term.

      During the recent financial crisis, measures to protect ‘the poor’ through employment programmes have not considered the gendered dimensions of crisis, yet women may have been more severely affected than men and in more diverse ways. Economic and financial crises cannot be seen in isolation from food, fuel, water, environment, human rights, and care crises (AWID 2012). Women face particular risks during disaster, which climate change may increase, and during conflict. In particular, the risk of physical and sexual violence increases. Agencies not only fail to protect women and girls, but their reproductive and particularly their productive needs are often overlooked  in crisis response and peace building.

          Due to this fact however, the research seeks to fill the literature-gap in knowledge about the evaluation of the roles of government in grassroot development while taking Oluyole local government as a case study.

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

          The purpose of this study is to objectively carry out an unambiguous evaluation on the roles of women in grass-root development as they transcend into grassroot and development.

Also to identify the key roles played by women in the development of                      Oluyole local government and to stress the significance of these roles in the attainment of overall sustainable growth and/or  development in this economy of Nigeria.

 This study is also carried out to augment the claim that women are indispensable elements in stimulating grass-root development.

 

1.4 REASEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The following hypothesis will be tested as follow;

 

HO; Roles played by women are not significant to driving grass-root development in Nigeria.

H1; Roles played by women are significant to driving grass-root development in Nigeria.

 

HO; The roles played by women in grass-root development are not significant to the development  of the aggregate economy.

H1; The roles played by women in grass-root development are significant to the development  of the aggregate economy.

 

HO; The role of women in development is not socially and economically important when planning and implementing any development programme.

H1; The role of women in development is socially and economically important when planning and implementing any development programme.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

     This study is significant in the following areas;

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: This study will prove indispensable in the formulation and execution of development targeted policies. This study provides the government at the grass-root level salient information and facts as regards the importance of the roles of local women in the grass-root development. This knowledge will avail the local authorities the knowledge of those things that must be put in place in order to ensure social and educational investment in every girl-child and how women can further be encouraged to take active participation in the grass-root development a necessity.

NATIONAL POLICY MAKERS: This study is also significant to the national policy makers in the process of formulating an appropriate development-centered policy that integrate the interest of all the economic participants especially the women folks. This study is an addition to the bulk of research works carried out by scholars or researchers from which policy makers can draw for the sole purpose of policy formulation.

 

RESEARCHERS: This study will also be significant to other researchers of work of this nature. It will serve as a guide and reference for researchers who might have to carry out studies of this nature.

1.6     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

           This study will cover all aspect of an evaluation on the role of women in grass root development. The scope will be minimal and limited to the observation and evaluation of the case study (Oluyole local government).

1.7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

          The methodology used in the research work contain various ways or method used for the collection and analysis of data for this research. The research instrument used and how they were validated before they were finally used to carryout the study were explored. These include study population, sample and sampling technique, research design, methods and instrument of data collection, the study area and limitation to the study.

 

1.8   DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

DEVELOPMENT: This is a process that creates growth, progress, positive change or the addition of physical, economic, environmental, social and demographic components.

 

GRASS-ROOT DEVELOPMENT: This is a measurable improvement in the economic well-being and quality of life of a local community.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Economic development is the process by which the economic well-being and quality of life of a nation, region or local community are improved.

 

GENDER EQUALITY: This also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, it is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviours, aspirations and needs equally.

 

GENDER MAINSTREAMING: This is an approach to policy-making that takes into account both women’s and men’s interests and concerns.

 

1.9 HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND  OF OLUYOLE  LOCAL GOVERNMENT

          Oluyole Local Government is one of the oldest local government council in Oyo state. The local government has its headquarters at IDI-AYUNRE old Lagos / Ibadan road. It shares boundaries with four local government area i.e IBADAN SOURTH-WEST, IBADAN SOUTH-EAST, ONA-ARA and IDO all within Ibadan metropolis. while it shares boarders with Ogun state through EGBEDA-OBAFEMI, ODEOLA and IJEBU-NORTH local government area.

          Oluyole local government was established in 1976 and the council occupies about 4,000 square kilometers. Based on 2006 population cencus its population is 202,725. There were 10wards in Oluyole local government and these wards was divided into two sectors. Namely; IDI-AYUNRE and OLODE SECTOR.

 

 

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