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IMPLICATION OF 35% WOMEN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF EBONYI WOMEN

IMPLICATION OF 35% WOMEN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF EBONYI WOMEN

Abstract

Implication of 35% women affirmative action policy on national development, a study of Ebonyi women. The purpose of this research is to bring to b are critical position of women based on affirmative action to Nigeria development by eradication of any from of discrimination against women of whatever class. The objective of the study identifies the variables of 35% women affirmative action policy is obtainable in Ebonyi state and to identify why women have remained in the state of political paralysis in Ebonyi state. Research methodology is designed as the structuring of investigation aimed at identifying variables and their relationships to one another. The theory used by the researcher is empowerment theory to be one of the theoretical framework that aid in understanding the subject matter of the research. The major findings of the researcher is that, the women in Ebonyi state have remained in the state of political paralysis because they are uneducated and they are unable to compete with the male counterparts. Also women in Nigeria do not know they have role to play in sustenance of National development because they overlook politics and call it “game for men”. The researcher recommends that, the government should institute a free and compulsory education for all most especially girl-child, women of Nigeria and most especially Ebonyi should be enlightened on their right and should begin to believe in the feminist ideology.

CHAPTER ONE

INTERDICTION

1.1       Background of the Study

Over the years, Affirmative Action (AA) has been part and parcel of humanity donning the grab of exigencies. It is otherwise known or referred to as positive policies. It is often defined as temporary policy measures (usually by the executive arm of government) designed to favor a disadvantaged group or reverse discrimination, It is aimed at remedying past discrimination, thereby preventing a continuum of inequality and injustice based on gender thereby brining about discrimination against women in perpetual.

In this discourse, focus will be on espousing Affirmative Action (AA) vis-à-vis discrimination against women. The introduction of AA into Nigeria, the implication of 35% affirmative policy on National  participation in Politics.

Indeed, women all over the world have chains not just on their legs but also on their arms, these chains aught to be addressed and not ignored. Therefore Affirmative Action involves equality, for every human being, it also refers to federal character and quota system. Equality has been at the heart of many revolutions. However, Affirmative Action is rather a subtle systematic and gradual machinery of achieving both equality and liberation without force. It is predicated on governments positive politics and will to actualize such policies.

What is Affirmative Action?

Tom Muller (1993) defines it as attempts the make progress towards substantive rather than merely formal equality of opportunities for those groups that have been disadvantaged in the past. He further opined that it takes into account under representation and insignificant occupation of positions in the society. While BUCHAN LOVE (1987) involved the image of running as race and stated thus:

“If race has started between two runners, and one is shackled, that by simply removing the chains and allowing the runners to continues is insufficient because one runner must be moved up to equal position with the other runner because to treat unequal as equals is to perpetuate inequality”.

 It presupposes that except the upward movement is affected, the shackled participant to the race is already disadvantaged not withstanding the attainment of such a runner.

  • Affirmative Action (AA) refers to polices that take care of race, ethnicity or gender into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity in Employment Education and health programmes.
  • It is a policy project aimed at countering discrimination against minorities and education.
  • It is a positive step taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education and business from which they have been historically excluded.

Historically Affirmative Action (AA) is a politically-loaded word originated in California. People particularly politicians,  use the term as if everyone understands what it means. Infact, people use affirmative action as a label for a wide variety of alleged deeds and misdeeds, some correctly termed affirmative action, but others far off the legal or historical mark.

The story of Affirmative Action (AA) begins with the story of American slavery. Affirmative Action programmes are a direct outgrowth of Americans long and unhappy history of moving from slavery and towards the goal of racial equality.

On March 6, 1961 president John F. Kennedy issued executive order 10925, which included a provision that government contractors “take Affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, colour or national origin”. The intent of this executive order was to affirm the governments commitment to equal opportunity for all qualified persons, and to take positive action to strengthen effort to realize true and equal opportunity for all.

The concept, affirmative action has the following objective

  • To give equal opportunity in Education, employment and politics to all without any form of discrimination based on sex, race, gender and color.
  • To allow for active make up for decades of discrimination in the past.

IMPLICATION OF 35% WOMEN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF EBONYI WOMEN

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Among the numerous challenges faced by women in their quest to contributing their quota to national development which includes but not limited to; Religious/cultural belief system, viritility deficiency syndrome, lack of finance, lack of education and lack of effective means of implementation of Affirmative Action.

Religious/cultural beliefs system poses a threat to the attainment of 35% affirmative action for women because most religion preaches to the attainment of 35% affirmative action for women because  most religion preaches the superiority of men or over the women folk and for this reason most women develop political apathy. In Ebonyi State, most women cannot go into politics because of lack of education, so therefore not  being educated affects the attainment of 35% affirmative policy. based on the foregoing, the researcher will pose the following research question:

  • Is 35% women affirmative action policy attainable in Ebonyi State?
  • What is the behaviour of Nigerian women towards politics?
  • Why has women remain in the state of political paralysis in Ebonyi State?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the placation of 35% women affirmative policy on national development especially in Ebonyi State,  specifically the study sought to:

  • Identify if 35% women affirmative action policy is attainable.
  • Identify the behaviour of Nigerian women in general and Ebonyi State women in specific towards politics.
  • Identify why women have remained in the state of political paralysis in Ebonyi State.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

(a) Ho: 35% women affirmative action policy is attainable in Ebonyi State.

H1: 35% women affirmative action policy is not attainable in Ebonyi State.

(b) Ho: The behaviour of Nigeria women towards polities is that of interest. (POLITICAL).

H1:  The behaviour of Nigerian women towards politics is that of disinterest (APOLITICAL).

(C) Ho: Due to lack of Education most women in Ebonyi State are not in the state of political paralysis.

H1: Due to lack of Education most women in Ebonyi State   are in the state of political paralysis.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study is designed to provide useful information on the implication of 35% women affirmative action policy on national development. A study of Ebonyi women

It will seek in correcting various misconceptions and notions about 35% women affirmative action policy and its implication on national development.

1.6       Scope of the Study

The area covered is Nigeria in general and Ebonyi State in particular. It also studies the implication of 35% Affirmative action towards national development.

1.7       Limitations of the  Study

Some of the constraints experienced by the researcher in the case of carrying out this work includes but not limited to:

Time factor: The researcher being a student has to combat with how to share the limited time at her disposal with her lecturers and other domestic activities and this research.

Lack of Fund: The researcher being a student has no good access to source of finance.

Language Barrier:  The researcher not being an indigene of Ebonyi State nor an Igbo person faced the challenge of getting firsthand information from rural women. Finally, the problem of unwilling respondents to fill the necessary vaccum in the questionnaire.

1.8 Theoretical Framework

The researcher has adopted empowerment theory to be one of the theoretical framework that aided the understanding of the subject matter of the research.

Empowerment theory was propounded by an American community psychology and is associated with a social scientist JULIAN RAPPAPORT (1984). Robert Adams points to the limitation of any single definition of “Empowerment” and the danger that academic or specialist definitions might take away the word and the connected practices from the people they are supposed to belong to.

According to him, Empowerment can be defined as the capacity of individuals, groups or communities to take control of their circumstances, exercise power, and achieve their own goals and the process by which individually and collectively they are able to help themselves and others to maximize the quality of their lives.

Rappaport (1984) views empowerment as a process, the mechanism by which people, organizations and communities gain mastery over their live; sociologically, empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through, for example-discrimination based disability, race, ethnicity, religion or gender.

Empowerment as a methodology is also associated with feminism. Citing Rappaport (1981) and Rappaport (1984) perkins and Zimmerman ( 1995) posits that empowerment is a construct that links individuals well-being, strength and competencies to social policy and social change.

Hence, empowerment theory research and interventions. link individuals well-being with larger social and particular environment (Perkins and Zimmerman, 1995). Thus, empowerment theory focuses on identify capabilities instead of cataloging risk factors and exploring environmental influences of social problem instead of blaming victims (Perkins and Zimmerman 1995).Therefore, Rappaport (1987), cited in Perkins and Zimmerman (1995) simply sees empowerment as a process by which people gain control over their lives and democratic participation in the life of their community. Women empowerment is not different particularly when related to both rural or grass root and National development. It is essentially about the process by which people (women) gain control over their lives and over democratic  participation in the life of their community (women community).

The relevance of the theory to this research is not far fetched, if women are empowered development is realizable.

When women are empowered to know their rights and that they have a role to play in the development of their nation this will bring about increase in political participation and break the bounds of gender inequality. The theory brings to fore that the empowerment of women will promote political participation and eventually national and grass root development.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Development

Development is a calculated and deliberate effort by individuals, groups and government agencies towards improving themselves.

Affirmative Action

It is an attempt to make progress towards substantive rather than merely formal equality of opportunity for those groups that have been disadvantaged in the past.

IMPLICATION OF 35% WOMEN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF EBONYI WOMEN

 

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