Understanding the role of women in the Nigerian
political system: major hindrances as to why women do not engage/contest for
key political offices in Nigeria.
Daniel Ebiojo Idoko
Girne American University,
MBA (Management Information System) Research Student
(excluding Cover Page, References & Appendices): 3,285
BACKGROUUND AND CONTEXT
Although section 40 sub section 42 of the Nigerian
constitution provides a platform for men and women equal opportunity to
democratic governance, giving prohibitions to any means of discrimination,
facts on ground do not give credits to this standing. Dating back to 2007
general Nigeria’s election, only 6% of elected political office where women
bringing the ranking of the country compared to the other west African
countries very low, being that the sub-regional average is put at 12% which practically
is a far cry from the 30% recommended in Beijing in 1995. Despite the fact that
women constitute about half the population size of the country and have played
very key roles in the past their participation in formal and informal
structures and processes where decision regarding the use of societal resources
generated by both men and women remains insignificant (Makama, June
The gleaming issue still is that why are this set bacs still a part of the
centuries feminist has being stereotyped as dependent, submissive, and
conforming making women lack leadership qualities raising the bias of men to
portray leadership as command or control instead of a process of mobilizing and
engaging humans which can bring a new platform for women leadership (Burns, 1978).
The potentials of women to be a part of the
administrative strategic decision makers are high and are sure to bring
positive impact to the system of democratic governance. As in the past from the
birth of the office of the first lady in 17 by the wife of the then Head of
state Babangida till date we have seen several women with great political ambitions women like Ngozi
Okono Iwela (finance minister), Dora Akunyili (drugs enforcement agency) etc.
have all shown positive intents and worked significantly in their various
offices. However, in Nigeria the extant National gender policy (NGP)
recommended 35% affirmative action instead and sort for more inclusive
representation of women with at least 35% of both elective and political and
appointive public service positions respectively (oluyemi,
Sources have witnessed that the low response of women in the Nigerian political
system started from the period of pre-colonial masters giving rise to the patriarchal
system which in the long run have made it seem like men are always meant to be
at the forefront and women their subordinates.
of this research will be solely to look into the hindrances women encounter
with regard to engaging in political run for offices. By looking at various
political parties using various research procedure like conducting key
informant interviews, distribution of questionnaires to see if truly democracy
is practiced faithfully.
REARCH QUESTION & HYPOTHESIS
This research will be involved in four research
questions followed by the hypothesis.
1. WHY IS IT DIFFICULT FOR WOMEN TO
ENGAGE IN POLITICS AS ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS?
The null hypothesis in this case
would be that they are not given enough support from this political parties to
engage as active as their male counterparts which entail leads to a pullback or
discourages their efforts.
2. IT THE PRACTICE OF DEMOCRACY TRULY A
PARTHNERSHIP OF EQUAL OPPURTUNITY BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN?
The null hypothesis in this case
could be that since the pre- colonial era the issue of patriarchy has deeply
eaten into the political system to an extent to which we as men no longer see
women as equal but as subordinates. My expectation here will be to see that a
substantial percentage of patriarchy still very much exist or practiced.
3. WHAT OPPURTUNITY DO WOMEN HAVE AS
THEY GROW IN THEIR POLIYICAL CAREER IN THIS PARTIES?
The null hypothesis in this case
would be that despite the claims of gender equality, due to the presence of
“internal democracy” still amongst the party members and officials we see that
women are still sidelines I expect to see that most of their career growth is
cut short due to such reasons.
4. WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIES THAT WOMEN
NEED TO IMBIBE OF GET ACCUSTOMED TO IN ORTHER REACH A LEVEL PLAYING GROUND WITH
THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS TO ATTAIN SUCH KEY POSITIONS?
The null hypothesis here would be
that a grassroot reformation strategy from the family schools and culture to
break the barrier which are nurtured from very young age i.e encouraging
children despite their gender to see themselves as people of same relevance to
the society at large bearing in mind being able to give equal support at any
point in time.
In addition to this research /study
we will also be considering the following issues and questions:
As women in various political parties will
be approached to fill up questionnaires, personally the researcher would want
to know or put into account if leadership education was something which was
being taught to them and if not, how did they find a way to break through this
Also, the study will like to know what
their male counterparts feel about the issue of women putting out that they do
not get enough support as them and their advice to women?
over the past years there has been a
serious deliberation on the issue regarding women leadership however from
colonialism came the point of women’s autonomy and traditional positions. The
British most times found women autonomous, they instituted a “Victorian
framework” which circumscribed making them loose autonomist nature giving birth
to patriarchal system, for example looking at the northern part of Nigeria
colonialism encouraged expansion of Islamic ideals making them exclude women
from politics and other public affairs (Awomolo, 1997) (sue Ellen
This patriarchal system which has eaten up virtually into every practices,
systems and sectors in Nigeria bringing up a structure of gender inequality and
many other negative effect on the economical and socio-cultural values of the
country. On the surface it looks like gender has no significant role and that
the country is presumably gender neutral, and potential women are equal to
their competitors; however, this remains an untapped dream of liberal pluralist (sue Ellen
cited in (Awomolo, 1997).
Nature of Politics in Nigeria In Nigerian
the nature of politics is characterized by way of violence, it’s miles said to
be very violent for those with the hearts and minds of stone, can face up to
such violence. we’ve witnessed and heard approximately violence that transpires
each election season, a woman, certainly would now not need to get worried in
which includes she has lots to lose, health wise and beauty clever. If maximum
ladies hold to assume this manner, there is no way any female might need to take
part in politics, or allow any family member of hers to take part. there are
numerous extra elements not point out, but it’s miles believed that the above
elements are principal factors hindering women political participation, however
it is time to do so by calling on all girls to learn the way to take part in
politics (neighborhood, nation, country wide or international levels) (Amu, 2016).
Women’s engagement in politics in Nigeria
is essential as it is a known fact that no country can make a fast growth when
one half of the country’s population are under- represented, undermined
economically and potentially weak, while the other half is economically
dominant and politically powerful. That which is been said is that women lack
the competence and the right amount of sophistication to hold themselves
against their male opponents and have failed to key into the major agendas of
the country. Looking from the side of this political parties, they do have
manifestos from their constitution stating that both men and women have equal
and full support from the party, manifestos of some of this parties also affirm
in favor of men example: APC (all progressive party) one of the major political
parties in Nigeria, section 16.
representation in population and economic positions has been recognized as a
developmental goal giving big ups to the Beijing platform for recommendation of
the 30% target for women in National parliament which was implemented and
should have had positive impact if was fully implemented (Amadi, 2007).
the table below, it is clear that all parts of the world, women have been
historically discriminated against electoral issues. the good news is that
marginalization can be addressed through concerted efforts. Thus, some
countries now have female heads of state such as Germany and Liberia (Igbuzor,
Table: DEMOCRATIZATION OF
SUFFRAGE IN SELECTED COUNTRIES
MALE UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE
FEMALE UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE
SOURCE: OTIVE IGUZO R,
REDEFINING WINNING: WOMENS EMERGENCE IN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP POSITIONS.
Seeing the issue of marginalization in the
past and how efforts have been made to eliminate it the percentage rate of
change has not been really significant from a statistical point of
actions have been taken to remove continuous setbacks / obstacles to political
progress which will entail reduce historical imbalance. Also, several
empowerment forums and mass mobilization campaigns have been initiated to break
tradition and stereotypes of women’s role. In spite of several of some of this
strategies that have been initiated to which Nigeria is a signatory, they are
still flashing issues of gender inequality at all levels of decision making (oluyemi,
OF THIS STUDY
of this study will be reverberated to the benefit of Nigeria at large and the
political parties, being that women play a vital role in the society and
considering the fact that they do constitute about half the population of the
country. Grassroot education for kinds of different genders to see themselves
as equal to fit into any position of their choice, here breaking the barrier of
cultural / family effect. Furthermore, this will also erase the issues of
internal democracy within each political party hence forth suppressing the
issue of women working /striving 10 times more to run on equal level playing
ground as their male counterparts.
The research will equally
be bene?cial to NGOs, students and authorities’ businesses on gender related
problems together with Inter-parliamentary Union, United international
locations’ department for the advancement of women (DAW) Committee for the
removal of all form of Discrimination against ladies (CEDAW) as it will aid
them of their search for gender equality. similarly, the tips and pointers so
as to be pro?ered on this observe will assist enhance the extent of political
participation of women in Nigeria. (STELLA, 2015)
going to be very much beneficial to the aspiring youths who want to get
involved in politics when women who have acquired some previous positions in
the government initiate some mentoring programs which will prepare them for all
obstacles keeping them competent, sophisticated and most importantly motivated
enough keying them into the major agendas of the country for attracting more
female and male supporters. For the researcher, this study will help him/her
understand the areas which are lacking in the aspect of women politics in
Nigeria, as he/she is aspiring to venture into politics someday, and seeing into
some missing issues concerning this topic. Thus, some time later in future new
theories on how this issue will be solved may be uncovered (Regoniel, 2015)
METHODS, DESIGN AND METHODS
all, all political potential parties and empowerment groups will be identified (Aydinel,
research will involve the two (2) major parties in Nigeria and for the
empowerment groups a random selection will be done selecting just two (2)
groups giving them all an equal opportunity to be selected.
study the resarcher will be using a cross-sectional design to survey the
various political parties and empowerment groups. This will be done at a period
near to the general election of the country when all parties are active to make
sure that the sample size is equally distributed, and all members available.
Five (5) women and five (5) men are selected from both political parties making
a total of ten (10) persons per political party. The research will be more
exploratory being that we need to get detailed information/ data and feedbacks
form our samples. Also from the sample a key informant interview will be
scheduled and conducted for some specific persons from various sample size. The
interview will be a semi-structured interview, with more open-ended questions
so as to get detailed required information from interviewee. A
self-administered questionnaire will be distributed randomly to ten (10) women
for the various empowerment groups. The questions will be slightly open-ended
also in other for sample size to say how the truly feel about this issue. From
the party sample size, a case narrative will be carried out with several
successful women who have been able to break major boundaries they have faced
and whose story can illuminate how prospects will navigate through political,
public and personal hindrances and adopt best practices that can promote gender
stability and equality.
The researcher has to ensure that he/she gets
appropriate consent signed from respondent as a surety of their understanding and
acceptance to be involved in this study ensuring that he/she is not being
forced but get involved at their own free will. Also, required approval from
the sample area (political parties) is relevant to ensure that they are no mix
up or denials given on attempt to conduct exercise/study. Questionnaires which
are distributed to sample will be shared or given to those who are willing and
feel they want to be part of the study. Lastly it is imperative that the
evaluation process does not in any way harm (unintended or otherwise)
Major hindrances as to why women do not
engage/contest for key political offices in Nigeria was
a bit tasking to find articles that ae related to this topic being that most of
the article online where mostly generalizing the political system of Governance
while I was researching from the aspect of the political parties and
empowerment groups. This research will also improve motivation for women as they
will be able to understand thee hindrances they face and how to overcome them
also for the younger generation, they will be opportune to get leadership and
empowerment education as the grow without the issue of patriarchy and
elimination of culture. By the development of these proposal we will begin to see
gradual positive results politically and economically in the nearest future.
Amu, O. S. ( 2016, Apri 29). worldpulse.
Retrieved from worldpulse.com:
Awomolo, A. A. (1997). Nigerian Women and Politics. Endarch:
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Aydinel, Ö. (2015). Customer profiling of the
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their customers?, 11.
Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York:
Harper and Row.
Igbuzor, O. ( 2011, OCTOBER 25TH). WOMEN’S
EMERGENCE IN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP POSITIONS. Retrieved from
Makama, G. A. (June 2013). PATRIARCHY AND GENDER
INEQUALITY IN NIGERIA. European Scientific Journal, 122.
oluyemi. (2016, OCTOBER). unstats. Retrieved
Regoniel, P. A. (2015). Two Tips on How to Write
the Significance of the Study. In SimplyEducate.Me.
Regoniel, Patrick A. (February 9, 2015). Two Tips
on How to Write the Significance of the Study. from
STELLA, T. E. (2015, july 5). WOMEN PARTICIPATION
IN NIGERIA POLITICS. Retrieved from academia.edu:
sue Ellen Charlton, J. E. (1989). women in the
State, and ~eveloprnent” women, the State and ~eveloprnent. new york:
New York Press.