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THE CONTRIBUTION OF WOMEN IN POLITICS

     Women the world over were known to be less politically active but currently due to the global development they have begun to actively participate in politics at all levels and in this way have contributed and are still contributing immensely in political affairs Development today as Rounaq Jahan [1999] maintains has brought tremendous benefit to people all over the global, who have gained in terms of education, health care delivery and income, consequently development on the other side has left behind 2.5 billon people who live on less than $2 a day. There are wide disparities among and within all nations of the world. Forty percent of the world population accounts for five percent 5% of the world income while ten percent 10% richest accounts for 54% of [UNDP 2005]

 However Women participate in development everywhere and in various fields such as agriculture, in nature development as wives mothers and home makers, traders, politicians and factory workers among others. The backbone of female participation which empowers them to participate effectively so that their voices and their views would be heard is education. To give credence to this view Duverger [1976; p 40], in this study for the UNESCO, reiterates that education levels are correlated with levels of political information, political behavior and involvement. ‘‘Education frees the mind from bondages of authority and oppression’ and provides an adequate ‘frame of reference’ to give meaning to political events. In other words education increases civic obligations. Duverger concluded by stating that education is a more important cause of discrepancies in political participation. It is believed everywhere across the globe that women who are more educated contribute more to politics by virtue of the knowledge at their disposal. In other words women who work and who are educated give more to the society than uneducated non-working women.

When working women and non-working women are compared at each education level it was discovered that women who engaged in work were more politically involved and had a higher sense of political efficacy as well as a sense of citizen obligation, duty and responsibility than their uneducated counterparts. But Stouffer [1969] found that women were less tolerant [that is less likely to allow civil liberties to socialists, atheists and communist] than men at all levels of education almost all age levels and in every region of the country. Stouffer also found that there were no significant difference between working women and non-working when house wives were classified by their spouses occupational levels, that is both operatives and semi-skilled workers and the wives of the men these categories were equally important. In views of this Riesman [1969] pointed out that education plays a crucial and decisive role creating tolerance because for many it constitutes acculturation and ideology of the assured and the successful, and this leads to a ‘Cosmopolitan’ Lear ship which encourages tolerance.

The most important aspect of this is that the contribution of women in politics in the general development of this society has gained recognition both nationally and internationally. Mathias Abok [1979] makes a critical observation of the sort of wide spread recognition which women receive both at the national and international levels. At the international level for examples the third ordinary congress of the organization of Africa trade union unity meeting held in Mogadishu, Somalia which held between 15th and 20th of October 1980 adopted a resolution which became necessary to be conscious of the immeasurable contributions of women in particular in the development of their nations also the 10th trade union congress held in Havana, Cuba 1982 unanimously approved an updated social security charter for all governments. In that particular charter, the prominent feature is on the right of women which asserts that conditions must be formed for them to be able to play a full part in political economic social and cultural life in a society.

Abok went further to observe that most important of all is the resolution adopted by the United Nations general assembly in 1977 requesting each country to observe march 8th as the international women’s day has become an occasion to review the progress made by women so far in their struggles and concerted efforts to attain peace equal rights and the much needed social justice. In the case of Kano state under Nassarawa local government women are seen as followers not leaders in political terrain especially party politics recently due to global development women have begun to demonstrate their interest and give their contributions in political affairs. In other words women are being groomed and effectively mobilized to eschew political bias by preaching and advocating tolerance and understanding among political opponents be it husband father son or daughter and thus making them aware of the undesirable consequences and of the fact that they can be members of different political parties and still tolerate each other and live in a conducive atmosphere of harmony and peace. Nigeria women are currently engaged in political parties as well as political campaigns and have contributed in a variety of ways in many African countries towards the development of democracy.