Women and development process in Nigeria: a case study of rural women organizations in Community development in Cross River State
For many decades now, there has been an intense developmental attention devoted to the empowerment of women especially in the rural areas (where more than 70% of Nigerian live). In fact, specialized agencies have been established for this purpose. But impact analysis of these programmes show that the target groups have not always been reached. These had led to various initiatives by women themselves to improve their conditions. This paper is about the role of and extent of women involvement in the governance and the development process. It examines the problems and prospect of women in the governance and development of rural areas in Nigeria using community development organizations as a vehicle and organizational medium. This study uses the Cross River state as a case study. The ten major towns and its twenty five hamlets in the state were divided into twelve districts and two hundred questionnaire were distributed in each district. A survey of rural women organizations in the twelve districts shows a total of three hundred organizations. One hundred of these were closely studied. The result shows a genuine desire of the women to actively involve in governance and development process to improve their socio-economic status. Nevertheless, a combination of factors hinders their efforts to break through the cycle of poverty. Various recommendations and actions are therefore suggested on training and retraining of women especially on the HIV/AIDS and the current climate change.
Keywords: rural planning, women organisations, development process, community development.