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In this modern age of development, political inequality between men and women has always been an important issue of concern. This is so because of the realization that the marginalization of a segment, race or particular sex in the society has far – reaching implications on the development of that society. Nigerian society and perhaps many countries in Africa seem to have a tenacious tradition of inequality in different facets of life. With the understanding that there is a growing tradition of political inequality against women, Nigeria adopted some gender discriminatory strategies that sought to protect women from cultural practices that demeaned and made them second class citizens no matter their background or social orientation. This is to restore confidence in women and encourage them to participate in all fields of human activity for a better human and material development. But despite the adoption of quota system, affirmative action, and gender development communication campaigns, some societies in Nigeria have shown little sign of progress especially in the area of women participation in politics. The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of existing communication practice on women participation in politics in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The study also attempted to examine some socio-cultural practices that discourage women participation in politics and also suggest some communication strategies that could enhance women political participation in the area under study. This study utilized the qualitative approach to collect information from men, women and relevant persons, Institutions and Government Departments in Four Ward districts of Kajuru Local Government through Focus Group Discussions (F.G.D.) as well as in-depth interviews. The data collected were analyzed and they have shown that, communication practices that exist in the area of study do not always address the established cultural practices that have adversely discouraged or off-put women from participating in politics. It was also gathered from the study that, rather than religion and other cultural practices, the major problems of inadequate participation of women in politics are in the content and medium or pattern of communication which is patriarchal and akin to the vertical and mass media kind of communication. However, in seeking to contribute to the development of more effective communication practice in the area under study, the study recommended the Horizo- vertical pattern of Communication. This is a blend of the mass and folk media or interpersonal communication. Its strength is in its flexibility and multimedia approach. In a whole, the study helped to highlight how media culture and content might affect the participation of particularly women, in politics. Hence, the problem of inadequate participation of women in politics is a problem of culture and of how the culture is communicated in this modern age.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page – – – – – – – – – i
Declaration – – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – v
Abstract – – – – – – – – – vii
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – viii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study – – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem – – – – – 4
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study – – – – – 6
1.4 Justification for the Study – – – – – – 7
1.5 Research Questions – – – – – – – 8
1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study – – – – – 9
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 2.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 10
2.1 Culture and Religion- – – – – – – – 10
2.2 Culture and the Emergence of Feminism – – – – 13
2.3 Identity Construction – – – – – – – – – 16
2.4 Women Political Development: A Global Analysis – – – 18
2.5 Women Political Participation in Nigeria – – – – – 20 2.6 Effects of Mass Media on the society – – – – – – – 23 2.7 Theoretical Framework – – – – – – – – – 30
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design – – – – – – – 34
3.2 Research Population – – – – – – – 35
3.3 Sampling Frame and Technique – – – – – 36
3.4 Data Collection Tools/Methods – – – – – 38
3.5 Justification/Application of Data collection Tools – – – 42
3.6 Procedure for Data Presentation and Analysis – – – 43
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 45
4.1 Features of Focus Group Discussants – – – – – 45
4.2 Presentation of Data According to Research Questions – – 47
4.3 Communication Approaches for Enhancing Woman Political Participation
in Kajuru LGA – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 57
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 61
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – – – 61
5.2 The Study Major Findings – – – – – – – 62
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – 66
5.4 Conclusions – – – – – – – – – 69
References- – – – – – – – – 72
Appendixes – – – – – – – – 77
Background to the Study
The place of communication in enhancing a sense of belonging and social
responsibility among members of a society is deeply rooted in its ability to empower
people with knowledge and information that could translate to self-discovery, confidence
and the will to act on issues needing action. Kothari, in S.K. Nair and S.A. White
(1993:23) wraps it up:
The role of communication…has to be thought of not as a specialized concern, but as a part and parcel of the struggles for human liberation, freedom and justice, strengthening the struggles of communities and cultures of national entities that are thought to be marginalized people…
Communication, in whatever form or channel (mass media, social media or folk
media) must serve an empowering or liberating purpose. It must be able to re-awaken
people to the realization of societal forces or stereotypes that threaten their transformation
and empowerment as a community, race, gender, class or individuals.
Concerns for the role of communication in social transformation began with
UNESCO in the 1950s which was elaborated decades later by McAnany (1980), where
he examined the relevance of communication to the rural third world. Similarly, Rogers
(1983) in “Diffusion of Innovations” also focused on the poor majority, their
communication behavior and the impact of education and information on their situations.
Rogers recognizes target audience, information environment, information flow, media
campaigns and exposure, as the organizational structures of communication that when
carefully handled could have positive impact on majority of people.
The organizational, transformational and participatory values of communication
must be employed towards conscientization of the marginalized. Paulo Freire (1970) first
introduced the concept of conscientization in communication. Freire argues that,
communication should be practiced not as message transmission but as emancipatory
dialogue, a particular form of non-exploitative egalitarian dialogue which is carried out in
an atmosphere of profound love and humility.
Nair and White (1987), when re-conceptualizing development communication
suggest a holistic approach which incorporates the notion of an inter-face between
communication and participation. Nair and White view participatory communication as
the answer to social injustice and unequal right. Participatory communication ensures
citizen empowerment and acquisition of knowledge that could enable people change their
lifestyles, relationships and perceptions about their socio-cultural and socio-political
When tailored towards social transformation, communication can be said to be a
vehicle for empowerment and liberation from mental and psychological shackles that
bind people to structures and processes of oppression and domination. This is also the
dimension at which communication is employed in this research. It is contextually
channeled towards change (liberation and transformation).
Therefore, the practice of Freire as well as Nair and White‟s concepts of
communication for liberation and social change are vital to the fundamental issues facing
the process of governance and democratization where there is a continued lack of gender
equality in political leadership. World-wide today, women represent only one in seven
parliamentarians, one in ten cabinet ministers and at the apex of power, one in twenty
heads of states or government (Norris and Inglehart, 2010).
Multiple factors have contributed towards this situation. These include structural,
social, institutional and cultural factors etc. Most striking among these factors is cultural
practices and attitudes which have tenaciously continued to prove a significant influence
on the proportion of women politicians the world over (Kiamba, 2009).
A recent study by the inter-parliamentary union interviewing 187 women
politicians in 65 countries to find out about their experiences discovered that, hostile
socio-cultural practices to women participation in politics was the second most rampant
barrier against women that are running for political positions and preceded closely by the
problems of sex roles in the society (IPU, 2010). However, the social problem of sex role
cannot be dissociated from the questions of culture in the family and community. Sex
role is a socio-cultural practice that arguably accorded the women an „extra-unofficial‟
role than the man. Hence, even the problem of sex role is culturally inclined.
In 2006, the world value survey conducted an investigation in 55 societies
(including African societies) and has evidently established that, there exist substantial
differences in cultural practices and attitudes towards women leadership in post
industrial, post-communist and developing societies.
Evidence drawn from this survey has also shown that, comparatively, egalitarian
societies (communities with high sense of equal rights) have a high number of women
politicians irrespective of their socio-economic levels. This is a product of social
transformation that comes through conscientization (Inglehart, 2007).
The same can be said about the situation in Nigeria, where cultural indices of
history, customs, belief systems or religion form the basis for cultural practices. While it
is easier for women to excel politically in communities with growing consciousness of
equal right, same cannot be said about communities with strict adherence to cultural
indices, especially those that subvert the woman. Hence, the situation varies from one
region to another.
In an interview with Nigerian Weekly Trust Newspaper, in a headline: „The
women politicians are coming‟, Senator Nenadi Usman argues that, unlike other
senatorial districts, the politics of southern Kaduna is dominated by men and this is
largely due to cultural practices and attitudes. Though there may be other reasons behind
inadequate representation of women in politics, like lack of interest, ignorance, herculean
demand of politics and so on, cultural factors constitute the major reasons.
However, the process of effective communication which is a sine-qua-non for
positive socio-cultural attitudes and practices may be inadequate in Kajuru LGA and this
might have affected the proportion of women politicians in the area.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
Women‟s access to education, information and political leadership are impeded
by traditions and prejudice instigated most times by socio-cultural and communication
practices (Ashong C. and Herbert Batta, 2011).
Intervention campaigns to address these problems of leadership disparity in the
late twentieth century took the shape of feminist movement which culminated into three
basic policies that sought to ensure that women partake in political leadership. Norris
(2010) outlined the policies as the rhetorical strategies, the affirmative action programs
and the positive discrimination strategies. All these policies are political and public
statements or speeches proclaimed by successive government and applauded for tilting
the way to paltry rise in women leadership but faulted for their lack of adequate
communication approaches that would properly conscientize the society to act on socio
cultural practices that impede women political participation (Sadie, 2005).
As a socio-cultural organ, Mass Media has not been able to significantly change
the apparent inequality in political participation between men and women in Nigeria. The
mass media is said to have given inadequate attention to issues that are particularly
significant to women leading to its inability to address socio-cultural practices militating
against women‟s participation in politics. The impact of this failure according to Ashong
and Batta, (2011) worsens prejudices against women and heightens the culture of poor
For example, the Nigerian home video industry is a socio-cultural organ that
portrays a negative image of women through its messages. At the dusk of the twentieth
century, Okunna, (2000) observed that, quite often, Nigerian home video was filled with
negative images of women as immoral, materialistic, lazy, dependent and subservient to
men. Consequently, research has shown that, this culture leaves youth, particularly girls,
with feelings of inferiority and increases society‟s erroneous perceptions about the
woman‟s leadership potentials (Okunna,2000; Ezeigbo,1996).
The family is another socio-cultural institution that communicates customs and
value systems to its offspring. The traditional belief or system of attaching prominence to
male children over their female counterpart even when they are older and more intelligent
passes the wrong message to young people. Citing the example of the Hausa community,
where seven and three ululations are reportedly used to welcome a newborn male and
female respectively, Lanihun (2003) argues that, masculine is apparently rated higher
than the feminine and this tends to give women a lower status in the family and society
The messages and teachings of religion according to feminist liberation
theologians are patriarchal. The messages seek to subvert the woman and make her
subjected to man. Okure, (1993) argues that, from the beginning, the society has been
patriarchal which accounts for traces of patriarchal teachings and interpretation of the
„Holy Books‟ by the hitherto male-dominated field of theology. This she maintains is to
make the man a permanent leader while the woman remains a follower.
Therefore, overtly or covertly, the combination of mass media, family and
religion which are all socio-cultural organs, seem to fuel socio-cultural beliefs and
attitudes that do not favor women‟s participation in political leadership. This reinforces
gross inequality between men and women in politics and governance.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this research is to enhance the participation of women in political
leadership in Kajuru LGA of Kaduna State.
The study also has the following objectives
i. To examine perceptions on male and female participation in political leadership in
ii. To assess the level of women‟s participation in politics within the study area.
iii. To identify and examine some cultural practices and attitudes hindering women
vying for political positions within the LGA under investigation.
iv. To investigate the efficiency and efficacy of existing communication strategies
used for women political sensitization within the study area.
v. To suggest a communication framework that could enhance effective women
political participation within the area of study.
1.4 Justification for the Study
Issues of women political leadership in recent times have been treated with a high
level of concern the world over. The recent adoption, (by Heads of States) of the
declaration by United Nations Organization for 35% affirmative action on the right of
women to occupy political positions is a pointer to the fact that, women are left behind as
far as national and international politics are concerned.
Evidence presented by (Sadie, 2005) has shown that, the 35% affirmative action
that seeks to place women in political position was relatively not working in most African
countries except in South-Africa and Mozambique, where there was 32.8% and 37.2%
achievement respectively. In Nigeria, the situation leaves much to be desired as the
percentage of women in the national assembly was put at 6.9% (Norris and Inglehart,
According to Nigerian Weekly Trust October (2010), president Olusegun
Obasanjo‟s administration witnessed a high number of women in his cabinet and perhaps
the highest point for Nigerian women when Patricia Etteh became the speaker of the
House of Representative. More women were also on the scene during the late President
Umaru Musa Yar‟adua as well as President Goodluck Jonathan‟s administration; yet 35%
realization of affirmative action is still a mirage even when some political parties have
granted waivers to women. The questions that are begging for answers are: What is
responsible for this failure? Where are the women? Why are they not largely in political
It is in an attempt to answer the above questions that this research undertakes a
comprehensive study on the relationship between culture, development communication
and women participation in politics. It is believed that, the findings and recommendations
of this research would go a long way in empowering women politically and helping in
achieving 35% affirmative action for a sustainable social transformation from grassroots
to national politics.
1.5 Research Questions
To achieve the objectives of this research, the following questions are presented:
How is male participation different from female participation in politics in kajuru
What is the level of women participation in political leadership in kajuru L.G.A.?
What are the hinderances to adequate participation of women in political
What kinds of communication strategies are used for political conscientization
and how accessible are they to women?
What alternative strategies can be used to foster adequate women political
1.6 Scope/Delimitation of the Study
The aim of this study is to enhance women‟s political participation in Kajuru
LGA by establishing socio-cultural barriers and providing alternative communication
approaches that could address these barriers and enhance political participation. Thus,
socio-economic barriers were not considered.
The study has covered the level of women‟s political participation in the chosen
communities only with particular reference to the return of democracy from 1999 – 2011.
Due to the demands of multiple data collection tools and methods used as well as time
frame limitation, the study covered only four districts out of ten. The researcher
categorized the ten districts into north and south cardinal points and two districts were
chosen from each point.
Taking into consideration the culture of the people in some communities, which
compels women to stay indoors and be visited by only family members and females, the
selection interviews and Focus Group Discussions in those communities were designed to
be carried out by female research assistants.
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