PROJECT TOPIC- WOMEN CORPORATIVE AND POWER REDISTRIBUTION IN RURAL NIGERIA: A STUDY OF OHAUKWU CHRISTIAN WOMEN ORGANIZATION
This research titled, “Women Corporative and Power Redistribution in Rural Nigeria: a Study of Ohaukwu Christian Women Organization” this study was aimed at knowing the extent through which women cooperatives in rural area can access to loan facilities to enable them meet their needs, to know how rural leaders in women cooperative can bring out the potentials in rural women through power redistribution, to determine how cooperative can help the rural women to increase their productivity, thereby increasing their food security and to identify the problem facing rural women in cooperative societies. The researcher adopted a survey research method and data were collection and analyzed through questionnaire. The study found out that democratizing decision making process in woman organization enhances development effect in the community, this research also reveal the need for mass participation in woman organization to mobilize resources to enhance rural development, the study revealed that leadership problem is the major problem facing women organization, the study also revealed that Christian women organization contributes to rural development through the building of schools. Based on the analysis, the study recommends that since financial problem pose a challenge to the Christian women groups, government should provide them with financial aid, to make their efforts in community development a success, women, should be granted equal education opportunity with the opposite sex as well as be empowered, since these are the major ways they can be encouraged to contribute meaningfully to community development, Christian women groups should embark more on lunching, ceremonies, since according to the finding this is the major source of their income for community development and he issue of poverty and family engagement should be address as they constitute major factors that constrain Christian women from contributing to community development.
1.1 Background to the Study
Cooperatives have been defined in diverse ways by various people and writers for different purpose. However, the oxford advance learner’s dictionary (2002) defined cooperatives as a group of persons acting working together with another for a common purpose. Co-operative society is one of the principal agents of rural development. It is not only an avenue for job opportunities creation, but also as a training ground for the rural dwellers and other society and economic benefits.
Hence, it is a strong factor in the nations economic development. Helms (2005) on the other hand defines co-operative society as an association of persons who have voluntarily joined together to have a common end through the formation of a democratically controlled enterprise, making equitable contribution to the capital required and accepting a fair share of the risk and benefit of the undertaking in which the member activity participate.
On the other hand it could be seen as a voluntary association of persons having mutual ownership in providing themselves some needed service on non-profit basis usually organized as a legal entity to accomplish objectives through joint participation of its members. As it is, the problem faced by the rural dwellers in Nigeria today is complex. It is those in the rural areas who have to produce not only enough for their families but also for the industries and the urban population.
They also have to produce cash crops either for, processing in the local industries or for export. Still they lack the basic necessities of life. Co-operative is a vital issue in every community in this world. Place where it has been properly put into effective operation, its members have greatly achieve something from it. The value of cooperative as an effective channel of rural transformation is widely recognized in advanced and less developed countries.
In Nigeria, for instance, government objective started since 1920, the use of cooperative societies, particularly for socio-economic development of rural areas. Presently cooperative is almost a universal form of organization found in most countries of the world and used by people in many ways for the supply of farming and fishing equipments purchase of production equipment e.t.c. the ways in which cooperative idea can be beneficial to people in their every needs of life is unlimited, cooperative consist of the following objectives.
- To provide the necessary and desirable services to the people concerned.
- To engage in business with the motive of service instead of profit maximization.
- To operate on the basis of self-help where the people involved look towards themselves as a group for the solution to their problems.
- The group of people who have come together to do something that could be difficult for an individual to implement if he is alone.
- Cooperative helps to prevent exploitation by engaging members in agricultural processing.
Women have established themselves as leaders in the community development process and acquire the skills that have brought positive changes to their communities. As effective builders of social capital, Christian Women Organization leaders in Ohaukwu play key roles in establishing and maintaining important relationship and network in their communities. They are facing the challenges of racial, cultural, economic and political barriers that exist in the community development and power redistribution process and in many cases over coming those barriers become their motivation, Akor (2001). While their comprehensive approach has influenced the community development field, Christian Women’s contributions have been neither widely acknowledge nor explicitly credited.
PROJECT TOPIC- WOMEN CORPORATIVE AND POWER REDISTRIBUTION IN RURAL NIGERIA: A STUDY OF OHAUKWU CHRISTIAN WOMEN ORGANIZATION
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The effect of gender disparity in rural development of Ebonyi State is quite enormous. In the past, the women were secluded from meaningful contributions to development. They were not included in decision making bodies. Women were more impoverished than the men which accounts for the high level of gender disparity. There was a big under-development caused as a result of limited access to education by women.
The era when female gender was denied educational training, especially in Igboland below 1970s, where it was a taboo for females to be educated. It was believed then that training the female child would enrich the family of her husband. The responsibility of everybody to contribute to the development of his/her area was neglected, hence this study. Marginalization of the female gender has caused poor economic growth in Ebonyi State in particular and Nigeria at large.
The concept of marginalization suggests that. an approach affects the specified group that reduced their visibility and influences as access to opportunities among others, such as political, economic, religious, etc. The clear point here is that the discrimination and marginalization suffered by the women over the years in difficult cultures has brought about adverse effect on rural development.
Some negative cultural norms had greatly promoted gender disparity in so many communities and succeeded in reducing the overall contributions towards enhancing the economic growth of the nation. Some cultural festivals restrict the female gender from moving from places on certain native market days. Some females were prone to prostitution, depression, given out to marry idols and other abominable cultural practices. They all have negative effect on their personalities and could have been their contributions to our economy. It is therefore, in the light of the above problems that the researcher pose the following research questions:
- To what extent can cooperatives, promotes access to loan facilities to rural women to meet their needs?
- To what extent can rural leaders in women cooperative bring out the potentials in rural women through power redistribution?
- Can women cooperative help the rural women to increase their productivity, thereby increasing their food security?
- What are the problems facing women cooperative and power redistribution?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this research is to examine women cooperative and power redistribution in rural Nigeria: specifically the objectives are:
- To know the extent through which women cooperatives in rural area can get access to loan facilities to enable them meet their needs.
- To know how rural leaders in women cooperative can bring out the potentials in rural women through power redistribution.
- To determine how cooperative can help the rural women to increase their productivity, thereby increasing their food security.
- To identify the problem facing rural women in cooperative societies
1.4 Research hypotheses
Ho1: Women cooperatives do not promote access to loan facilities for rural women.
H11: Women cooperatives promote access to loan facilities for rural women.
Ho2: Rural leaders in women cooperative do not bring out the potentials in rural women through power redistribution.
H12: Rural leaders in women cooperative brings out the potentials in rural women through power redistribution.
Ho3: Cooperative do not help the rural women to increase their productivity, thereby increasing their food security.
H13: Cooperative help the rural women to increase their productivity, thereby increasing their food security.
Ho4: there are no problems facing rural women in cooperative societies.
H14: A lot of problems are facing rural women in cooperative societies
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be of help to future researchers in area of study. It will also add to the already existing knowledge on the contributions of women cooperatives. The feminist will benefit from the study by helping them advocate well on women rights and gender equality.
The Politician, it will help them to provide for their citizens the needs they have long waited for.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The area of the study is based on women cooperative and power redistribution in rural Nigeria with a particular references to Ohaukwu Christian Women Organization in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
A study like this cannot be without some limitations inherent in it. Some of the limitations to this study include:
Financial Constraint: The researcher had a very limited amount of money to undertake all that was involved in the carrying out the study and this made him unable to go beyond and the state scope.
Time Constraint: The time given for the submission of this work was very short that the researcher underwent a lot of stressful activities to produce the report.
Material Collection: it was not easy for the researcher to go to places (libraries, local government council achieves etc.) where relevant materials were sourced.
Poor Attitude of Respondents: The un-complying attitude of some of the respondents in responding to my question to enhance data/information collection resulted in waste of valuable time which could have been used for the study
Finally, inadequate fund was also a limiting factor in this study as this made it difficult to source some of the secondary data/information needed.
1.8 Theoretical Framework
The aim of this project is to examine women cooperative and power redistribution in rural Nigeria with a particular references to Ohaukwu Christian Women organization. The theoretical framework use is “system theory” and Jack Rothman three model approach. System theory is propounded by David Easton in 1950. Quade (2010) recognize that objectives are often “multiples conflicting and obscure”, which make analysis even more essential under system theory.
Jack Rothman observed three model and the social action model. In a locality development model, community can change for better where there is a broad participation of wide spectrum of people of the community level in terms of determining goals and action. This people in question, includes the Christian Women Groups, who participate in community development through their various contributions and activities.
Locality model presumes that local, community people are apathetic, indifferent, skeptical and that their attitude impede economic progress and therefore requires getting people to participate collectively both in determining the goods and action. Such collective action then change their apathy to activity, skepticism to optimism, indifference to involvement. This means that Christian Women Groups are encouraged to contribute to the development of their communities by empowering them, they will be fully involved and their contributions bring about meaningful development in the rural areas.
The social planning model emphasized on the need for expert planners to bring about development due to the complexity of local community. This model calls for “social integration” so as to modifky the services provided for the community development and bring meaningful solution to substantive community problems. Finally, the social action model observed that in every community a disadvantage segment of the population exist, that need to be organized, perhaps in alliance with others to make adequate demand to the larger community for increase resources or for the treatment in accordance with social justice. This model seeks the redistribution of powers and decisions making community. And by so doing the Christian Women Groups among others will be empowered to participate and contribute positively to the development of rural communities.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
Cooperative Bye-Laws: This means the registered law made by a society in the exercise of any power conferred by the northern Nigeria cooperative bye-laws of 1956 and includes any registered amendment thereof (such as decree 90 of the 1993 of Babangida administration)
Registrar: This means the registrar of cooperative societies appointed under the section (B) of the Nigeria cooperative law of 1956 or decree 90 of the 1993.
Members: These are the people admitted into membership after registration in accordance with the rules arid regulations of the bye-law
Cooperative Society: It is an association of persons who have voluntarily joined together to achieve a common and economic end or goal, through democratically controlled organization.
Cooperative Practice: They are method of implementing the principle of cooperative societies.
Democracy: This means each member of the cooperative society have are vote regardless of the number of the share he has in the society.
Dividend: It is part of money being regarded as gain or profit in the cooperative societies.
Officer: This means officials of the society and it includes the president or other person empowered under the regulations, i.e chairman, secretary, treasurer, members of the committee to give directives in regards to the business of a registered society.
Committee: This is the governing body of a registered society to whom they live where the society is entrusted.