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Women Socio Economic Empowerment And The Growth Of Nigeria Democracy


The aim of the study was to assess the level of women’s socio-economic empowerment and the growth on democracy and suggest remedial solutions so as to reduce the magnitude of the problem. To achieve these stated objectives, basic questions were asked which are related to the factors that hinder women’s empowerment to have leadership position. The research method employed was descriptive survey and the sampling techniques were available, purposive and simple random sampling. Data were gathered from primary and secondary sources through questionnaires, interviews and documents. The data obtained were analyzed using suitable statistical tools such as frequency count, percentage, mean and standard deviation. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed for data analysis. Accordingly, the main result of the study revealed that, even though there is a little bit progress, women’s empowerment towards the politics growth rate is insignificant compared to the growth rate of women in expert staff. It was further identified that the major causes that hinder women’s having leadership position were socio-cultural, personal and institutional barriers, like home and family responsibility, lack of self confidence, lack of monitoring and evaluation and related issues. The main mechanisms which for women empowerment rate in leadership position are developing self confidence, pursuing higher education, developing strong women’s network, avoiding meritocracy and using quota system. Finally based on the findings and conclusions, the recommendations given were; empowering women through continuous training and bringing perceptual and attitudinal changes in all men and women.



1.1. Background of the Study

 Many current theories regarding women’s empowerment are based on the premises that in traditional society, women’s are key providers of democracy by promote women’s inherent strength and positive self image (chauhan s.s.s and Baughman, Guarav: 2002:10). Women’s empowerment towards the politics is the process where by women become able to organize themselves to increase their own self reliance, to assert their self independence right to make choice and to control resources which will assist in challenging (sugana, :2002:3).


According to Promila kapur view women empowerment help for women’s to gain greater shape of control over resources, material, human and intellectual like knowledge, information, ideas, financial resources and control over decisions in the home community, society, and nation to gain power (chausan and Banasal, Op. city)


According kiran, self-reliance, has appositive self- esteem to enable them to face any difficult situation and they should be able to participate in developmental activities and in the process of decision making/Ibid/.


The UN Assembly approved the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1979, to provide a framework for action to end the discrimination against women in social, economic, cultural and political fields. Its principles (non-discrimination, accountability, interdependency and participation) inspire and reinforce the global initiatives. Similarly, at the world fourth conference held in Beijing-China in 1995 all UN member states reviewed women’s situation towards gender equality, women’s power sharing in politics under decision making was the major ones among the 12 critical areas for intervention (UN: Beijing Platform for action, 1995)

Many governments realized that without the active participation of women at all levels of decision making; the goal of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved. It is believed that to ignore females participation in all aspects of social, political, and economic activities are a loose half of the potential of the world’s population (Cubillo and Brown, 2003).


Women are still largely under-represented in decision- making positions where key policy decisions are made and resource allocations are decided (White, 2006). Majority of women working in the public sector are concentrated in professional of teaching, nursing, technical and related services, while men occupied administrative and managerial positions ECA, 1996).


As anywhere else in the world, women in Nigeria are experienced inequality and discrimination (FDRE, WP, 1993) and their status in leadership position is low (NAP-GE, 2006).

In line with the above stated fact, the current Nigerian government has formulated a number of gender equity policies and initiatives of providing females an equal chance to participate in all sectors including in leadership and decision making.  Some of these initiatives include the following: A new family law, a pension right policy for women, and other attempts made for the advancement of women such as an affirmative action provision for higher education, employment and promotion are worth mentioning (FDRE, WP, 2004). Even though Nigerian government has tried to empower women in decision making positions, yet gender is just one of the ways in which women can be marginalized in accessing and exercising leadership.


Therefore, in order to understand the role played by women’s empowerment towards the politics in Udi L.G.A. study of seven sectors. The politician and governments are encouraging the local government authorities for the involvement of women’s in leadership Position by understanding to achieve sustainable development there must be women’s participation in leadership position.


1.2. Statement of the Problem

The concern for women’s empowerment has become key issue for the government of Nigeria. The government’s insists that women’s empowerment is the key for the counties development. For many years the government realized that women’s encountered many problems for their participation in various decision making positions has been the concern of many countries in the world; primarily their involvement in decision making structures is recognized as fundamental human rights and important principles of fair democratic system (Saide, 2005).


The Beijing platform for action, UN (1995) also argued that the presence of women in strategic positions is necessarily condition for women’s interest to be taken into account, besides, women’s visibility in decision making structures of all levels is provided to be powerful tool for changing societal stereotypes and creating role models who can be served as impetus for transformation towards gender equality (Genovese, 1993).


In light of the above stated fact, since launching of the new education and training policy of the 1994, education in Nigeria has undergone several changes including measure taken for women’s in empowerment towards the politics. Despite the continuing efforts that are being done by the government of Nigeria for women’s socio-economic empowerment and the growth on democracy. In relation to this, the current number of women’s in leaderships position in Udi LGA is extremely low.


It is with this ground that the researcher finds it appropriate to investigate Opportunities and Challenges Women’s Empowerment towards the politics in Udi LGA. The reason for taking this study area is due to that the researcher has been working as a supervisor of the EWEB and is aware of the gender-gap in decision-making structures. As far as the researcher’s knowledge is concerned no research is found that relates with the growth and proportion of women’s participation in leadership positions and problems that hinder them from being leaders in the Udi LGA.


1.3 Research Questions

  • What are the extent, variation and trends of women participation in leadership positions in 2019?
  • What are the mechanisms for women’s socio-economic empowerment and the growth on democracy?
  • Do the current regional and Udi LGA level selection and placement criteria for leadership positions affect the participation of women?
  • What are the factors that hinder women’s participation in leadership positions?
  • What is the perception of female and male towards women leadership qualities and behaviors?


1.4. Objectives of the Study

  1. To assess trends of women participation in leadership positions.
  2. To evaluate the effectiveness of mechanisms which were used to empower women’s in leadership positions.
  3. To evaluate the selection and placement criteria for leadership positions.
  4. To assess the community and political leaders perception on women’s empowerment in leadership position in Udi LGA administration sectors.


1.5. Significance of the Study

Problem of sex inequality in leadership position is persistent problem in almost all Udi LGAs of Tigray region. In this study selected problems that hinder women’s participation in leadership position was investigated and examined in Udi LGA. Therefore, results of this study might contribute to fill the knowledge gap which hinders equal participation of women in leadership. More specifically the results of this study would have the following significances:

  1. Since the problems of participation of women in leadership are not solved in their full extent in the region, thus, the finding of this study will help all other Udi LGAs in identifying and solving the opportunities and challenges women empowerment towards the politics.
  2. The study may enhance the understanding about the opportunities and challenges of women empowerment towards the politics in Udi LGA of the selected sectors.
  3. The study can motivate responsible government bodies to give greater attention for gender mainstreaming in all organization in general and in the leadership position in Udi LGA in particular.
  4. The findings and recommendations of this study could also help other researchers to undertake further studies in the area of gender and leadership.

1.6 Delimitation

The study is focus on investigate opportunities and challenges women’s empowerment towards the politics in Udi LGA administration. The population under this study includes the seven administration sector of the Udi LGA such as Udi LGA Head Office, Udi LGA Educaiton Bureau, Udi LGA Agriculture Bureau, Udi LGA Health Bureau, Tabia Chairman and women, Udi LGA Female Affairs Committee and Udi LGA Civil Servants.


Although there are various issues related to women in different spheres of societies that it could have been better to conduct the study in a wider range, However, due to financial and time constraints, the researcher preferred to delimit the scope of the study to manageable size. Accordingly, the study is delimited to investigate Opportunities and Challenges of Women’s Empowerment or in leadership position in Udi LGA by selecting seven sectors.


In evaluating the participation of women versus men leaders, the study did not consider all factors that affect women’s participation, but delimited only to personal, cultural, institutional, policy, educational factors. The study further delimited to include experts and persons  in position at the levels mentioned above.  

1.7 Limitation

The main limitation of the study was absence of gender aggregated data. Thus the researcher was forced to gather important information from the staff list and informants, and this made the data collection lengthy and difficult.The other problem was the access denial to interview heads and workers of human resource of the Udi LGA that are mandated to nominate the leadership of the studied Udi LGAs .Furthermore, there was also time limitation of the researcher wait until the aforementioned leaded get free time to deal with the issue under consideration.


1.8. Definitions of key terms


While most of the concepts and terms examined in this study are well known concepts. Defined terms are: empowerment, gender stereotypes, institutional factors, leadership, and participation in leadership, gender and gender bias.

Gender: – Traditional definitions of gender refer to cultural norms (masculine or feminine) cultural and social treats and sex which is based on a biological state male or female (Berdahl, 1996). This perspective is from a view of cultural norms which include vocational chooses and academic achievements, family roles, levels of power and values (Basow, 1992).


Leadership: – The operational definition of leadership used in this study is taken from A. Jago. The complete definition of Jago (1982, p 315). states:

Leadership is both a process and a property. The process of leadership is the use of no coercive influence to direct and coordinate the activities of the members of an organized group toward the accomplishment of group objectives. As a property, leadership is the set of qualities or characteristics attributed to those who are perceived to successfully employ such influence.

Empowerment: is a process where people gain increasing power and control over their lives it involves awareness, self confidence, broadening of options and opportunities, and increasing access to, and control over resources, empowerment comes from “inside”, from the individual themselves, it cannot be granted by others (Saide,2005)

Gender stereotypes: is generalization of male gender as naturally acquainted with certain talents to do some work while women are unfit to do the same work. It ignores individual difference within the same sex (Stogdill, 1974).


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