Women Empowerment for Communitiy Development in Nigeria
The participation of women in development programmes is well documented in the last two decades in the developed world. In the developing countries, however, such studies are still very scanty and fragmented as the roles of women in development efforts are hardly acknowledged. This paper examines the participatory role of women in community development in the rural areas, using Ilaje in Ondo State, as an example. Based on a random sampling of 130 women selected from ten (10) communities in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State, Nigeria, the paper attributes the low participation of women in community development efforts to poor level of education and lack of role modeling among the women folk. The findings reveal that there is a significant relationship between the educational status of rural women and their participation in community development. To ensure effective participation in community development, the paper recommended that women in the rural areas should be given the necessary education in order to enhance their effectiveness in community development projects. They should also be given the right encouragement, moral and material supports because in the absence of these supports, any programmes being embarked upon would yield minimal impact.
Keywords: Empowerment, community development, participation, women’s education.