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Impact of Women in Government for Nigerian Democracy

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 2599 words Published: 6th Oct 2017

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TITLE: Impact of Women Involvement In Governance and Political Leadership, Towards the Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria: 1999 – 2012.


The focus of this qualitative phenomenological study is to explore the impact of the Nigerian woman in the involvement in governance and Political Leadership towards the sustainable democracy in the last three dispensations 1999-2012. It is no doubt that in such a patriarchal society as our women expenses such a large percentages of discrimination and marginalization in their quest for active participation. However, despite the recorded achievements of women’s rights advocates such as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, and Gambo Sawaba, there continues to be an underrepresentation of Nigerian women in leadership and political positions (Asase, 2003; Qualls, 2003).

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Various challenges such as gender roles and stereotypes as well as structure of the political environment in Nigeria militate against the full participation of women in political and public life. Additionally, severe hindrances of gender inequality such as the underrepresentation and discrimination as a result of cultural, social, and political norms empower men at their expense (Okome, 2006; Okunna, 1996). As a result women are struggling to gain access, have a presence or be influential in the political process of the country. They are often in a poorer position than their male counterparts in the various spheres of politics. Though a growing number of women are members of the various political parties in Nigeria, very few occupy executive positions in these parties, only very few are given the opportunity to contest for elective positions and even fewer are appointed as members of the ruling cabinet.

To this end, the findings from this research may provide the following information to; to provide strategies to help decision-makers reevaluate or develop programs designed to improve the quality of life for Nigerian women towards active participation, to provide enabling channel for the empowering of Nigerian women towards gender equality as well as those in similar societies as they continue striving to obtain gender equity. To provide insights regarding the importance of including women in governance and Political leadership roles.

Finally the study will also explore the various influences and presence of women in the last three dispensation in Nigeria and the roles they have played towards sustainable democracy in the country despite the little opportunity they are given.


The inferiority complex of the Nigerian women as to their active political involvement and representation constitute the crux of this Research. The gender stereotyping in Nigeria’s political system today has its genesis from the onset of colonialism in Nigeria. Making the western cultural notion of colonialism tied towards a patriarchal society which in turn is reflected in its male superiority within the Nigerians society today. The most crucial element of this research is that women are, and have been marginalized as well as sidelined in the political spheres of things in Nigeria and this current situation might cause some dangerous national catastrophe if not adequately managed. Indeed, women’s political involvement during the colonial times till date have contributed greatly towards shaping the Nigerian politics not only in democratic governance; but also during the pre-colonial era. Therefore, it will be unreasonable, and cruel to wish away the critical efforts of women in the making of Nigerian state while arrogating political powers to the male folk. It is also unjust to ascribe political seats only for the male folks in this state of globalization where the world is evolving and where the role, influence and charismatic preposition of the women in global politics is considered to be relevance and importance towards attainment of overall world peace, mutual co-existence and tranquility. In line with this I will be taking a look at the various stages of Nigerian political history and how women has been in some ways impacted to the sustainable democracy in Nigeria even when they are unimaginably sidelined, additionally ways to encourage their full participation into political posts in the country without prejudice.


The followings are the reasons why I decided to embark on this research

  • To examine the impacts of women in governance and political leadership towards the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria
  • To elicit their challenges, experiences and contributions to the democratic process in Nigeria
  • To look at the disparity between the involvement of women in governance, Leadership and politics in Nigeria, and to raise concern on the lack of gender equity in the transformed democratic practise in Nigeria enlighten about their human rights for involvement and participation.
  • This research work will form part of the requirement for the degree of the Masters in International Relations.


  • To bring to limelight ways/how Nigerian women are shattering the ceilings that limit and marginalize them in the Nigerian political scene.
  • To provide information to help decision-makers reevaluate or develop programs designed to improve the quality of life for Nigerian women towards active participation.
  • The findings from the study may provide insights regarding the importance of including women in governance and Political leadership roles.
  • To serve as an avenue for further research study on the area of gender politics in the Nigerian Society.


  • What impact has the involvement of Nigerian women in governance and political leadership been able to add to the sustainable of democracy in the country?
  • If more women participated in decision-making and active participation, what kind of difference would they make?
  • What are the positions of political parties, government and other state institutions (including the three branches of government) on the role and participation of women in political and public offices?
  • In what ways can women themselves contribute to reducing the challenges that hinder their effective participation in governance and politics in general?
  • What lessons can be drawn from the research that would help decision-makers in general but especially political parties to address the problems of women’s participation in political and public life?
  • What recommendations can be made to address the problems of women in politics and public offices?


  • This study will be undertaken within the jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria State. It will look into the impact of Nigerian women involvement in governance and political leadership towards the sustainable democracy in Nigerian politics within the last three dispensation i.e. from 1999-2012.


According to Ogbeide (1996), hypothesis testing is a fundamental in activity in qualitative data analysis. The statement of a hypothesis take two means: null (H0) and research (H1). While null hypothesis indicates that there is no relationship between the variables under study, the research hypothesis indicated that there is a relationship between the variables. In this study two hypotheses will be tested as shown below:

Hypothesis 1

H1: Women Involvement in Governance and Political Leadership, has been impactful towards the Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria

H0: Women Involvement in Governance and Political Leadership, have not been impactful towards the Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria

Hypothesis 2

H1: Women participation in decision-making will help faster development of the nation

H0: Women participation in decision-making will not help the faster development of the nation.


  • In obtaining the required information for this research, the use of qualitative and quantitative means of data collections will be used, which means Data for the study will be carried out from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data will be administered through structured questionnaires on about 700 randomly selected female politicians, activists and professionals in government and dominant political parties cross-cutting through the six geo-political zones of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This will be done in order to capture and document a cross-cutting opinion of the targeted groups in the respective geo-political zones on the situation regarding women’s role in politics and the democratic process in Nigeria.
  • Additionally, scheduled interview schedules will be conducted with 10 purposively selected respondents who occupied key political leadership positions whose experiences has facilitated the documentation of women’s involvement in politics and the democratic process in Nigeria from 1999-2011.
  • The use of academic research books, journals, and writes up from feminist scholars will be highlighted. As such, this research will take its bearing from the feminist ideologies concerning the status of women.


  • This research study will take its theoretical prospect from feminist ideologies which is concerned with the status of women in every spheres in general. Feminists are of the view that in comparison to men, women occupy disadvantaged positions in most elusive dimensions of our life. The work of two feminists idelogist will be of importance here; Walby (1990; 1997) and Chafetz (1990) will be briefly examined here with particular focus on the relationships they perceive exist between domestic and public economic life with regard to the creation and maintenance of gender inequalities.


This study will comprise of six chapters. The introductory chapter which will provide us with an overview of what the research is going to be, the objectives, literature review, research method and also samples arguments on why gender equality in politics is essential. Chapter two examines of the historical dimension and position of women in Nigerian political history dating back to its precolonial, colonial as well as postcolonial times till date. It seeks to creates insight on the various contributions of women in governance though Nigerian political history which will help the focus of this research. The third chapter will analysis the data collected based on the field research, and opinion of selected respondents via interviews and questionnaires. Chapter four on the other hand will be focusing on the impact of women involvement in Nigerian politics vis-a-viz their quest for political participation. This chapter equally introduces the three major political parties in Nigeria; and using them as case study in order to fully capture the scope of political transition period, this research analyzes the contributions of political parties towards the poor participation and representation of women since independence till date. It highlights their role in representative democracy such as practiced in Nigeria today as well as various avenues they use to hamper women’s advancement in politics.

Furthermore the fifth chapter will be taking a broader insight into the impact, ways and contributions adopted by the women in Nigeria in the last dispensations to encourage gender equality in political scene, the various national as well as international policies amongst other things and how these measures have been implemented. This chapter will also analyze the impact these measures have had on women advancement in the country’s politics as well as the hindrances they have been face with. Finally, the concluding chapter, will highlight some observations, recommendations on the findings as well as recommendations from various respondents for further research study.



  1. Background of the Study
  2. Statement of the Problem
  3. Aims/Purpose/Objective of the Study
  4. Significance of the Study
  5. Research Questions
  6. Scope of the Study
  7. Hypothesis
  8. Methodology
  9. Theoretical Framework
  10. Delimitation (Scope) of the Study
  11. Literature Review
  12. Operational Defination of Terms



2.1 Introduction- Women in Nigerian Politics: An Overview

2.2 The 1979 and 1999 Nigerian Constitution and the Status of the Nigerian Woman in politics

2.3 Women in Pre-colonial Nigeria

2.4 Women in Colonial Nigeria

2.5 Women in Nigeria Today

2.6 The Problem of Colonial Legacy to Women’s Involvement in Nigeria Politics

2.6 Ferminist Theory in Perspctive

2.7 Arguments for gender-balanced Representation



3.1 Introduction

3.2 Research Design

3.3 Population

3.4 Sample and Sampling technique

3.5 Instrument for Data Collection

3.5.1 Personal Interview

3.5.2 Questionnaire

3.6 Data Analysis

3.7 Response to Questionnaire

3.8 Tabular Design of Questionnaire

3.9 Statistical Test of Hypotheses

3.10 Interpretation of Hypothesis

3.11 Summary



4.1 An Overview of the concept ‘Participation’ in politics

4.2 The rise and structure of political parties in Nigeria

4.3 A brief background of the three major political parties in Nigeria

4.4 The position of women in the Nigerian political parties

4.5 Ways political parties inhibit women in Nigerian politics



5.1 Impacts of Nigerian Women Involvement in Nigerian Politics towards Sustainable Democracy

5.2 Barriers and Hinderances to Women Involvement women in Nigerian politics

5.3 Actors role in increasing women‟s political participation

5.4 Other contributions towards women empowerment and gender equality in Nigeria



6.1 Summary

6.2 Conclusion

6.3 Recommendations

6.4 Recommendations for Further Studies


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