PROJECT TOPIC: A STUDY ON THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN MOBILIZING WOMEN FOR POLITICS IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
This systems of communication that is radio pays a major role in mobilization of women for politics in Nigeria. For majority of women groups in Nigeria, improving the lots of Nigeria women is a prime target for many of them also, the experience of the management of women is all facts of life is feasible to cultural practice of gender relations within the Nigeria Society. Let for many of the enlighten women in Nigeria, these practice have become acceptability of life and are not to be questioned.
The radio, because it is cheap, have become affordable easy access and have become a base means of mobilizing Nigeria women for politics. One thing that is glaring today in some of the Radio Stations in Nigeria is the presence of Nigeria women as news-makers. The women groups in Nigeria this have the greatest task of carrying out enlightenment campaigns over the Radio to educated Nigeria Women on their right and what constitutes violation of such right, some of these women groups that carries out campaign for women empowerment and participation of women in politics are viz.
WOMEN IN NIGERIA (WIN), NIGERIA
The zonal workshops on women in Governance and Decision making network and working as a group was covered by the Imo State Radio and Radio Nigeria in Imo States. The zonal network groups are following capacity building framing activities designed to provide and contribute to the broader goal for empowering and advocating for the full participation of women and potential women leaders in governance and decision making interactive from the South Eastern States OF Nigerian and in particular from Imo State.
In Imo State within the last six months two senatorial zone were selected for internal zone networking workshops. The zonal networking workshops take place over three days. The first workshop was held in Orlu, East and Orlu west, while the other senatorial zone was Owerri Municipal local governments.
The primary aim of these zonal networking workshops is to encourage participate to collaborate and associate together in other to achieve common goals within their communities. Zonal networking also serves as a platform in which women can demand accountability from their leaders on a venue for information sharing. At the zonal networking workshops that were held in Imo State, women were encourage to take active apart in their unions to organize meeting with tier leaders to discuss the role of women in leadership positions, participants were also encouraged to organize awareness and skill programs to enable them to contest and hold political offices. In addition, participants were encouraged to build and maintain stratagem adhere with one another to enable them identify and find solution to common problems within their communities.
Another topic that were treated include:-
The on-going local government reforms process and implication for women. Benefits of reworking as groups, current situation of women in governance And decision-making of each senatorial zones, women’s rights, constraints to women participation in politics, managing and balancing private and public life for women in politics and the act of public speaking. The Nigeria women through encourage to overcome their mistrust of one another and other organization and work together toward their shared goals. Women therefore need to understand networking and works as a group involves and how to maximize its benefits. The zonal networking workshops were quite interactive and interest. In Orlu Senatorial zone many women participated in the workshop and equally women from Owerri Senatorial Zones also was in attendant.
Meanwhile. Many of Radio Stations scattered all over Nigeria are coming up to address the culture of silence that was characterized by absence of women in politics in Nigeria. As addressed in the media (Radio) the liberation of women would imply the liberation of a host of other poor. Women’s position is similar to that of the poor, the manual laborers, the marginalized, the minorities, and both there and religious. Herein, then, lies the true significance of tracking women’s issue in communication. The adoption and acceptance of women’s values in public communication will change our culture of silence. There reduces will not only liberate women but also a host of other marginalized and oppressed groups [our emphasis].
In the area of information pertaining women in politics, our local Radio Stations are also coming up with beneficial information’s in form of revamping sector into a dynamic tools for facilitating effective women and politics relations.
1.2 NIGERIAN WOMEN’S MOBILIZATION IN THE PAST
Throughout the twentieth century, Nigerian women have the social power under their control in their own interests, and in the interests of the community. The Aba women’s wars of 1928 –1929, the Egba women’s movement of the early 1930s to the 1950s, the Oghanete women’s uprising of 1984 the Ughelli women’s anti-tax protects of 1985 –1986 and the Ekpan women’s uprising f 1986 are some examples. In 1928 –1930, Aba women rose in mass protect against the oppressive rule of the Colonial government. These Igbo women of eastern Nigeria feared that the head count being carried out by the British was a prelude to women being taxed. The women were unhappy about the over taxation of their husbands and sons which they felt was pauperizing then and cause economic hardships for the entire community.
They also represented the British imposition on the community of warrant chiefs, many of whom carried out what the women considered to be abusive and extortionist actions such as obtaining wives without paying the full bride wealth and seizure of property. Previously, new village leaders or heads had been democratically chosen and removed by the people themselves. Power and been diffuse, decisions were reached informed or through village assemble of all adults who chose to attend. While they had less influence then many women did control local trade and specific crops. Women protected their interests through assemblies. This had been changed by the colonial government which appointed its agents as warrant Chiefs to rule over the people. The abuses of the British appointed natives judged and tax enumerators impelled the women to stage a protect on 24 November 1929, Using a deeply rooted practice of censoring men through all night song and done ridicule (sitting on a man) the woman rampages spread. Late December 1929 the women forced the Umuahia warrant chiefs to surrender their caps thus launching their successful campaign to destroy the warrant chief system. In Aba, women song and demand against the Chief and then “proceeded to attack and loot the European trading stores and Bardays Bank and to break into the prison and release the prisoner. Some 25,000 Igbo women faced colonial repression and over a two month period of insurrection, December 1929 to January 1930, at least 50 were killed.
Similarly, between the 1930s and 1950s, the women of Igbo in Western Nigeria pressed for and subsequently secured the abdication of the Aleke or King of Egbaland from his throne he was forced to abdicate on the grounds that he was collaborating with the exploitative colonial government. The Egba women also claimed that the King was hiding under the cover and protection of the colonial government perpetrate misrule, hardships and oppression on Egba people, and especially on the women.
These instances of women’s political intervention during the colonial approach demonstrate the use of market power and the expression of indigenous feminism’s. Rapid and massive mobilization was possible because of women’s strong societal organizations and effective communication networks based on concentration in the markets and disposal along the trade routes, Nigerian women’s actions have to do with market control and with duel focus on both the state and those among their own menfolk who were instruments of the state first, women engaged in the business of long and short distance marketing took the initiative in mounting mobilizations. But peasant women and town women joined the market women to constitute a mess movement. The social power mashed by this analyses centered on the women’s ability to withhold food frame the cities. They paralyzed the trading system within which they exercised considerable power. Not only was food denied the cities, but cash crops were denied the colonial authorities and their merchant allies in repeated confrontations over who should determine prices (in the Western Nigeria Cocoa holdup during the second world war for example).
Second, women mobilized not only against the British State directly but also against collaborating indigenous men whose power was under primed by a male deal with men in the colonial regime. In so doing, women stood against class formation which distorted popular control over indigenous political institutions. The women manifested their distress at the deterioration of their own circumstances with the encroachment of capitalist relations. As such their actions where feminist in as much as they were aimed specifically at defensibly the interest’s women. However, the discourse which women used then and now to explain their motives and objective cannot be assumed to resembled feminist discourses from other societies or periods, and requires analysis in its own right. In mobilizing against the colonizer-Chief alliance among men, women were acting simultaneously on behalf of women and on behalf of both men and women in the peasant and trading classes. We see here the coincidence and inflexibility of feminist and class politics in the history of Nigeria women’s uprisings. To what extent have these qualities persisted in women’s uprising in the post-colonial era?
Since independence in 1960 Nigeria has been characterized by political instability and series of coups which degenerated into the guided civil war. The oil boom of the 1970s profoundly transformed Nigerian society from one based on agricultural exports to one based on exports of crude oil. The State received dollars from oil sales and here relaxed the exhortation of alternative revenue sources such as exports crops and agricultural development. A massive class of middle men flourished on the basis of State connections Nigerian women were mobilizing again against the State and indigenous men folk.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
In agreement with the assertion of Luka (2011), that “Politics is too serious a business to be left solely in the hands of men, the continuous low political participation of women in Nigeria becomes a major concern. Since the beginning of contemporary democracy in Nigeria, women participation in electoral politics has been constantly militated against and grossly unsuccessful. Their participation is on very slow pace and their success thus abysmally low. For instance, in the (Lower and Upper Chambers of the) National Assembly for the 1999 general elections, there were only 3(2.75%) female senators out of the 109 seats that won elections- Hon Mrs Florence Ita-Giwa (ANPP, Cross River State), Hon Mrs. Stella Omu (PDP, Delta State) and Hajiya Khairat Abdul Razaq (later, Hajiya Gwadabe- PDP, FCT).
A slight increase occurred in the number of female senators in the 2003 general elections. There were 4 (3.7%) victorious female contestants for the senatorial seats.
In addition to the above, with vacancy in 36 states in Nigeria there are no female governors in the country neither has there been any female president or vice president. Imo state which is the focus of this study, had 27 available local government chairmen seats out of which only few was occupied by a woman. The statistics above provide strong evidence to the fact that the participation of women in politics is still very low in Nigeria. There has been and still instances of women holding high political positions of leadership in countries like, Britain, Philippines, Brazil, Liberia, Germany etc, but in Nigeria reverse is the case. Women are also called to be leaders and not mere followers because they have equal rights as provided for in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria. The mass media especially the radio has an important role to play in mobilizing women for political participation, as this is one of the primary functions of the mass media.
1.4 Objective of the Study
The main aim of this research is to find out the role of radio in mobilizing women for politics in Nigeria, specifically the study intends to:
1. Find out the extent to which women use radio in Imo state
2. Examine the role of radio in political issues in Nigeria
3. Find out ways radio can be used to increase women’s participation in politics.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research work will be very useful as it will help expose the general public most especially women on the importance of allowing women venture into Nigeria politics and also lead. The research will also help to see the different challenges women are faced with in terms of politics and ways of overcoming those challenges. Also this research work will also expose the women to the important of radio and the effect it has on them in exposing them to political issues in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work will examine the women participation in politics and the role of radio in exposing women to political issues in Nigeria.
Secondary sources of gathering data will be largely employed for this study. This research will be based on content analysis, which involves critical review of related materials, literature, journals, magazines, and textbooks, it will also involve sourcing or browsing the net for materials. Communication with authorities in the field will also not be overlooked.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The issue of finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Inability to gather most recent academic materials will be a major limitation of this study. However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly hoped that despite this constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.
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