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This study or research on women empowerment in Nigerian politics is divided into five (5) chapters. The first chapter is on the topic that deals with the introductory part of the study by providing a comprehensive historical background to the study, identifying the major problems, grapples with the review of relevant literatures and the methodological issues involved in the research process. Chapter two (2) highlights the relationship between politics and women participation in Nigeria, taking into cognizance the periods of pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial. Chapter three (3) focuses on how culture is hindrance to women participation in Nigeria, other factors affect the participation of women in politics. Chapter four (4), how high educational attainment enhances women participation in Nigerian politics. Finally, my chapter five (5) is based on my summary, conclusion, and recommendation. Then this study tends to establish gap between the existing literatures in terms of whether there is any relationship between politics and women participation in politics, as well as how culture hinders women participation in politics, and the enhancement of women participation in politics by high educational attainment.


Title Page – – – – – – – – – i
Approval Page – – – – – – – – ii
Dedication – – – – – – – – iii
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – iv
Abstract – – – – – – – – – v
Table of content – – – – – – – vi
Chapter One: Introduction – – – – – 1
1.1 Background of the Study – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of Problem – – – – – 6
1.3 Objectives of the Study – – – – – 8
1.4 Significance of the Study – – – – – 9
1.5 Literature Review – – – – – – 10
1.6 Theoretical Framework – – – – – 30
1.7 Hypotheses – – – – – – – 35
1.8 Research Methodology – – – – – 36
1.9 Method of Data Presentation and Analysis. – 36-58

Chapter Two: The Relationship between Politics and Women’s Participation in Nigeria 59-79

2.1 Women educational attainment in pre-colonial era
2.2 Women educational attainment in colonial era –
2.3 Women educational attainment in post colonial era
Chapter Three: The Culture and the Hindrance to Women Participation in Nigeria – 80-94

3.1 Educational Factor – – – – – –
3.2 Cultural Factor – – – – – –
3.3 Social – Economic Factor – – – – –
3.4 Political Factor – – – – – – –
Chapter Four: How High Educational Attainment Enhances
Women’s Participation in Nigerian Politics 95-107
4.1 Recognition and Funding of the Office of the First Ladies
4.2 Establishment of Ministry of Women Affairs and National
Council for Women Societies.
Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation – – – – 108-116 5.1 Summary – – – – – – – –
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – –
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – –
Bibliography – – – – – – – – 117-120


1.1 Background of the Study
Politics is very important in every human society.
According to Pennock et al (1967) “Politics refers to the forces
that constitute and shape the government of the state and it’s
politics and actions” According to (Goodnow, 1904: 1959).
Politics involves the activities of the officials institutions of
state. This can be ascertained that the stability, cohesion and
level of socio-economic development that any society enjoys
are reflective of its political leadership. It ensures that human,
natural and economic resources are controlled by few people
who are interested in the art of management, on behalf of the
generality of the people. These are of course positions of
responsibility that confer on the holders, certain rights,
authorities and privileges of the politicians. In order to take
care of all human interests, the two genders are supposed to
be fully engaged in politics. However, the reverse is largely
dominated by the male gender, often to the detriment of the
female (Afolabi, 2008). The result is a “malevolent”
militarization of politics in Nigeria.
Participation in politics refers to different ways in which
people exercise their rights over the political process. It is seen
as a means to an end, where the end may be referred to as
political leadership Milbrath (1955) sees it as ranging from
voting to taking part in decision process, attendance, at
political meetings, funding and holding public and party
offices participation according to him involves discussion,
debates, and lobbying (both formally and informally).
The concept of participation lies in the culture of
democracy. The first principle of democracy adopted by the
council of the inter-parliamentary union Cairo, 16th September
1997, is stated as being
“… a universally recognized idea as well as a goal, which
is based on common values shared by people through out the
world community irrespective of cultural, political, social and
economic differences. It is thus a basic right of citizenship to
be exercised under conditions of freedom, equality,
transparency and responsibility, with due respect for the
plurality of views, and the interest of the policy.”
This concept gives room to every human being to have
rights to share in the making of decisions that affect their lives
and that of their community. This right was affirmed by the
establishment of the commission on the status of women (to
promote women’s political and economic rights) by the United
Nation in 1946. The year 1952 saw the adoption of the
convention on political rights of women world; wide, and in
1967, the convention for the elimination of all forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CE DAW) was endorsed. This
convention is upheld by all international, regional and
national legal instruments that concern children and women,
such as the convention on the Right of child (CRC) and the
organization of African unity (ONU, New African Union, AU).
Charter on the Rights and welfare of the child. It also includes
the National policy on women (NPW) adopted by the federal
government of Nigeria. In July 2000. with the ratification of
CEDAN in 1985, Nigeria undertook to work towards the
elimination of discrimination against women and goals in all
fields, whether political, economic, social or cultural. Since the
adoption of this policy by the government, very little
improvement in the exercise of women’s rights (especially in
the area of politics) has been witnessed. The Beijing
conference of 1995 on women articulated. Some areas crucial
to the empowerment of women. These include poverty,
education, healthcare, violence against women, effects of
conflicts on women, power-sharing and decision-making
mechanisms to promote the government of women,
management of natural resources and the environment and
the girl child. The Beijing platform for action made concrete
plans to ensure women’s equal access to and full participation
in power structures as one of its strategic objectives. It also
affirms the needs to increase women capacity to participation
leadership and decision-making processes and bodies. One of
the key initiatives in this ongoing process was the security
council resolution of 1325, which urged member states to
ensure increased representation of all decision-making levels
in national, regional and international institution and
mechanism for the prevention, management, and resolution of
conflict (UN, 2000AD/1325).
Taking the census of political activities both in the
country and in the world at large, the number of political
practitioners is quite insignificant as it is infinitesimal
compared with men. In African, with particular reference to
Nigeria, no women have been elected as governor of a state
either during the civilian or military rule. Much they have been
commissioners in the state or ministers at the federal level not
to take of presidency, though some critics may be quick to
mention, the case of Dame V. Etieba of Anambra State, but
the truth remains that she was not elected. However, when the
seat became vacant due to the treacherous and kangaroo
impeachment of the PDP led house of Assemble, being the
second in command she had to boss the show for the in term
which she did credibly well more than most of her male
counterparts in other states. No other event can adequately
represents the inhibitions and political road-blocks set for
women than, in which even when Hon. Patricia Etteh managed
to emerge as the first female speaker of the National House of
representatives, these male chauvinists working round the
clock saw to her exist.
It is therefore, on this background that this work.
“Women Empowerment and Politics in Nigeria” is born.

1.2 Statement of Problem
Women empowerment is revolutionary development in
the political history of Nigeria, Africa and the contemporary
global society. Since Nigeria independence women in Nigeria
have been given unfair representation in public affairs and
with increased demonstration of their managerial capabilities
in all spheres of human endovear, there is therefore, the need
to give attention to the quest for wider participation of women
in public affairs especially in leadership responsibilities.
Politics as well as I know is a game of numbers, the
history of Nigerian politics is mostly with male domination,
which have systematically excluded women from equal
participation in Nigeria political activities.
Women usually constitute a smaller of political partly
membership because of the social, cultural and religious
attitudes of different Nigerian societies which most often lend
to relegate women to the background. As a result, only very
few men, even among the educated, allow their wives to come
out and participate in politics. In Northern Nigeria, for
instance, an important factor inhabiting women’s participation
is the purdah system (i.e. house seclusion of women).
The essence of this research work is to investigate the
various causes of marginalization of women in Nigeria politics,
were the call for women empowerment.
To achieve this target, we therefore, pose the following
research questions:
1. Is there any relationship between politics and women
2. Does culture constitute a hindrance to women’s
participation in politics in Udi Local Government?
3. Can high educational attainment enhance women
participation in politics and lack of finance?

1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to investigate
women’s participation and factors that affect their
participation in Nigeria. The specific objective are therefore, as
1. To examine the relationship between politics and
women’s participation in politics.
2. To determine how culture hinders women’s
participation in Udi Local Government Area.
3. To find out how high educational attainment enhances
women’s participation in politics.

1.4 Significance of the Study
Every research endeavor is prompted by a societal need
to address a pressing problem. This study therefore is no
exception, it has both academic and political importance.
The study will fill the existing gap in knowledge, it will
also serve as an academic contribution to the movement for
the recognition and realization of gender quality in the Nigeria
matrix, particularly since Nigeria is a nation constitutionally
based on the principle of democracy and justice.
The practical significance of this study include among
other things that its findings and recommendations will be
useful to policy makers, non-governmental organization,
women organization and other stakeholders in the quest for
gender equality.
It will equally be of importance to students, scholars and
researchers in the field of political science and public
administration that are saddled with the task of organizing
and managing the public issues and affairs of the larger
Nigerian society.

1.5 Literature Review
The need for empowerment arises from the inability of an
individual or a group of people to actualize their dreams and
reach their greatest potentials due to artificial barriers created
by individual and other groups within the same society. It is
the manifestation of an incontrovertible inequality, segregation
or marginalization.
To Oxfam (1995) empowerment involves challenging
oppression, which compels millions of people to play a part in
their society in terms which deny them their human rights.
Batliwa (1995) in her definition of the term empowerment
stated that “empowerment is the process and result of the
process whereby the powerful members of the society gain
greater access and control over materials and knowledge,
resources, challenges the ideologies of discrimination and
subordination and transform the institutions and structures
via which unequal access and control over resources is
sustained and perpetuated.
The above definition means that an individual or a group
of people had either lacked power nor authority by conditions
of denial or default.
For Unicef (2003), illiteracy remains at the central of
women empowerment problem in Nigeria. Majority of the
women folk and large number of girls in this country are still
grapping, with the problem of basic reading and writing skills.
Moreover, women in Nigeria are discriminated against
from access to education for social and economics reasons.
For instance, the Islamic practice of purdah prevented many
women from benefiting from school instructions for
participating in economic activities which are likely to evaluate
their positions. The most negative segregation is probably the
prevention of girls from going to school in some society. This
has probably led to the greatest social harm of the twentieth
The fundamental problem is the low importance which
women themselves attached to education many of them believe
that the life of successful women revolves around her children,
her husband and domestic chores. This lack of self ambition is
problematic and prevent her from pursuing other education
Aliazuem and Emezue (1986) explained that the Nigerian
women especially those from eastern side of the country are
known to have some kind of social expectation from role set
dating back to the period of unrecorded history.
Ocheoha (1988) noted that one unanimous cry of women
is that government should take positive step to balance the
number of men and women in government bodies and
committee as well as in public administrative entitles
including the armed forces and the judiciary. In with the
above, Ocheoha recommended hence gender in appointment
into public offices.
She also believed that this should equally be supervised
government should monitor and evaluate progress, in the
representation of women through dissemination of qualitative
and quantitative including empowerment process.
Ekeocha (1992) in his contribution opined that women
represent in most countries, the most restricted and
marginalized group. They are under represented in policy
articulation and conception by the elites that perceive them as
only playing a biological functions or roles.
He advised that, time has come for more established
structures which will focus on more exhortation of concrete
programme of empowerment. It is the responsibility of these
critical ministries to enlighten women, to fashion out
programmes for women education. Institute measures against
domestic violence abuse integrate women in the economy and
articulate a clear out role of women in empowerment process.
Omenuiyi (1992) remarked that though there is an
increase in recent time in the area of women empowerment
and political participation especially with the present waves of
democratization that is sweeping through the country.
However, there is still mismatch between the right incidence of
female voter turn-out and the number of female presently,
occupying elective political offices.
Etzioni (1968) was impliedly taking of empowerment
when he noted that mobilization is a process by which latent
energy from the view points of the active units in made
available for collective actions.
However, mobilization may be used to connote a process
of re-orientation to encouraging rather hitherto dormant
potential units for a more culture nation. Empowerment
connotes the authorization of oriented but subjugated units to
engage actively in the pursuits and achievement of collective
goals, empowerment is therefore used to imply the giving of
energy or authority to someone or group of people who were
hitherto deprived of such powers or roles in the collective
scheme of things consequently while mobilization is the first
step to encouraging women participation in partism politics,
empowerment is the finishing touch on the programme of
women participation in politics.
From historical antecedents we may now advance the
cultural belief of some pre-colonial societies with a view to
understanding the practical and invaluable roles women
played in those societies in the period. This will help us to
make or debunk a linkage of limited women participation in
politics to tradi-cultural orientation of the people.
According to Azikwe (1993), empowerment could be
explained to the layman to man-giving or providing power,
providing the means to and opportunities for self-reliance and
independence. She went on to elucidate than an empowered
women is one who can and has transformed herself into a
subject and is no longer an object as defined by culture and
tradition. In specific terms, an empowered women is one who
has asses to and control over resources such as land, money
and assets, learns to say no or yes in the struggle for her
rights, and possess. Some abilities and capabilities. In
addition, empowerment involves, having a voice and being
heard in national issues, a broadening of choices brining,
about changes in the unequal relationships between the two
sexes, and between government and women.
Everett (1991) observed that an empowered women, has
greater control over her life, is able to define and create from
women’s perceptive, is able to influence the social areas that
are recognized as women’s issues makes the contribution of
women ties, responsibilities and authorities.
It is important to note that the main areas of
empowerment are education, politics, economic and socio
cultural. However, educational empowerment forms a base
structural. However, educational empowerment forms a base
structure for all other empowerment of women. In other words
a women who is educationally empowered might be able to
achieve economic and political empowerment all things being
equal. Furthermore, programmes should be organized both at
the micro and macro levels such as women’s village meetings
and associations. Most importantly, empowerment should
start from the home and family because from observation,
some husbands disempowered their wives at home, in other
words, some women have power in their place of work but
loose it at home as a result of the chauvinistic attitude of their
husband (Azikwe U., 1993).
The type of education needed by the rural women for
empowerment ahs been developed by Azikwe (1993). Based on
the expressed needs of rural women. It is classified into live
areas namely: Basic literacy nutrition and home management,
income generating activities, agriculture, food production and
appropriate technology and primary health care. Any
intervention programme developed on those expressed needs
will no doubt improve the status of our sisters in the rural
areas. The women in the village needs practical skills that will
improve her income and life style. Some barriers to
empowering women include tradition and culture, which form
the fabities of the society. Secondly, most women are aware of
some existing laws that are favorable to them, but do not
exercise them. These are areas, where the contribution of FIDA
is greatly required by Nigerian women. Laws should be
promulgated to eradicate traditions and culture that are
repressive towards women. FIDA should also organize
seminars and enlightment campaigns to make women,
especially the non-literate ones, aware of favorable laws, how
to fight for their right, and provide legal assistance to women
who are unable to afford it. There is the need for validation in
the process of development programmes and planning
education programmes for women is not an exception.
Effective empowerment programmes should be based on valid
primary and secondary data; provision of enough resources
(Human and material), involvement of women, women’s co
operatives associations and organization in the planning and
implementation of the programmes, establishment of women’s
centers and the introduction of women’s studies as an
academic discipline in our educational system. There is need
therefore for data bank (Everett: 1991).
A very important strategy for women empowerment that
is often overlooked is the relationship that exist between,
bearing in mind the doctrine that “united we stand, but
divided we fail”. We should lover ourselves (women) and
appreciate each other efforts and contribution. According to
Everett, this cordial relationship and friendship with other
women and colleagues. We should trust one another, be
honest with our fellow women, encourage and support other
Currel (1974) Posits that women as the child bring
gender, impedes their entry into the political arena. H also,
said that for women to bated from this traditional bondage,
that education is important. However, available data show that
for economic reasons, boys are given educational preference at
the expense of the girls who might be brighter.
Nwankwo (1992) enunciates that “the problem with
Nigerian women in politics goes beyond awareness.” She
identifies financials problem as a factor that makes most
women in achieve in politics. She posits that politics has
become monetized and this was obviously responsible for the
eventual dropout of the female presidential aspirant, Mrs.
Sarah Jubril under the platform of the social Democratic party
(S.D.P) in 1992.
Asase (2003) noted that among the fundamental factors,
which constrains and serves as inhibitions to female
participation in politics today is the issue of finance. She also
opined that people who do not support the idea of women in
politics says that it is wrong for a woman to go out of her way
to lobby others. Probably makes, for fund. She might as well
kill her political ambition good bye before she starts.
Suleiman (2009) “The minister of women Affairs and
social Development,” in her reaction to the issue of women
empowerment, decried low participation and marginalization
of women in Nigeria political system, attributing it to
unfavorable political climate in the country. She is addition
blamed the situation on violence and male chauvinism
prevalent in the political climates, plus lack of financial
capabilities, as some of the reasons why Nigerian women are
discouraged from contesting elections, resulting in low
percentage of women public office holders.
Ogbonna (2009) opined that some of the impediments to
participating, contesting and wining elections in the country
are money politics and power play that effectively scheme
women out. Money has always been seen as major factor in
the game politics, along with the relative absence of financial
empowerment of women. Besides, there have always been
cases of much violence and assassinations, violent clashes at
rallies and sheer thug which are not really welcomed in a
women’s world.
Etiaba (2009) in an interview with Emma-Enyinnaya was
of the, that one of the reasons why the full potentials of
women (especially in the area of politics) have been difficult to
realize is due to family role expectation. Thus:
A lot of married women who strive to achieve career (political) or business success are faced with a heat wrenching conflict of roles. Again, women’s involvement in the top league of entrepreneurship in Nigeria is very limited only a few women who I can count on my finger tips sit at the a per of the organizational chart of big corporations in the oil, gas, communications, banking, manufacturing, transport, publishing and trading sectors of our economy.

In furtherance, she maintained that financial constraints
have not helped matter either and the moat female
entrepreneurs end up in the middle and lower cadre moat
especially as it concerns political participations.
Asase (2003) equally posited that new obstacle have
teamed up with old ones to work against women in
governance. Sharia (as a religious and penal code) as being
practiced in Zamfara state and some other northern states, for
instance, is obviously a drawback to the anticipation of women
in politics. Here women are not expected to mix with men in
public and separate transportation has been provided for more
political relevant roles for women in the polity should not be
viewed as at the party. Thus, Mrs. Josephine Anenih was
cautious in her response to how Sharia world affect the
involvement of Northern women in politics.
“I have spoken to one or two of the governors practicing sharia, and they have assured me that it would not limit the participation of women (in governance) and that if they now say that because of sharia they will not present women candidates we” 11.deal with that when we get there.”

Ozigbo (1998) in his study noted that the traditional
Nigerian society paid particular attention to women education
in the home. Thus informal education was geared towards
training young girls to acquire good manners and household
chores. They were socialized into feminine roles of cooking,
home craft child rearing practice and so in. they were saddled
with heavy household, chores and sent to schools with
skeptism and lack of parental support. Boys on the other hand
went to school with parental and community support and
approval which gave them a feeling of importance and
superiority. Knowingly or unknowingly, schools added to the
disadvantage through administrative practice, school
curriculum, teacher behaviors and classroom environment
that reflect societal values on gender. There was this attitude
of marrying girls at first opportunity regardless of their ages
and feelings because of the fear that girls who waited too long
might not find suitable husband.
In many parts of the world, females are the victims of
educational inequalities. Statistical analysis on access to
education shows a disparately between girls and boys, at all
levels of education. In African countries, sons receive
education before daughters. Even when education is free
power. Parents can only afford educate some of their children.
They may decide send their sons to school rather than their
In Nigeria, the universal education (UPE) was one of the
factors that led to sudden increase in the enrollment of girls in
schools. In most less developed countries boys dominate in
schools. But statistics in some developed countries indicates
that girls enroll in school in the same extent as or more than
boys (UNDP, 1990). At the tertiary level women participate less
in education than men in all regions of the world. Projection to
the year 2000 suggest that these inequalities in education will
persist in many of the world, especially in the areas of science
and technology (UNDP, 1990).
Education is the key to success and index of
empowerment. It equips the individuals with skills and
knowledge needed to make her an effective member of the
society with education, the individual is able to initiate,
embrace and mange changes. It widens the information base
of the recipient, improving her skills and knowledge as well as
increasing her potential for creativity. Azikwe (1993) adds that
education ahs been recognized as one of the best instruments
for social control and change, also an essential fool for natural
development. Education facilities the liberation of the mind
beyond self, ethnic or religious groupings into a more macro
conceptualization of human relations and associations (Ndu;
Access to education has given women a greater sense of
fulfillment. The party of investing a woman cannot be
estimated especially in terms the children’s performance in
school. It provides significant social returns in that women are
more influential in maintaining the health and nutritional
standards. Better educated female population is very lively to
poster national development through changed that can be
expected in the nature of labour forces participation. These
will promote efficient use of resources. Female education lower
fertility and thereby slows population growth because
educated women prefer to have fewer children and smaller
family size. Women are largely identified with the transmission
of cultural and moral values of the society. A better educated
population is likely to contribute not only to a more politically
active adult population but also to transmission of political
values as well (Okeke, 2000).
To further portray the importance of women education it
was pointed out by scholars that “out of 100 typical American
women, 21 years of age (6) will never marry, or the (94) who
will marry (33) will see the first marriage end in divorce of the
remaining (61) who are married, (46) will outlive their
husbands. Thus (85) out of (100) women will be on their own
sometimes during their lives”. Since education is sin qua non
to individual and national development, and women make up
a larger segment of most nations, than suffice it to state that
any nation that is able to provide her citizens, male and
female, without discrimination and biases, all things being
equal. Sustainable development of a nation depends, to a large
extent on full participation and contribution of every member
of the society, not just the male or the educated.
To educationally neglected, a significant proportion of the
society (women) could be therefore disastrous and
retrogressive. Hence, Obasanjo (1992) warn that a significant
stride in development is unrealistic for any country that
marginalizes women who constitute a large and important
segments of the society.
However, it is not exaggerating to say that certain women
have not one time or the other held positions of high
responsibilities, to the world reputable political leadership
qualities in various capabilities in the politics of their
respective national, for instance, Mrs. Felix Fortune (of the
NDP). Mrs. Biola Baba tope and Mrs. Justina Eze (both in
house of representative) Mrs. Florence Ita Giwa a senator
between 1999 – 2003, one time personal adviser to president
on legislature matters, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo Iwela. Iwela
former minister of finance.
Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Akunyili former boss NAFDAC and
minister of information and communication. Hadjia Zainab
Maina, minister of Woman Affairs and Social Development
Not withstanding all the non-governmental organization
(NGO’s) international women’s group and the awareness
created by these women who participated in politics directly or
indirectly and those who were appointed either as advisers. It
would appear that political participation among women is still
not much especially in the rural area where there are less
emancipated and political oriented women.
The literatures reviewed above consider various issues
and factors that hinder and limits the political space for
women participation and empowerment in politics, which
include educational factor, religious, cultural and financial

1.6 Theoretical Framework
This work is based on “Group theory” as the framework
of analysis. The intellectual roots of the group theory lies in
the doctrine of pluralism as explained by a number of early
twentieth century English writers. Particularly by John
FIGGIS, F.W. Mattland and G.D.H Cole. On the other hand,
the group theorist tried to establish the group, rather than the
individual or society as the basic unit in the study of politics.
Bentley stated that the “raw material we study in politics is
never found in one man by himself, it can not even be stated
by adding, men to men. It must be taken as it comes in many
men together”. It is an a relation between men or the action of
men with or upon each other.
Group theory begins with the proposition that interaction
among group is the central fact of politics. Individuals with
common interest band together formally or informally to press
their demands upon governments. According to David
Truman, an interest group is “a shared attitude group that
makes certain claims upon groups in the society” such a
group becomes political if and when it makes a claim through
or upon any of the institutions of government. Individual are
important in politics only when they act as part of or on behalf
of group interest. The group becomes the essential bridge
among group to influence public policy. The tasks of the
political system is to mange group conflict by establishing
rules of the game in the group struggle, arrange compromises
and balancing interest enacting compromises in the form of
public policy and enforcing these compromises.
According to the group theorists; public policy of any
given time is the equilibrium reaction in the group struggle.
The equilibrium is determined by the relative influence of
interest groups. Changes in the relative influence of any
interest groups can be expected to result in change in public
policy, numbers, wealth, organizational strength, leadership,
access to decision makers, and internal cohesion.
Group theory purports to describe all meaningful political
activity in terms of the group struggle. Policy makers are
viewed as constantly responding to group pressure,
bargaining, negotiating and compromising among competing
demands of influential groups. The politicians attempts to
form a majority coalition of groups, in so doing, they have
some latitude in determining what groups are to be included
in the majority collation. The larger the constituency of the
politician the greater, the number of diverse interest and
greater his latitude in selecting groups to form a majority

The group theory leads logically to a particular concept of
the social system and of political behavior. It is therefore,
through the social system that the various groups seek to
realize or maximize their interest. The group theorists are
interest in the fact that the society keeps going in spite of the
perpetual conflict among groups in which each is frantically
pursuing its own narrow self-interest. Groups theorist have
shown a great deal of interests in the internal organization and
process of various groups and discussed questions concerning
boundary, size, territory and forms of integration.
Claiming to understand politics and political behavior in
terms of group’s conflict, the group theorists have evaded any
clear – cut definition of politics. Politics according to Bentley
was a rather high-level activity carried on largely by groups
that some how reflected or represented the underlying force in
society. Since groups could be taken as representing, than
political activities, political activities could be regarded as
simply one part or aspect of the total activity of groups.
Further more, since group theory deals with the
interaction amongst various groups which aim at upholding
and satisfying specific objectives as determined by group
interest. It can then be said that women empowerment and
participation in politics is a reflection of the product of the
product of the group deliberation. It is note worthy to
understand that individuals with common interest could come
together to press home and struggle for their political right. As
a result of these individual not withstanding their sex can, as
important or principal factors in political participation.
The group’s internal cohesion, leadership, strength, and
access to decision-making determine the impact of groups on
politics in Nigeria since the actors determine the question of
“who get what, when and how”. The authoritative allocation of
societal values is determined by how strong a group is, that is
why the more powerful a group is, the more favored it will be
in terms of how it part in government decision-making. It is for
this reason that group serves as the best approach to the
topical issue of women empowerment and political
participation, because it is an approach that incorporates the
individual and group interest towards participating in politics.
Finally, since group theory conscientistes people on the
need to struggle and gain access to decision-making, it has
gone a long way to reduce women, under representation and
gender in equality among both sex.
This theory, has been chosen for this work to it’s
practical application in the analysis and understanding of the
behaviors of political actors, especially as it affect the place
and insignificant role of the “women group” when it comes to
political participation and activities in Nigeria.

1.7 Hypotheses
The hypotheses advanced to give direction to this
research such as:
1. There is relationship between politics and women
participation in Nigerian politics especially in Udi Local
Government Area where Fidelia Njeneze was once
Minister of Aviation, and Ifeoma Nwobodo the present
Enugu State Chief of Staff.
2. There are some cultural hindrances to women
participation in politics such as some religious
practices that hinder women’s participation.
3. High Educational Attainment enhances women’s
participation in politics because it makes them to be
literate and free from gender discrimination.
1.8 Method of Data Collection and Data Analysis
The method of my data collection includes thus:
1. Primary sources which include; questionnaire, direct
observation and interview.
2. Secondary sources, which include collection of
relevant text books, Journals, Magazines, Government
Publications, Periodical and Internet.
1.9 Method of Data Presentation and Analysis
This study will present data collected from the primary
sources in tables and it will adopt simple percentage as the
statistical tool of analysis. This will enable the researcher to
conduct a reliable and valid analysis.
The analysis and illustration below shows the data
analysis of. The link between low participation and lack of
finance. The source of my analysis was as interview carried
out on 11th July, 2013 in Udi Local Government.
The chairman: Chinendu Ileje. Councellor Okechukwu
My interview goes as follows:
What is your Educational qualification?
Qualification Responses Percentage (%)
FSLC 100 31.1
OND/HND/B.A/B.SC 50 15.6
M.ED/M.A/M.SC/Ph.D 50 15.6
Total 320 100

The table shows that 100 respondents are holders of
FSLC, while 120 respondents are holders of
WASC/SSCE/NECO, 50 respondents have OND/B.SC,
whereas, the same 50 respondents representing 15.6% of the
population hold M.ED/M.A/M.SC./PH.D.
The representation above, interviewed, indicates that 120
respondents hold WASC/SSCE/GCE/NECO, they have played
the major roles in this work. They are more representative to
the point of providing the reliable data on women
empowerment and politics in Udi Local Government Enugu
State Nigeria.
A. What is your occupation?
Occupation Responses Percentage (%)
House wife 50 15.6
Trader 70 21.8
Farmer 60 18.8
Politician 40 12.5
Civil servant/public servant 100 31.3
Total 320 100

In the table above, 50 respondents are house wives, 70
are traders, 60 respondents are farmers, 40 respondents are
politicians and 100 respondents are civil servants/public
According to my interview gathered, civil servants/public
servants are majority (100), it is concluded that they form the
greatest percentage of the respondents. The must have
participated in one way or the other in policy making and
formation in a way that their responses will do justice in
women empowerment and politics in Nigeria.

Age Responses Percentage (%)
Less than 26 50 15.6
26 – 35 120 37.5
36 – 45 100 31.3
46 – above 50 15.6
Total 320 100

The table interpreted above shows that 50 respondents or
above 15.6% falls within the age range of less than 26.120 or
37.5% fall within the range of 26 – 35, 100 or 31.3% are in the
range of 36 – 45 whereas 50 or 15.6% falls within 46 years
and above.
In conclusion, the majority of the interviewed
respondents (120) are mainly within the age of 26 – 35 years
as can be seen in the table above.
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 48 15
Agreed 58 18.1
Strongly disagreed 80 25
Disagreed 74 23.1
Undecided 60 18.8
Total 320 100

In this table above, 48 respondents or 15% strongly
agreed on the statement above, 58 or 18.1% respondents
agreed, 80 or 25% respondents strongly disagreed, 74 or
23.1% disagreed, where as, 60 or 18.8% respondents
remained undecided. This indicates that the majority of 80
respondents strongly disagreed on the point that women
participate well in politics. The reason for such conclusion is
basically informed by the fact that politics in Nigeria right from
the days of colonialism had been a male dominated affair. In
collaboration to this view, Adereti (2005:511) opined that
“despite their large population and crucial functions, available
documents show that the level of women political participation
is low compared to their male counterparts.

2. Good number of Nigerian women vote during election
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 80 25
Agreed 54 16.9
Strongly disagreed 70 21.9
Disagreed 68 21.3
Undecided 38 14.9
Total 320 100

In this table (1) above, 80 respondents strongly agreed on
the assertion above, 54 respondents agreed, 70 respondents
strongly disagreed, 68 respondents disagreed, whereas 38
respondents did not take any decision.
In my interview data, it could inferred that majority of 80
respondents strongly agreed. Therefore, I now concluded that
good number of Nigerian women normally vote during election.
They would always cast their votes as citizens of Nigeria. This
should be supported by every Nigerians.

3. Cultural Practices hinder women from talking active part
in politics.
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 100 31.3
Agreed 65 20.3
Strongly disagreed 55 17.1
Disagreed 60 18.8
Undecided 40 12.5
Total 320 100

In this table above, 100 respondents strongly agreed on
the statement above, 65 or 31.3% respondents agreed. 55
respondents strongly disagreed, 60 or 18.8% respondents
disagreed, whereas, 40 respondents remained undecided.
In this interviewed data gathered from the table above,
where a greater number of the respondent representing 31.3%
of the question posed. It therefore, becomes obvious that
cultural practices hinder women from talking active part in
politics some cultures in Nigeria prevent women from exposing
themselves to politics for fear of being corrupted and led
astray. To further support the above, claim Ezife (1993)
maintains that it is a reality that there exist deep rooted
cultural and traditional customs which are not only
discriminatory but also inimical to women’s advancement. He
further stressed that traditions reduces women to a state of
powerlessness as their lives are crushed by hegemony of
wicked tradition.
Hence, I therefore validate the hypothesis that states
cultural practice hinder women from taking active part in

4. Religious practice and injunctions hinder women from
participating politics
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 59 18.4
Agreed 90 28.1
Strongly disagreed 70 21.9
Disagreed 61 19.1
Undecided 40 12.5
Total 320 100

From the table above, we observed that 59 respondents
or 15% strongly agreed on the statement above, 90
respondents agreed, 70 respondents strongly disagreed, 61
respondents disagreed, whereas, 40 respondents remained
undecided. The result from the table as provided by the
respondents implicates the fact that religious injunctions and
practices hinders the level of women participation in politics.
Thus Adereti (2005:525-526) was of the view that Nigerian
women have been marginalized in the formal political system
owing to traditional beliefs and practices (cultural) which
inhabit their advancement and participation in public life. It is
perceived as an aberration for women to participate in public
affairs. Women who venture into politics are labeled as
“prostitutes or way ward women”. This has been in spite of the
rich and heroic history of women’s political activism in both
pre-colonial and colonial Nigeria.

5. Majority of women engage in political rallies and

Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 43 13.4
Agreed 68 121.3
Strongly disagreed 125 39.1
Disagreed 59 18.4
Undecided 25 7.8
Total 320 100

In table (5) above, 43 respondents strongly agreed on the
statement above, 68 or 21.3% respondents agreed, 125 or
39.1% respondents strongly disagreed, whereas, 25 or 7.8%
respondents remained undecided.
The result of the interviewed above, showed that 125
respondents strongly disagreed to the preposition, which
argues that greater number of women take part in political
rallies and campaign. To this, we find that there exist a multi
dimensional factors and variables that accounts for the low
level of women turnout and participation in political activities
such as marital status, pregnancy, domestic chores and male
chauvinism. There is also the issue of thug and violent nature
of electoral campaign and rallies that naturally characterize
Nigeria politics.

6. Husbands influence their level of participation in politics.
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 90 30.9
Agreed 87 27.2
Strongly disagreed 70 21.9
Disagreed 49 15.3
Undecided 15 4.7
Total 320 100

In table (6) above, 90 respondents or strongly agreed on
the statement above, 87 respondents agreed, 70 respondents
strongly disagreed, 49 respondents disagreed, whereas, 15 or
4.7% respondents remained undecided. Judging from the
displayed in the table above, we assert that husbands in no
small measure influence their wives pattern and degree of
participation in politics as indicated by majority of the
respondents interviewed. In the course of this study, they also
posited that those husbands usually contend that women that
took active parts in politics are not only wayward but that they
are in addition promiscuous.
7. Women hold significant party leadership positions.
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 71 22.2
Agreed 62 19.4
Strongly disagreed 120 37.5
Disagreed 53 16.5
Undecided 14 4.4
Total 320 100

In the table (7) above, 71 respondents strongly agreed on
the statement above, 62 respondents agreed, 120 respondents
strongly disagreed, 53 or 16.5% respondents disagreed,
whereas, 14 or 4.4% respondents remained undecided.
In my interview, with a reasonable number of the
respondents disagreeing strongly on this questionnaire, item,
we therefore, posit that women do not hold significant party
position, which is basically attributed to the unmitigated
prevalence of gender politics in Nigeria that hinders women

8. Women are given more opportunity to contest any
elective position than men
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 25 7.8
Agreed 59 18.4
Strongly disagreed 125 39.1
Disagreed 68 21.3
Undecided 43 13.4
Total 320 100

In this table above, 25 respondents or 7.80%
respondents agreed, 125 or 39.1% respondents strongly
disagreed, 68 or 21.3% respondents disagreed, whereas, 43 or
13.4% respondents did not make any official contribution.
Going by the interviewed data, in the table analyzed
above, in which majority of the people interviewed disagreed
(strongly) that women are not given more opportunity to
contest elective positions. It is this view that accounts for the
wide gap that exist between the number of male and female
politician in Nigeria.

9. Lack of fund is one of the major factors constraining
women’s participation in politics

Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 109 34.1
Agreed 99 30.8
Strongly disagreed 47 14.7
Disagreed 36 11.3
Undecided 29 9.1
Total 320 100

In table 9 above, 109 respondents strongly agreed on the
statement above, 99 or 30.8% respondents agreed, 47 or
14.7% respondents strongly disagreed, 36 or 11.3%
respondents disagreed, whereas 29 or 9.1 respondents remain
Based on the interview provided and observations made
from the table, we noticed that lack of access to fund and
finance to a large extent limits and constrains women from
participating meaningfully in politics. This is so because
modern politics is money intensive. It was in the light of this,
that Nwankwo (1992) identifies financial problem as a factor
that makes most women inactive in politics. She posits that
politics has become monetized and this was obviously
responsible for the eventual dropout of the female presidential
aspirant, Mrs. Sarah Jubrill under the platform of the social
Democratic Party (S.D.P) in 1992.

10. Poor access to quality education impact negativity on
women’s level of political participation.
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 72 22.5
Agreed 47 15
Strongly disagreed 111 34.7
Disagreed 45 14
Undecided 44 13.8
Total 320 100

In this table 10 above, 72 respondents strongly agreed on
the statement above. 47 respondents agreed, 111 respondents
strongly disagreed, 45 respondents disagreed, whereas, 44
respondents remain undecided.
It is noticed from the result gotten from the interviewed.
This table shows that high proportion of the respondents
indicated that lack of access to quality education do not
hinder women participation, in politics. This contradicts with
the popular opinion and of modern politics that requires
eloquence in speech and high command of the English
language with which the political activities can convince his or
she would be voters on the need to cast their votes for the
candidate in question. Hence for Unicef (2003), argues that
“illiteracy remained at the centre of women empowerment
problem in Nigeria majority of the women folk and large
number of girls in this country are still grappling with the
problems of basic reading and writing skills.

11. Women should be voted for as local government
chairman, senators and governors
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 93 29.1
Agreed 50 15.4
Strongly disagreed 84 26.3
Disagreed 72 22.5
Undecided 21 6.5
Total 320 100

In table 11 above, 93 respondents or 21.1% strongly
agreed on the statement above. 50 respondents agreed, 84 or
26.3% respondents strongly disagreed, 72 or 22.5%
respondents disagreed, whereas, 21 or 6.5% respondents
remained undecided.
Though much of the respondents interviewed posited
that women should be voted into elective political offices as
indicated with the 29.1% that agreed strongly opposed the
idea, the truth however remains that in real politics that even
women on their part votes against their male counterpart. This
is largely due to socio-cultural believed amongst the people of
Nigeria that politics is male affair while the women should
primarily concern themselves to the kitchen and such other
domestic chores.

12. Providing educational facilities for women will enhance
their participation in politics
Question Responses Percentage (%)
Strongly agreed 61 19.1%
Agreed 70 21.9
Strongly disagreed 90 28.1
Disagreed 59 18.4
Undecided 40 12.5
Total 320 100

In this table 12 above, 61 respondents or 19.1% strongly
agreed on the statement above, 70 or 21.9% respondents
remained undecided. Respondents agreed, 90 or 28.1%
respondents strongly disagreed, 59 or 18.4% respondents
disagreed, whereas, 40 or 12.5% respondents remained
As corollary to the item in table 12, the research once
more contend with the information provided by his
respondents, wherein they maintained that provision of
educational facilities will not enhance the level of women
participation in politics has transcended the more
orchestration of the façade of clannish interests and affiliation
rather it has metamorphosed into political simulation and
games that requires critical intellectual thinking and
calculations, which only the educated one’s can comfortable
manipulate to their advantage in the acclaimed process
survival of the fittest called politics. This accounts for the
reason why Azikwe (1993) maintained that education has been
recognized as one of the best in instrument for social control
and change and also an essential tool for national
development. Education facilitate the liberation of the mind
beyond self, ethnic or religions groupings into a more macro
conceptualization of human relations and association (Ndu,


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