1.1 Background of the Study
Every family is a function of different actors, man, woman and children, and a number of factors. These factors include income, level of education, residential location, type of occupation and rights of women. In all parts of the world, these variables or factors influence to a large extent the status of families and that of the members. The feeding pattern, type of health facilities and healthcare services desired, and the quality of environment preferred are determined based on the status of the family.
In recent times, government of countries and the World Health Organization (WHO, 2005) have been concern about the socio-economic conditions of families. Particular emphasis is made to the developing countries of the world where there is high rate of poverty, unemployment, poor sanitation, poor nutrition and environmental degradation. In the developing countries, for example those in the African continent, where most families have been devastated by poverty, hence necessitating the deployment of effort of every member of the family towards improving the family’s fortune. Most exposed to the challenge and task of sustaining the family’s economic are the parent. But in the most traditional parts of these societies, the women’s are focused on often than men. The reason is that the women play’s a somewhat crucial role in family (household) resource management, most especially ensuring that food is always available. However, in situations of insufficiency, which most often is the case, the women is left to device supplementary strategies to helped her husband takes care of the family or be sanctioned. This practice that continued to rear its uglyhead inNsitIbom Local Government Area becomes a serious issue of concern, instigated the desire to find out if the women roles have positive contributions to the family socio-economic development in the study area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
NsitIbom Local Government Area is an example of rural area where women massively undertake their chores as required culturally, at least to meet the needs of family members, yet, there is problem of providing adequately important needs such as nutritious and balance feeding, education, healthcare services, sanitation for the protection of women’s rights. Most families find it difficult to send their children to school but for the introduction of the free and compulsory education at the primary and secondary schools by the state government. Generally, the rate of poverty in this area is about 35.90 percent as over 75.62 percent of the population is poor (MOED, 2005). The picture pointed by this revelation is that most families in the rural areas of NsitIbom Local Government Area experience low socio-economic statuses despite the fact that the women in particular in this area are economically active and self-reliant. The women carry out different economic chores that vary from petty trading, farming, weaving, mat making, and clayproduction, hair dressing and designing, while some also work in either public, civil or private service establishment. Still some women in this area make reasonable income through investment in cooperative business and Osusu.
The filtering effects of the family’s poor conditions border not only the men but women who father and mother their respective family. The effects also constitute serious challenge to the area and government. This is because the persistence of the difficult conditions families could force some members into community some vices that will threaten the security, peace and other of the area. Consequent upon this, the government is stressed to provide infrastructures and facilities that could help better the living conditions of families in NsitIbom Local Government Area. In view of this, this study is aimed at investigating if the women domestic roles have positive contribution to family socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area, AkwaIbom State.
1.3 Research Questions
The following questions that were asked to guide the study were also answered in the course of the study:
(i) Do the types of women occupations make them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area?
(ii) Does the level of income earned by the womenmake them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area?
(iii) Does the level of education of the women make them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area?
(iv) Do the type rights acquired by the women make them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine or investigate if the women roles have positive contribution to family socio-economic development inNsitIbom Local Government Area, AkwaIbom State. The study was also aimed at achieving the following minor objectives:
(i) To investigate if the types of women occupations make them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area
(ii) To investigate if the level of income earned by the womenmake them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area
(iii) To investigate if the level of education of the women make them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area
(iv) Toinvestigate if the type rights acquired by the women make them to contribute positively to socio-economic development in NsitIbom Local Government Area
1.5 Signification of the Study
This study is intended to be of immense significance to the people of NsitIbom Local Government Area who may come in contact with the report of this study. The people will find the report useful in evaluating the status of women in their area. It will also be useful in helping the NsitIbom people evaluate the contributions of their women to the sustenance of their economy and growth development of their families in particular and area in general. Often times, researchers and policy makers desire for reliable research findings as basis for decision making and policies formulation. This study’s report will serve this need, besides providing a basis further researchers. The students of gender studies, sociology and vocational will find this report a veritable source of literature and reference material.
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheseswere formulated and tested in the study:
i. The level of income earn by women does not influence their contributions to the needs of the family.
ii. The level of educational attainment of the women does not influence their contributions to the needs of the family.
iii. The status enjoy by the women do not influence their contributions to the needs of the family.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study will limited to NsitIbom Local Government Area. The study examined the types of occupation or economic activities undertaken by women in the study area as well as their monthly earnings. Other variables of socio-economic development that will be examined in this study include the level of educational attainment and status (rights) of the women. The study also will rely on the assumptions of the participatory community- driven development theoretical perspective.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined to clarify ambiguity and also as used in the study:
Income: This refers to the amount of money that is earned in a month as salary or profit from any economic activity.
Occupation: This refers to the income yielding venture or economic activity or work that is undertaken by a woman or women. It also refers to any engagement that access to a woman what she uses to help care for the family.
Level of Education Attainment: This means the level of schooling of the woman or women. It also means the highest academic qualification that is obtained from school by the woman.
Family Needs: These refers to things desire by a family and which cause the development of the family; making it self-reliance.
Participation: This means the extent or number of women involved in socio-economic activities in the study society and or financing (taking care) of the activities of the family.
Women Rights or Status: This refers to the level of authority, privilege and powers women enjoy..