This study assesses the following factors which may figure prominently in explanation of women’s increasing empowerment (1) social-economic development (2) rising gender equalization attitudes that transform economic development into cultural process of human development (3) historical legacies stemming from a society’s cultural and political traditions and (4) institutional design factors. This study compare the influence of these factors across some aspects of gender equality, gain in basic living conditions, participation in civic actions, the study urges that women in Nigeria would not benefit substantially from any poverty alleviation programme of the government without the development of their human capacity through formal education. This significant relationship between education and economic development and particularly to the income of individuals have never been in doubt.
Gender has been found to be significant dimension in this aggregation poverty. Therefore, since the late 1970’s there has been a growing interest in the strategies to enhance the economic status of women in third world countries through various policies ranging from direct development of appropriate skills to the promotion and substance of their entrepreneurial capabilities in both the formal and informal sectors. In particular, global concern and consensus to improve the status of the women and harness their full potentials for the sustainable development led to the establishment of various policies by United Nations and Nigeria in particular. Despite the economic contributions of women to the overall growth and development process, their economic role have been grossly under estimated, under-valued and scarcely acknowledge. In relative terms, while women constitute over 60% of the labour force in some sector and produce an increasing high proportion of the food supply, evidence suggest that they earn less than 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the world’s assets (United Nations 1973 and Boginjoko, 1999).
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
A nations population is usually almost divided every between males and females excepts under peculiar circumstances such as war or highly selective immigration which normally affect males more than the females.
However, through out the ages, the sharing of power, wealth, influence, employment etc between men and women has never been close to equality.
Before now, women in many societies were seen as auxiliary members of the society who could not make positive contribution to the development of the society. Consequently, they are relegated to the second positions where their voice was hardly heard. Many women were forced with daunting challenges not withstanding the roles played by women in national development and in all facets of human endeavours have been quite notable.
Now the trend seems to be changing gradually, many women has come to realize like men that they have a say in what happens in the society such realization was particular as a result of encouragement provided by some women who believe that women have as much rights as their men counterparts in the society and so should not be over shadowed (Ayoka 2007).
Though, they has been considerable progress in developing the capabilities of women, their participation in economic and political decision making remains very limited. The United Nations Development Programme (UNPD) in its Human Development Reports in 2005 listed some examples to show that inspite of the considerable progress in developing women’s capabilities. Women and man still live in an unequal world. Meanwhile, organization such as federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Women for Democracy and Leadership (WODE) and National Council for Women (NCW) were formed to sensitize women.
According to Shultz (2003), women use their time primarily for services because of low degree of factors substitution, the major alternative to women labour is another persons labour. These women who want time for alternative activities, such as paid employment, education and recreation have to engage the services of others as a substantiate for the supply of their own direct labour for child care.
These brings into focus the importance of house help.
According to Ojo (2002), there is no doubt that women empowerment is desirable, the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo testifies to the desirability of women when he urges that— ‘’we must continue to work hard through policies, constitutional and other legal means to empower women’’. This prompts the researcher to embark on this study. The impact of women empowerment to poverty reduction.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Nigeria in general and Kogi State to be specific, poverty is a huge challenge. It exist in both relatives and absolute form. The later in terms of lack of access to basic means of livelihood without which life becomes meaningless. (Egwu 2007). There are several factors that hinder women empowerment and poverty reduction alleviation. They include poverty, low level of education, poor job opportunities, discrimination, socio-cultural barriers such as ethnicity and culture, etc. this study examines the nature and efforts that have been made in Kogi State to reduce poverty through women empowerment.
However, Kogi State agency for poverty reduction was established to ensure that poverty is reduced to the barest minimum. Insptie of the huge amount of money spent by government to ensure the realization of this goal and objective not much has been achieved. This is because there is gender deprivation. The incidence of poverty is higher among women than man. This is due to marginalization of omen (Giffin 2005). This customers and tradition of some society prevents women from participating in any economic venture thereby reducing women to nothing and exposing them to abject poverty (Robert 2004). The above mentioned problems and many more calls for a thorough investigation in order to empower women to reduce poverty which the study is set to achieve.
In line with the above, the following issues will be looked into:
To what extent has women being empowered through poverty reduction programme in Nigeria?
What are the nature and dimension of poverty among women in Nigeria?
What are the problems associated with programmes implementations in Nigeria?
What are the solution to these problems?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objectives is this study to fund out how women empowerment reduces poverty. While the specific objectives of the studies includes:
To determine the degree of women empowerment through poverty reduction programme.
To examine the nature and dimension of women poverty in Kogi State.
To determine the problem encountered in the course of implementing the programmes
To offer suggestion for greater participation of Kogi State community and social development agency.
1.5 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
It is the basic assumption which is expected to guide and lead the researcher to arrive at some findings. The following hypothesis were formulated and tested to establish facts towards required information.
Ho: There is no poverty among women in Kogi State
Hi: There is poverty in various dimension among women in Kogi State.
Ho: No strategy has been adopted by Kogi State community and social development agency to reduce poverty
Hi: Various strategies has been adopted by the Kogi State community and social development agency to reduce poverty
Ho: There are no visible obstacle to the realization of the objectives
Hi: There are visible obstacle standing against the realization of the objectives
Ho: There are no ways these impediments to the objectives can be minimized
Hi: There are possible ways these impediments to the objectives be minimized
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Poverty has eaten deep into the fabric of our nation (Nigeria). The only way to eradicate or reduce this scourge is to empower both sex most especially the women in order to reduce poverty among them.
Thus, the significance of this research work are that it will provide input to policy formulation on the politics of gender equality.
It will also serve as a guide to women organization such as National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) Family Support Programme (FSP) Women for Democracy and Leadership (WODEL) etc in reviving the status of womanhood.
It will also serve as a reference material to students and those who want to embark on similar study.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Poverty is a general phenomenon in the world. But this project work is limited to the empowerment of women in order to reduce poverty with particular reference to Kogi State. The project shall cover between 1999 till date. This will enable the researcher to be focused on the subject matter.
The researcher could not get adequate information on the study from Kogi State community and social development agency because of uncooperative attitude of the staff head, inadequate finances. The researcher also faced shortage of fund to aid mobility from local government to local government within the state to source necessary information for the research work.
Inspite of the problems, these researcher had been able to contribute to the existing literatures on the subject matter with the aid of few information gathered from the staff members of the agency and the library.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized into five chapters.
Chapter one: This chapter covers the introduction of topic, the statement of the problems, aims and objectives of the study, scope and limitations of the study and designed hypothesis posed to guide the researcher on the study.
Chapter two: This chapter examines poverty in general terms gender inequality, women empowerment and poverty reduction strategies for women, poverty reduction through millennium development goals (MDGs) strategies and the establishment of poverty reduction agencies and their performance.
Chapter three: The chapter assesses the research, methodology in relation to research designs, sources of data collection, research population, sampling techniques instrument of data collection and method of data analysis.
Chapter four: This chapter consists of data presentation and analysis, introduction, data analysis and discussion of findings.
Chapter five: This chapter summarizes the study generally and then making conclusion and then drawing up relevant suggestions for women empowerment.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
EMPOWERMENT: This is the expansion of assets and capabilities of people’s power to participate in negotiate with influence, control and hold accountable in structure that affects their lives.
POVERTY: Poverty refers to a situation and process of serious deprivation or lack of resources and materials necessary for living within a minimum standard conducts of human dignity and well being
AGENCIES: These are organizations established by governments to promote and assist in the provision and exchange of goods and services to the general public.
GENDER INEQUALITY: This is the situation where by an uneven distribution of income, lack of access to production inputs such as credit and evaluation lack of command over properties or control over earned income as well as gender biases in labour market and social exclusion between men and women.
SELECTIVE DEPRIVATION: This is an act or a process of favouring other of something considered to be a necessity.
DEMOGRAPHIC POWER: This is the situation whereby leaders (men) try to win support by using argument based on emotion rather than resources.
POLITICS: This is simply a context over the government resources and position.
PANDEMIC: This is a diseases that is prevalent over a whole country to large part of the world. E.g. poverty HIV/AIDs etc.
PARADOX: This is a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or programme that are put in place to combat poverty and natural illness.
PERPETUAL SUCCESSION: This is of something or an investment to be in a continual or occurring repeatedly e.g. the Kogi State Agency for Poverty Reduction Agency is a continual and everlasting agency set up by law to operate like a private sector organization.