The Role of Radio in the Awareness of Gender Inclusion and the Mobilization of Women for Political Participation
Objectives Of The Study
- The objective of this study is to examine The Role of Radio in the Awareness of gender Inclusion and the Mobilisation of Women for Political Participation. There is need for attitudinal change and total reorientation in this respect.
- Another objective of the study is to stop the issue of women being victims of violence in the home.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
In carrying out this study the researcher was not restricted to Mass Communication texts only. Rather, the topic of this research study revolves around some area in social sciences like political science of which texts in the discipline are consulted. The study also revolves around press, gender and politics and the Nigerian perspective texts were all consulted.
It also involves experts opinion, newspapers, commentaries and some journals on related field is also consulted in order to cover all necessary segments that make up the topic of the study.
THE REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE
A lot of works had been done on this topic, it is to the furtherance of those work that the researcher based her study.
WOMEN IN PRE-COLONIAL ERA IN NIGERIA
In most of British colonies, drawing from Nigeria, Steans (1998), observes that the masculinity of politics was largely as a result of colonial influence as, prior to the colonialization of such countries there were political structures that allowed for the sharing of power between women and men. For instance in Nigeria, women have always had significant political roles in their communities.
In the pre-colonial times in Nigeria, women were warriors, traders etc. They had important roles in the administration of their various communities and were involved in policy making. According to Olojede (1990: 82); women in pre-colonial Nigeria were not entirely powerless as erroneously perceived. Women has access to political participation through a complex and sophisticated network of relationships, rights and control of recourses in some societies, women shared equal powers with men.
However, when the colonial masters started ruling Nigeria with their gender ideology of separate spheres for women and men, this historically marked the beginning of restriction of women to the private sphere. Politically, the position of women took a bad turn. Women were marginalized with the introduction of native administration to the neglect of women (Olojede, 1990:85). This arrangement brought about by colonialism dismantled existing political structures and imposed a gendered divide between the (masculinized) public sphere and the (feminized) private sphere. Charlton et al (1989:16), captures it thus: Colonialism drew the boundaries between the public and private spheres in ways that allowed colonial administrators, missionaries and native authorities to vest men with control over female labor and sexuality.
Some argue that the 19th century jihad and the Islamization of Hausa land, for instance, led to the seclusion of women, which curtailed their involvement in the polity, but Olojede (1990:79) posits that the harem organization was not a constraint on womens political participation. Thus, colonialism could be said to have had enormous impact on the restriction of women to the private sphere. Low level of education and economic problems also account for the low levels of womens participation in government.
In spite of the masculinization of politics, political parties during the nationalist movement featured women. The roll call of women who participated in the fight for independence include: Margaret Ekpo, Swabia Gambia, Funmilaayo Ransom Kuti, Elizabeth Adegoke, Janet Mokelu, Iduroala Esan. Kesiah Fashioner, Ekpo Young, Mary Ededem, Flora Azikiwe, Fader era Akintola, Hannah Awolowo, Adenoma Okpara, Madames Ogunles; Ojo and several others (Irukwu, 1994).
In gathering data for this study, the researcher used the survey research method. The instruments used are questionnaires which arise during dissension with some of the respondents mostly in the questionnaires.
Okoye (1996:51) opines that: survey is a method which is geared towards the study of people, their attitudinal frame of mind, and their systems, opines motivational range and manifestation. Survey method which was used is adopted to counter-check the already existing ideas and knowledge known and seen which concerns this study.
AREA OF STUDY
The study was carried out in Enugu metropolis where people, women and men were randomly sampled in other to get their answers and reactions to the role broadcast media play in portraying women in the society.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
The population of this study includes men and women in Enugu metropolis, comprising of Abakpa Nike, Uwani, Ogui, Emene, New Heaven and Achara layout. These areas have over 300,000 populations. Therefore the researcher will draw her sample population from there.
PRESENTATION OF DATA AND ANALYSIS
This chapter of the study is aimed at analyzing in a tabular form data collected through the questionnaire that the researcher administered in the cause of searching for information which will assist the researcher in explaining the findings of the research work. The researcher distributed 110 questionnaires but is able to collect 100 therefore the researcher used 100 questionnaire in analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The press, gender and politics are at the core of this study. As Boafo and Arnold (1995), put it, broadcast is not only necessary to the various aspects of human development, but also to the process of participating and nurturing the polity. However, from the gender dimension, Nwankwo (1996: x1) captures the position of this study that the broadcast media is found wanting in fostering the development of gender equality in politics.
Thus, in Nigeria, it was also found that, despite the deliberate international politics aimed at gender- friendly political representation, women are under represented.
It is high time for everyone (especially women) to realize that gender identities are largely culturally created and no sex/gender is more important than the other. Women constitute about 51% of votes, but a review of the Nigerian political scene reveals a thy for gender- equitable development, considering the fact that women were in governance among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria during the pre-colonial period. This analysis showed that broadcast media is partly to blame for this situation.
Evidence revealed that there are various ways through which broadcast media has helped to keep women in the private sphere. For instance, broadcast media propagates masculine culture that pigeonholes women and presents them as unfit for politics. Broadcast media achieves this through its use of language, media coverage on women issues, image used and assignment of political editorial positions, amongst others. These became evident in the analysis of motion pictures of broadcast and the content of their editorial opinions and reportage. Also even when women are covered politically, they are not given prominence.
The historical past of Nigeria may have also affected the situation because, during the colonial period, the colonial masters suppressed established institutions which protected women and since then, the situation has remained the same (Nwankwo, 1996).
Broadcast media helps bring development issues to publics knowledge and thus could be catalytic in the quest for gender equitable representation in politics. According to Norwood (2005:5), indeed it is difficult for people to be interested in things they know nothing about. This calls for the need for feminist and development scholars to turn their searchlight to broadcast media on the issue of gender and politics. McBride et al (1996:191), Submit:
Of course, the media are not the fundamental cause of the subordinate status of women, nor can it be remedied by the media alone. The causes are deeply rooted in social, economic and political structures, as well as culturally-determined attitudes and solution must be found in far reaching change. However, it is within the power of the broadcast media either to stimulate or to retard change to a significant degree.
Thus, development scholars and feminist must devise an overall strategy for change in the information and communication order of the world, especially as it, affects women and politics.
Women issues should be properly integrated into the information and communication system. Furthermore, broadcast media should be more responsive to the needs of women in politics. It should present information which do not distort, be little or demean women or confine them to stereotyped behavior and roles. Hence, the call for broadcast media in which women participates and shares in determining the content, in decision-making and control. In fact, broadcast media should be more committed to social responsibility and gender accountability in the arena of politics.
The following recommendations are made based on the findings of the study:
- Grassroots enlightenment campaign should be organized to change the negative attitude of most people to woman participation in politics as well as to inspire women to vie for elective position.
- Godfathers should be extended to women political aspirants in relation to sponsorship. They should give women a chance.
- The National Assembly as a matter of state policy should implement Affirmative Action involving the reservation of 30% elective posts for women.
- Economic empowerment of women should be vigorously pursued since it will provoke greater participation of women in electioneering.
- Electoral law should forbid political thuggery and violence while the senate should enact a law making electoral violence a crime punishable by hanging. This will no doubt create a condusive positive political atmosphere in Nigeria for women political aspirants.
- Catch them young There is a serious need to give the girl child a re-orientation and a thorough brain-washing to disabuse her mind from the environmental socio-cultural intimidation that inhabits and limits herself worth, self-assertion and actualization. By the age of 5 years, Queen Elizabeth of England had already started practicing her speeches over wireless. An early start is advisable.
- Above all, women should encourage themselves and support female political aspirants. Equally, husbands should encourage and support wives with political visions and ambitions.
- Boafo,I, & Arnaldo K. (1995). UNESCO Communication Programmer: Building Capacity and Protection of Press Freedom In Media Development Vol. xL11, No 1.
- Nwankwo, N. (1996). Gender Equality in Nigeria Politics. Lagos: Deutchetz etc.
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- Beverly, S. (1995). Building Gender Fairness in Schools. U.S.A: Southern Illinois University Press.