Assessment of Communication Methods Used in the Campaign for Women Empowerment Ideas in Imo State
1.1 Background of the study
Poverty is the state of not having enough money or material goods to live comfortably. Poverty is defined as a state of being unable to meet one’s fundamental necessities. In this regard, significant efforts are being undertaken all over the world to increase the rate of economic growth and development so that it transcends all gender lines. In order to solve the development issue, new horizons for development facilitation have emerged, such as poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, and education enhancement. Better Life for Rural Women-BLRW, Family Support Programme-FSP, Family Economic Advancement Programmes-FEAP, and I-CareWomen and Youth Initiatives have all been considered as attempts to give actual development indicators to the people throughout the years.
According to the United Nations Population Fund’s 2013 report, the world’s population will grow from 6.0 billion in 2013 to 8.1 billion in 2025, then to 9.6 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100. According to the 2006 National Population Census, Nigeria’s population was 140,431,790 million people, with 71,345,488 million males and 69,086,302 women accounting for over 48 percent of the country’s population (NPC, 2014). As a result, by 2015, the country’s population was expected to rise by 2.71 percent to 182,201,962 million people, with males accounting for 92,558,596 million people and women accounting for 89,643,365 million people, or over 49 percent of the population. The importance of the female population’s increase and the prospects for their contribution to society and national development make the case for women’s empowerment a topic worthy of this study’s consideration.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of development goals aimed at reducing poverty and empowering people in developing countries. This includes socioeconomic, educational, health, sanitary, and other aspects of poverty reduction and empowerment (UN 23rd Governing Council, 2005). In the year 2000, the world pledged to abolish or lessen poverty among people living on the margins of progress. This category includes emerging nations and those who bear the brunt of poverty—women. The job of accomplishing the MDGs is heavily reliant on the engagement of individuals on the margins. As a result, engagement in poverty alleviation and empowerment processes becomes critical in amplifying and alerting people about the need for such alleviation and empowerment. In many developing nations, including Nigeria, there is an increasing gap between individuals living in poverty, especially women, and socio-economic disparities, as many people still lack access to basic requirements of life, fundamental human rights, security, and empowerment. The problem of women’s empowerment is a significant feature of this social misbehavior caused by expanding global population, which has become a key part of the struggle for evenness and equality in development.
According to Annan (2002), addressing severe poverty and hunger would be impossible until population and health issues are tackled head-on. And it involves stepping up efforts to promote women’s rights and investing more in women’s education, health (including reproductive health and family planning), and socioeconomic viability and sustainability. The desire to promote women’s growth and empowerment prompted a number of measures and advocacy efforts, including the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Furthermore, increased exports from least developed and low-income nations are required to meet these objectives.
In order for these goals and aims to be considered reasonable and achievable, it is necessary to underline the role that participatory communication plays in their realization. Since the MDGs were established to promote human development, it is important to underline that participatory communication can help to accelerate the execution of the declaration’s goals, resulting in human socio-economic emancipation, alleviation, and empowerment. Communication becomes the fulcrum on which the declaration’s efficacy, success, and long-term viability are dependent in order to become more successful. Within development planning and execution, communication must be simplified and mainstreamed into people’s agendas, objectives, goals, and ambitions (Del-Castello and Braun, 2006). The one-way, vertical, and top-down model of information flow and transmission of messages on any topics that influence the general growth and interest of the publics has been a relic of the past in the conceptions of communication through the mainstream media. Although this has been the case in news journalism, such communication models and methodologies have not resulted in long-term growth among the people. This, too, results in a gap in empowerment, as the development agenda stalls due to a lack of beneficiary engagement and participation. People, particularly women, must jointly define and communicate their ambitions, analyze the possibilities available for their growth and empowerment as knowledge of participation becomes a crucial factor for development interventions.
1.2 Statement of the problem
According to development experts and researchers, the absence of participatory communication techniques in various empowerment projects revealed itself via the exclusion of women from the planning, design, and implementation processes, raising the question of sustainability (Igbuzor, 2013). This exclusion and lack of participation makes the objective of those empowerment campaign futile as the benefit cannot be replicated or measured with output result hence perpertual poverty among rural women. The absence of empirical research on how the Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Program (IYEEP) employs participatory communication methodologies is another source of worry that this study looked at. In light of this, it is critical to investigate the reasons behind IYEEP’s extensive use of participatory communication components and methodologies within the MDG three (3) framework. How might participatory communication be introduced into development intervention procedures, is the question. How effective would this method be in empowering women? Do development facilitators consider the role of participatory communication in development interventions by including women before developing and implementing programs? The need for a study on the impact of participatory communication strategies in ensuring the success of development interventions such as the MDGs Goal (3) with a special focus on the Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State reinforces the need for a study on the impact of participatory communication strategies in ensuring the success of development interventions such as the MDGs Goal (3) with a special focus on the Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of this study is to present an assessment of communication methods used in the campaign for women empowerment ideas in Imo State. Specifically the study seeks to:
- Determine ifcommunication approach on the economic interventions has any impact on Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State.
- Analyze if participatory communication is utilized during campaign Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State.
- Ascertain the extent of women‟s participation through the communication approaches duringIntegrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State.
- Investigate if participatory communication method have a significant effect on the campaign for women empowerment and ensure programme can replicated and made to benefit to women in Imo State.
1.4 Research Questions
- Does communication approach on the economic interventions has any impact on Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State?
- Is participatory communication strategy utilized during campaign Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State?
- What is the extent of women’s participation through the communication approaches during Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) in Imo State.
- Would participatory communication method have a significant effect on the campaign for women empowerment , ensure programme is replicated and made to benefit to women in Imo State.
1.5 Significance of the study
This study believed in the significance of the paradigm in allowing women the option to decide the interventions needed fort he entire socio-economic empowerment and development. his was done as a way of advancing the adoption of the alternative paradigm to development and how development facilitators and campaign like IYEEP could leverage on the use of the participatory communication paradigm as one that can lead to a more inclusive participation in all the process development planning and implementation makes it the more significant. Findings from the study will be helpful in enabling us comprehend the relevance and influence of participatory communication process in carrying out development initiatives. The result o the study will help policy makers, development professionals and the public. Finally the outcome o the study will add to the body of current literature and serve as reference material to academics and student who desires to conduct additional investigations in related areas.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study borders on to present an assessment of communication methods used in the campaign for women empowerment ideas. The study would also ascertain if communication approach of an economic interventions has any impact on women empowerment campaign. It determined if participatory communication strategy utilized during campaign on women empowerment idea. it investigated the extent at which women’s participate through the communication approaches during empowerment campaign in Imo State. The study is however delimited to Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (IYEEP) using women in Orlu axis in Imo State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. However in spite of the constraint, all were downplayed by the researcher while ensuring that the best is given.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Empowerment: Empowerment is the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities.
Communication approach: The Communicative Approach is based on the idea that learning a language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. In the Communicative Approach, the main objective is to present a topic in context as natural as possible.
Participatory Communication: Participatory communication is an approach based on dialogue, which allows the sharing of information, perceptions and opinions among the various stakeholders and thereby facilitates their empowerment.
Abah, O. S. (2007). Vignettes of Communities in Action: An Exploration of Participatory Methodologies In Promoting Community Development in Nigeria, Community Development Journal, 42 (4), 435–448.
Igbuzor, O. (2013). Review of MDGs in Nigeria: Emerging Priorities for a Post 2015Development Agenda. Abuja. The National and Thematic Consultations for Post2015 Development Agenda Held At Ladi Kwalli Hall, Sheraton Hotel and Towers,Abuja from
Khan, M. R., and Ara, F. (2006). Women, Participation and Empowerment in LocalGovernment: Bangladesh Union Parishad Perspective.Asian Affairs Journal, 29(1):73-92
MarchLennie, J. (2002). Rural Women‟s Empowerment in a Communication Technology Project:Some Contradictory Effect. Journal of Rural Society, 12(3).
Tufte, T., and Mefalopulos, P. (2009), Participatory Communication: A Practical Guide Washington, D.C.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank.
UNDP (2003).MDGs: A Compact among Nation to End Human Poverty. New York:Oxford University Press.
UNDP (2006).Communication for Empowerment: Development Media Strategies inSupport of Vulnerable Groups – Practical Guidance Note. New York: United Nation Development Programme.
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Women Empowerment, (2009).Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. NewYork: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Women Empowerment.Retrieved from http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw.htm
United Nations-UN, (2014). Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. New York:United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Women.