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Background to the study

          The power of education is best expressed in the context of how women socio- economic roles are being influenced and changed by it. In Nigeria, women have been under-represented in many field of study due to the traditional belief of limited education for women, thus, considered girls education as less important regardless of the fact that Nigerian women constitute about 50% of her population.

So if women education continues to be hindered, definitely there socio-economic role would be left un-improved. And the society as a whole would suffer, since a significant proportion of its population is less contributing.  However, education is an arrangement in which someone acquire more knowledge through experience that has taught him or her something. Prior to the introduction of western education in

Nigeria, “traditional” education which was all about training and character building for young children, had existed. Later western education was introduced and the missionary society encouraged it through the establishment of the first basic school in 1945.  Thus, literature on socio-economic development is relatively silent on the contributions of women, hence it is appropriate to state that

the role of Nigerian women in development has not sufficiently emphasized.  In high light Onicha local government area in Ebonyi State. Three periods namely, pre-colonial, colonial, post- colonial, will be briefly looked at.  During the pre-colonial period Onicha women contributed to the sustenance of the Kin group, though at the subsistence level. Apart from being a mother, wives and taking care of

domestic work, they mainly contributed to the production and distribution of goods and services especially agricultural sector, eg. Palm-oil, palm kernel and Yam production, they were also actively involve in trade and exchange activities with the support of their children, politics, health, child care, etc. were also affected by women while the colonial era placed women at great disadvantages, since

the petty markets owned by women were disintegrated as a result of the emergence of foreign merchants like John Holt and others. But education was more focus on religion teaching for all, technical teaching for boys and domestic teaching are for women, thereby changing their socio-economic roles. Also during this period women were house-wives encourage, rather than income earners. Hence their primary social role was attached to the upbringing of children.

          Finally, in the post-colonial era, an active change was witness in the socio-economic role of women, especially the one Onicha local government. With as ever increasing number of women/ girls enrolment in education.  Women play so many roles in a nation’s development. They help to build the leaders of tomorrow by the way they bring up children, they help in production and distributive

activities, in politics, and otherwise. All of which has been propelled by education. In Onicha, women are majorly into agriculture; therefore, a good education on modern innovation on farming method will affect her community’s productivity and output. Education also increase the awareness of individual mother towards the shaping of children to positivism in a modern scenario, which has further

educated in 1905, as a result of effective participation of Nigerian women in the international conference on women in Beijing, China Developing an understanding of educational mores that support women’s empowerment is useful as a building block to enhance women’s power. Such understanding is possible without undertaking researches that education affects the socio-economic role of women.




Statement of the Problems

          Prior to the emergence of western education women in Nigeria especially of Onicha local government area had some traditional socio-economic role they played in the society, but after the introduction of western education some weakness were repaired, leaving many unsolved.

          While the status quo of a woman can not be undermine, therefore the major player (education) who drive women to the tune of having a great impact on the socio-economic development of a country, has not been critically examined of its impact on women and their changing roles in the society.

          Little research has been written on the effect of education on the changing socio-economic roles of women. Modernity has brought a great change in the socio-economic roles of women. While education is highly inhibited in some areas, it is encourage in other areas, hence delaying the quick growth of women roles in societies. Therefore we have to identify the backwardness in education and the corresponding contribution of the women who constituted half or more of Nigerian population. It is in this context that we decide to examine “education and the changing socio-economic role of women”

Purpose of Study

          The principle objective or aim of this work is to ascertain the impact of education on the changing socio-economic roles of women. Other specific purposes include:

  1. To examine the past and present contribution of education on socio-economic roles of women.
  2. To investigate the desirability or otherwise of education in modern women.
  3. To fully explore the concept of women education and explain why it has become imperative in changing the socio-economic roles of women and speed up the contribution of modern women to development.
  4. To examine the changes posed by education to women empowerment.
  5. To offer suggestion on policies formulations, planning and strategies to quarter like gender equality with regards to efficient and sustainable performance of women in socio-economic development of women in Nigeria.

Significance of Study

          The significance of this study lies in the need to attain a positive and speedy changes in women socio-economic role, which is profitable and efficient in the achievement of a virile macro-economic goals.

          Also, education is very important in today’s women empowerment, because they affect the performance of women in various roles.

          Therefore, the result of this study will help to improve the awareness of government, communities and individuals of the importance of education in shaping the contribution of today’s women to socio-economic development of Nigeria. They will find it valuable especially in performing their roles as mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, mother-in-law, political officials, owners of capital, nobility/aristocracy, deities, religious leaders, and councilors of children and as producers and distributors of goods and services.




Research Questions

          For the ultimate goals of this study to be achieved, optimal solution need to be performed for some questions such as:

  1. What is the reason for improving women socio-economic role?
  2. What are the ways of increasing women’s performance in a society?
  3. What is the relationship between women’s performance and socio-economic development?
  4. What role does education play in empowering women?
  5. Has education improved the performance of women in Nigeria?
  6. What are the challenges posed by education to women operation in Nigeria?

Research Hypothesis

          This project work shall posit the following null and alternative hypothesis which will be tested in the course of this research.

  1. Ho: Education has no significant impact on women socio-

   economic role in Nigeria

          Hi: Education has significant impact o women socio-

                      Economic role in Nigeria.

  1. Ho: Changing socio-economic role of women does not

    contribute to Nigeria economic growth.

          Hi: Changing socio-economic role of women contribute

                      to Nigeria economic growth.

Scope of the Study

The area of this study is expected to cover number of females in vocational education, technical and industries education while other areas like humanities and Arts were given special attention, with major focus on Onicha women and girls enrolment in primary, secondary, and tertiary institution. Their participation in economic activities i.e production capacity, level of trade and support to the family, politics and others are critically examined to aid the result of the research.

          This study covers the period of 1990-2002, which is sufficient to phantom the real effect of education on women.

          However, this study is to be presented in five chapters according to the required standard of project written.

          And the research was single-handedly conducted by the researcher. Hence there is time and financial constraints which militated against the enlargement of the scope of study.




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