THE CONTRIBUTION OF AUGUST MEETING TO RURAL DEVELOPMENT (A STUDY OF OWERRI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF IMO STATE)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page - - - - - - - - - i
Approval page- - - - - - - - - ii
Certification - - - - - - - - - iii
Dedication - - - - - - - - - iv
Acknowledgement - - - - - - - - v
Table of content - - - - - - - - vi
1.1 Background of the Study - - - - - -
1.2 Statement of the Problem - - - - -
1.3 Objective of the Study - - - - - -
1.4 Hypothesis - - - - - - - -
1.5 Significance of the Study - - - - - -
2.0 Literature Review - - - - - - -
2.1 Women and Development - - - - - -
2.2 Role of Women in Development Process- - -
2.3 Women as Agents of the Development Process - -
2.4 Contribution of Women in Agricultural - - -
2.5 Factors Affecting Adoption of New Programme and Level of Women Participation in Owerri North - - - -
2.6 Managerial Constraints - - - - - -
References - - - - - - - -
3.0 Research Methodology - - - - - -
3.1 Description Area of Study- - - - - -
3.2 Sample and Sampling Technique - - - -
3.3 Method of Data Collection - - - - - -
3.4 Method of Data Analysis - - - - - -
References - - - - - - - -
4.0 Result and Discussions
4.1.1 Table 1 Distribution of the Rural Women
4.1.2 Table 2 Distributions of the Rural Women According To Their Level of Education
4.1.3 Table 3 Distributions of Rural Women According to Their Family Size
4.1.4 Table 4 Distributions of Rural Women According to Their Areas of Domicility
4.1.5 Table 5 Life Status of Spouse
4.1.5 Table 6 Distributions of Rural Women According to Their Occupation
4.1.7 Table 7 Distributions of the Rural Women According to Their Participation in The Meeting
4.1.8 Table 8 Distributions of Rural According to Their Membership Status
4.1.9 Table 9 Distributions of Women According to Their Period Of Relevance
4.1.10 table 10 Areas of Participation in Project
4.1.11 table 11 Distributions of the Women by Project Benefit
4.1.12 table 12 Distributions of the Women by the Problems
4.1.13 table 13 Distributions of the Women They Solve
5.1 Summary - - - - - - - - - -
5.2 Conclusion- - - - - - - - - -
5.3 Recommendation - - - - - - - -
References - - - - - - - - -
Appendix- - - - - - - - - -
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Awe (1985) noted that women had well defined socio-economic roles and adequate access to decision making during the pre-colonial days. However, with the advent of the colonial masters, these roles were blocked; women according to her are yet to regain that position since independence.
The august meeting phenomenon among the Igbos of the Southeastern Nigeria began since 1965 and has since assumed permanence. It is another aspect of socio-economic and cultural development initiative of women. To read the formal history of states, kings and chiefs in West Africa as well as treaties of political scientists, one would think that women did not participant in governance and development but existed only in shadowy sphere and meekly accepted by the cultural society. August meeting today is by massive home coming of the women from different states to their respective rural communities. These women uniting with rural women organize themselves for the purpose of raising fund for development projects. These projects could be either their initiative or those of their male counterparts (their husbands). The activities of these women over the years have really given meaning to life, especially for the rural dwellers for which those projects are usually cited.
This meeting is held for four (4) days; 3 days are used to discuss issues and how to make progress and being united, while the 4th day is set out for thanks-giving service in different churches in appreciation of God’s guidance. The meeting is seen and used as an avenue for discussing social problems being encountered in the society. The august meeting has become a very ventable means of socio-economic development which attracts a lot of crowd as it is held in august when agrarian activities are less, affording opportunities for all to attend the meeting (Onuoha, 2001). It is also a period of unification in which all the women married in a community home and abroad are united under one umbrella for the development of their community. The idea is generally welcomed and the lists of all the women in attendance are complied. It is clear that a large number of women present political and judicial powerlessness which are not rooted in the culture but in the encroaching “modern” male-privileged policies and programmes unleashed since colonization. The Igbo women are almost always exceptionalised and treated as rare.
Circumscribing the prevalence of women so that they sporadically appear in history erases the relevant histories and epistemic meaning required to understand their actions. Women in historical narrative reinforces the view that they are non-existence, are outside of the political, judicial and development processes and so theory responses appear as stemming from an uncritically emotional base. This positioning allows such scholars to easily dismiss the possibility that such actions were critically informed, hard political content and derived from traditional roles of authority against this stereotypical picture of passive in effectual women one find it difficult to understand from where women derive their power to act in the first place. This work will try to explain the role of women in development processes of their community in general, starting from the pre-colonial era. Using the citation made on the review of the “African women and the first dance (2000), women have actually been playing major roles, both in policies, economical and socio-psychological life of their community. The women riot of (1924) in Nigeria shows that women respond to social upheaval in the society quicker than men prefer to die in silence.
Ekpikam (1971) narrated the role of women in the economic life in Nigeria. According to him, rising number of women are in paid employment, they are backbone of agriculture, cottage industries of weaving, dyeing and pottery. Women are neglected and only recognized as sound class citizens. They are ever consulted in any decision making in some areas and only do that on special invitation by their male category counterparts. To crown it all, women are faced with childcare, household, production and consumption and this makes their domestic chores strenuous and time consuming that they have little or no time left.
To the words of Hogendorn (1991), “women prevailed as cultivators of food in the traditional economy and after independence”. In Igbo land, the women played an important role owing to their population and material instinct. It is estimated, that seventy percent (70%) of the primary schools in the rural areas are married by women and fifty-two percent (52%) of the secondary school teachers are also women. By implication, these women were among the first to inculcate into the younger ones the intellectually sound characters, good behavior. The saying, “health is wealth” is a popular maxim whose fact cannot be over emphasized, this saying is very true because only a healthy person has the strength or ability to work and be productive. The maintenance of health among our people in rural development has been mainly carried out by women. They were the first in the line of health care delivery particularly to children.
International women year in (1995) and the United Nations decade for women brought wide attention to the crucial role of women in development and the impetus needed for international organization and many governments to work for the elimination of discrimination against women.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems these women encounter mostly during this season is that some of them will go any length in other to be the most expensive lady in the meeting, thereby engaging themselves in prostitution. Some put their husbands into trouble if their husbands are not able to provide their needs; again some leave their homes early before the days of the meeting, some die in the process of coming home through road accidents while some are attacked by robbers during this same season.
This august meeting is also involve in electing another leaders or president as the case may be, it also lead these women into getting power from a native doctor in other to become the leader or the president of the association which they will end up killing themselves.
Formal educational skill training is often viewed as one which ends in the kitchen, thus leading to lopsided, development biased in favour of males. Women who are called the weaker sex grappler with a myriad of factors such as access to information, input and other socio-economic responsibilities often present them full scale participation in women’s programmes such as women from august women meeting, women in agriculture. In Nigeria, the better life for rural women was initiated in (1987). Other programmes like National Women Commission, Women in Development and Women as largest clientele. In spite of expenses interest to do so indeed at the time when the gap between the demand for the supply of food for widening and the problem of own rights, the study also aims to specifically answer the following:
(a) Can they actually implement a full-fledge project without abandoning it half way?
(b) From where do they derive their power and authority from?
(c) Can they achieve development and social integration in-line to their diverse religion sect?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of the study is to analyze the contribution of august meeting to rural development in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State with a view of making policy recommendation.
The specific objectives include:
1. Identify the level of participation of rural women in the august meetings.
2. To determine the women’s socio-economic characteristics.
3. To identify the contributions and roles of the women to the august meeting.
4. To investigate development project executed following their participation in august meetings.
5. To analyze the determinants of their participation.
6. To investigate problem militating against their participation.
1. There is no significant relationship between project benefit and selected socio-economic variables of the women.
2. There is no significant relationship between contribution to membership and selected socio-economic variables of the women.
1.5 significance of the study
It gives a panorama on their activities and its impacts on social, political, environmental, economic and psychological life of the community. It will also form data base for the Agricultural Development Programmes (ADP) in Imo State so as to provide and equip them with first hand information about the level of participation of august women meeting and how best to improve it.
Also, the study would go in a long way approaching and sensitizing the general public about the relevance of women in rural community.