BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The fate of the Nigeria women for the past 45 years cannot be described as the best but it can be said to be much better than what is obtainable in some third world countries. It is of a believe that women are sex symbols whose paramount place is either in the kitchen or in their husband’s bed, the Nigeria women have blossomed into what can comfortably be described as independent for over forty five (45) years after Nigeria’s independent. Women accepted whatever attitude, belief, biases and treatment meted out to them until recently when Nigeria women have gradually become more aware of this right and places in society.
To the average Nigeria man, any woman who knows her political rights and asks is quickly regarded as “Tomboyish” and quickly labeled “woman rebel” during the colonial era, much was not heard of woman in Nigeria political except few occasion when they stood their ground to protest one incident or another.
In African women had made history in politics often times, it is associated with violence and military incursion for example, in 1929 over 10,000 ib,bio and Igbo women reacted over taxation rumour which resulted into the killing of about 26 of them.
In 1973, the agitation from the Northern Nigeria women brought about formation of Northern People Congress (NPC) and Northern Elements of Progressive Union (NEPU).
The world body recognizes that women need a sort of special support in view of the fact that they are often discriminated against in many part of the world even the so-called civilized world.
The above statement had established that fact that all over the world women are discriminated against and need special training, support and encouragement to attain political heights like their male counterparts.
The Abia State the women folk has been greatly alienated, discriminated, subjected and non inclusive in the general administration of the stat affairs. The female folk on their side have been on constant agitation and struggle for economic improvement and social recognition within the state polity.
The research work will then enveil the nature and character of the Abia State politics with a view at assessing the degree of women participation and training in political activities of the state. At the end of the assessment workable solutions will be preferred on how best to improve their lot in the state specially with regard to political participation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
A close observation of the degree of political participation and training of women in Nigeria tend to reveal that women have not been actively involved in the process of sharpening the political system. This disparity between women and non political participation has been a subject of controversy and debates among scholars, politicians, analysts and stakeholder in Nigeria.
Since 1999 when the present civilian government came into power after a long period of military regime, women politicians in Abia State like their counterparts in other part of the federation have continued to express dismay over the low participation and alienation of women in the politics of the state. Consequently, in 2003 a female governorship aspirant, laureta Aniagolu joined the race for the seat of governor in Enugu State.
Unfortunately, she was maneuvered in the party primary of the United Nigeria People Party. She later joined the National conscience party and was defeated with other aspirants by Governor Chimaroke Nnamani in a General Election, which according to Asowata (1\2006) and many other observers, was a rape of democracy and political fraud.
Significantly women apathy and alienation politics has been attributed to some factors such as colonial system of economic and political exclusion of women in the control and management of state, the post colonial system of exclusion, the religions cultural enslavement of women, the contemporary economic deprivation, the educational disempowerment and social discrimination.
Based on these premises some fundamental questions become important:
1. Have women been actively involved in the politics of Abia State?
2. Are the post colonial retention of colonial system of social discrimination and educational disempowerment responsible for low level of woman participation and training in political in Abia State?
3. What are the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure active participation of women in the politics of Abia State?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
A research work is directed toward establishing the nature of participation and training by women in politics, the level, which they have attained, the hindrances and what should be made to improve, the level of participation and training. The study established the participation of women who are proficient in politics and how their participation have helped in inculcating, progress and emancipation of women from the decision making body of the state.
The specific and concrete desired achievement at the end of the research work underscores its objectives (Obasi:1999). Accordingly, this research work intends:
1. To find out if women are actively involved in the politics of Abia State and so what impact they have created.
2. To find out if there still exists colonial and post-colonial system of social discrimination against women in the politics of Abai State.
3. To find out the strategies to be adopted in order to ensure active participation of women in the politics of Abia State.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
As an academic venture, the significance of this type of study is so enormous that one cannot comprehend such with or limited ordinary words.
In the first place, one can rightly say the significance of the study, is to unmask the nature and character of the Nigeria political system and then use such as a prelude for analyzing the nature and character of Abia state politics with particular reference to the degree of participation of women in the politics of Abia State.
The work shall unveil in the political activities of Nigeria and Abia State in particularly from the sector, it shall assess the fundamental factors, responsible for low training of women in the politics of Abia State and Nigeria in general. Going by this trend, the study shall also provide both women and often political stakeholders there required information necessary for addressing the problems of low training of women in participation of the political of Nigeria and Abia State.
Theoretically, there has been for a general work on Nigeria women especially in the sphere of politics. This will give an overview of the subject, incorporate and synthesize the various views of women and their effort to emancipate themselves from the social, economic, cultural and political subjugation which they find themselves. This work will contribute a lot in this aspect.
At the empirical level, women especially those aspiring to political position, will equally be policy makers in general. It would give them insight into the hindrance (economic, social and culture) to women’s aspirations in the political spheres, and therefore, know how to make legislations, which would encourage their effective participation in politics.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study over a reasonable period of time, which is 1999-2009 and area of Ohafia local government area of Abia State. In the first place, the scope range from the colonial period to the present period. This springs from the fact that the colonial masters first instituted the process of economic and political alienation and exclusion of women which invariably were inherited and subsequently perfected by the indigenous political elite.
However, in area of operation, the Nigeria state is the area of grand from work of analysis which Abia State remains the point of emphasis women on their part collectively remained the fundamental instrument of study.
The research work had its own challenges which either promote or militate against its advancement.
These challenges and limitations include time constants, financial inadequacies of the interviews, poor assistance from the government sector and poor infrastructural facilities like poor power supply. All these challenges and limitations were experienced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this researcher work.
However, with perseverance and enterprises these challenges were tactfully surmounted and a successful completion of the researcher work attained.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To be able to find out the impact of women participation in politics in Nigeria the following questions have been put forward as a guide.
A. Have the women in Nigeria been involved in politics?
B. To what extent have they been allowed to be involved?
C. What are the possible hindrances to the involvement of women in politics?
1.8 CLARIFICATION OF KEY CONCEPTS.