ROLE OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
(A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED WOMEN
COOPERATIVE SOCITIES IN IDEMILI
NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AREA ANAMBRA STATE
The term women’s empowerment has always been a subject of discussion among academic development practitioners and policy maker particularly after the failure of trickledown theory implemented during idemili planned development programmes which could not benefit women equally along with men. The role of cooperatives in the empowerment of women is contested in the idemili context, however, several studies show that it has provided women the necessary space and support for promoting economic self-reliance developing self confidence, overcoming exploration and taking effective steps towards achieving greater control over their lives, this paper put forward how cooperatives have received extensive recognition as suitable institutional mechanized women and enabling them to play a significant role in the process of sustainable economic development opportunities for the members of the people of idemili in general. The paper also highlighted the role of cooperative as economic agents of change leading to economic emancipation, developing leadership qualities promoting financial and social inclusion and ultimately leading to women’s empowerment by giving the ability to make strategic choice in their lives. It also discusses the government initiatives as well as opportunities and challenges for women led cooperative in idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra state.
1.1 Background To The Study
Nigerian women are perceived as household property that joins land in economic activities of their families with regard to exchange in marriage participation in agricultural activities and other areas that yield money.
Azikiwe 1992 Esere, 2011 in sociological perspective. The modern day Nigerian women take part in important economic activities to the benefits of their families and entire nation. Family is a basic social group united through bonds of kinship or marriage, it is present in all societies. Ideally, the family provides its members with corresponding author, E-mail, Onyekason@yahoo.com.protection,companionship,security,and socialization.
Simpson et al 2007, women thus, manage the home at the same time, participate with their male counterpart in developing the economy of the nation. In rural areas, women participate fully in food production, processing and distributing which they combine with their traditional role of procreation and management. Standing shehan 1978 in their studies on economic activities of women Nigeria reported a higher labour force woman. In rural areas, higher parity was positively associated with workforce participation which is contrary in the urban areas.
The urban women in addition to child rearing and home management engage mostly in trading, craft and distribution of goods from other countries. This becomes necessary as a result of gradual decline in the Nigerian economy which led to mass retrenchment in the labour market. High cost of living accompanied by high inflation rate.
Amali 2007, women have limited access to socio-economic rights and privileges. They enjoy lower social status and are encumbered by harmful traditional practices to exhibit their potential. Federal government of Nigeria 1996, they still suffer discrimination and marginalization through denials of rights and ownership, access to credit facilities and farm input; women are isolated abuse and restricted at the community levels through traditional and religious practice which hamper development
1.2 Statement Of The Problems
In spite of the efforts of those entrepreneur in the development of the Nigeria economy, there are still a lot of