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PROJECT TOPIC: WOMEN AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY All through the ages and several millennia – from the Stone Age to modern contemporary times, the struggle for dominance and superiority of the two known sexes has never abated. Deploying ideologies, culture and metaphysical practices has never been more victorious in gender struggle. Ever since, especially, since the emergence of modern democracy, and in spite of valiant and feeble attempts by gender-sensitive men and women to redress this chauvinistic culture, the struggle by women to negotiate their voice into the mainstream of participation – economic, social, vocational and political, has been a permanent feature in human development. It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the woman has been down trodden and cannot he heard. African derogatory ideologies on women are inhuman and unjust. Women are perceived to be properties and thus have been thoroughly enmeshed in the people’s mind (Anumudu, 2006). In Nigeria, the issue of marginalization of women within the economy and gender disparities in the provision of education, employment and general recognition in other spheres of life still generates a healthy debate. The woman has been the most exploited, the, most underprivileged, the worst abused and the most relegated segment of the society (Idowu, 1987:7). Although women comprise a majority of the population`, they nonetheless are often treated like a minority group assigned a definite place in the societal order, denied access to careers and power in the public arena and viewed as dependent, weak and submissive by nature (Luther, 1987). Afonja (2007) traced the origin of female subjugation to men as not deriving from any nature inferiority but in the age-old dominance of men. The author argues that only a woman is compelled to define herself as a woman in every circumstance, whereas a man takes his manhood for granted. Woman, according to Saliu et al (2006), is defined relative to a man. All religion gives credence to this man-derived personality of women. Both the Bible and Koran assert that Eve was created from the rib of Adam so as to assist him. A woman does not lead in prayer in Islam, against the fact of history where Aisha, one of Prophet Mohammed’s wives taught his followers a great chunk of the Koranic verses. African religions give definite roles to women, which were inexorably inferior to those of men – ass wives, mothers and home tenders.


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