1.1 Background to the Study
In the third world countries and Nigeria in Particular, women seem to be at the center of any development activity. Women sustain mold and nurture life in every home, community and human society in general. Their activities and actions play very important role in the development process of our great country Nigeria there can be no proper definition of national development without the contribution of women to that development. Despite the immeasurable success recorded by women in other fields, very little attention is giving to them in politics. In Nigeria democratic leadership pattern has been constitutionally enforced irrespective of the gender and position in question. Yet gender issues has been in serious debate and discussion especially as it affects women politically even though women constitute about half of the population of the Nigerian State by the 2006 census.
In man’s primitive days, there was a high primitive division of labor between man and woman, men are recognized as the stronger sex, were to hunt for food while women the weaker sex played the primary role of looking after the children at home.
Gender role differentiation in human society has prescribe subservient roles for women, the belief being that lack the capacity of executing certain task considered to be the exclusive preserve of men. This practice persisted via the ages. Men naturally assumed the sole responsibility of performing outdoor more for physically and mentally demanding task while the domestic chores were reserved for the women.”
Dickson (1999) opines that civilization and the global shift in the world’s economy from mere subsistence to the more sophisticated technology driven economy, have modified traditional gender roles subsequently, there is little left to hunt, and professionals do the warning but still grow the food. In spite of the transformation of the human society, that has been occasioned by the new advances in technology, and has placed the male gender on the part of professional careers, the female gender has been left to wallow in the sordidness, squalor and cocoon of traditional feminine roles. The potentials of women as partners in the productivity of the human society are yet to be widely acknowledged and duly recognized. The outcome of this condition is widespread discrimination.
The fact that some cultural believes discourages women from participating in active politics, this implies that for women to participate in active policies: they have to be socially and politically empowered. Social empowerment means guaranteeing women freedom from all oppressive and discriminatory social and cultural practices and the value system that relates women to the background. In Yobe State, such practices facilitated woefully in impending the participation of women in politics. The more women are economically buoyant the better their ability for effective participation in polities.
In a presentation on Africa women, men, feminisms and masculinities: towards liberating all Africans at 36 Brixton road, London sw9 7DA (Ama, 2013). Presented that in traditional African society, particularly the pre-colonial era, the relationship between women and men had a chequered history that characterized the existence of three types system. The matriarchal system: that is female superiority; egalitarianism in which men and women shared power through their various roles and the emergence of male superiority and the consolidation of men’s power and control which constitute the most prevalent system. Part of this consolidation processes has been the development of the division of labor on the basis of gender, various restrictions on women’s effective participation in polities and the growth of an elaborate ideology of female subordination and submissiveness reflected in the social norms ethnic, taboos and customs. Despite their limitations, women have been able to make valuable contributions to the development of their nations.
With the advent of colonialism in Africa: modernization was introduced, it was expected to improve the standard of living, with women, men and children all benefiting. However, the changes and new technologies led to greater opportunities for men with women finding themselves in less advantageous position, the inequality of opportunities and treatment has had an adverse effect on the effective participation of women and in politics in the region and widened between men and women in various spheres of development.