Globalization and the Socio- Economic Development of the Nigerian Women: Challenges for Social Studies Education BY SMARTEBRINGA Abstract Globalization, according to the Population Reference Bureau (2000) has encouraged women’s participation in the market economy by creating new Job opportunities. This paper presents globalization and socio-economic development of the Nigerian women.
It highlights the several ways in which the concept globalization can be used, how globalization has assisted women in holding conferences where key issues affecting them were discussed and how Nigeria and some other countries of the orld have implemented some of the issues discussed at the various global conferences and the effects of the implementation on the socio-economic development of the Nigerian women.
The paper concludes by recommending the incorporation of global education Into the soda/ studies curriculum so that students could have the knowledge of international understanding to contribute to national development and show empathetically understanding of Nigeria’s peculiar problems and background.
Introduction Globalization can be perceived in different forms, it can be taken to mean the establishment of a global market for goods and capitals.
In its broadest sense, globalization refers to the existence or relationships between the different regions of the world and the reciprocal influence that societies exert upon one another. We can talk of global market or the world as a global village. Globalization is not a new phenomenon; it has taken place previously in history. The slave trade was an aspect of globalization and economic interaction between countries of the world general trade is part of globalization. Globalization can also be defined as the increasingly rapid flow of information, goods and money around the world.
It played a prominent role in people’s lives in the second half of the 20th century. Globalization has encouraged women’s participation in the market economy by creating new Job opportunities. Demand for women’s labour has expanded and women are currently over 40% of the global labour force (ILO, 2000). The World’s Women (2000) for example, gave the statistics of working age men and women in labour force in 1980 and 1997 in selected regions. According to the statistics, in the sub-Saharan Africa, 41. 2% of women were in labour force in 1980, while in 1997, 41. 9% of women were in the labour force. Nigerian Journal of Social Studies Education, Vol. VI’, April, 2003. While women’s economic activity rates have increased in many regions, men’s have increased. Yet, many women still lack access to pad employment and financial resources. Lovely has a clear gender dimension. The Population Reference Bureau ) claims that men comprise ot the world’s 1 5 billion poor A cereal component of globalization is the information and communication technology 2T).
Onel of the ways by which globalization is making positive impact on women’s life is through Information Communication Technology. The ability of women to participate ffectively ‘”‘Aal markets and enjoy some of the benefits of trade liberalization is largely depended on . to new information technology. It is through this information communication technology fat makes many women throughout the world to get to know about many global conferences on women affairs.
Some Global Conferences Attended by the Nigerian Women The Beijing ’95 World Conference brought together a wide spectrum of women from all are the world. Women’s issues were the focal point and pivot on which deliberations at international Conferences on Population and Development in Cairo nd Egypt related the international Women’s Year Conference held in Mexico in 1975 adopted a world plan of action id Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and their contribution to development and lace.
Nwogugu (1994) declared that in order to address the problems identified at the conference and by endeavoring to implement the various resolutions and plan of action adopted the conference, the United Nations declared the years 1975-1985 as the international Decade Women, the central theme of the decade is Equality, Development and Peace. The United nation Fund for Women (UNIFEM) was also established with the objective of assisting omen Income generating activities to support themselves and their families.
During the Decade for Women (1975-1985), the Convention on the Elimination of All arms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was sacked by the UN general assembly in December 19, 1979 and came into force as a treaty in December 3, 1981. The Convention assisting of thirty articles, may be regarded as an international bill of rights of women all over world and a framework for women’s participation in the development process (Nwogugu, A).
This is the result of the several decades of work by the UN commission on the status of women and various international Women’s Organizations. Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention requires the State parties to report periodically to the UN CEDAW (‘measures they have adopted to give effect to the provision of the convention and on the stress made in this respect and also, they are to indicate factors and difficulties militating list the fulfillment of obligations under the convention.
A second global conference of the United Nations Decade for Women was held Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980. The conference, apart from focusing on the theme of decade, also focused on three sub-themes i. e. Employment, Health and Education. Conference adopted the Programme of Action which together with the earlier World plan action provided the framework for further contribution towards the advancement of women. Nigerian Journal of Social Studies Education, Vol. VI’, April, 2003.
A third conference of the United Nations Decade for women was held in Nairobi, Ker to review and appraise the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women and develop Forward Looking Strategies for overcoming the remaining obstacles by the year 20 The Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women were addressed governments, international and regional organizations and also to on-government organizations and ft covers a wide range of issues relating to the status of women.
The international Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in 1985 was the stimulus women’s active and somewhat aggressive participation at the population conference in Cairo, a result of the conference; women began to organize around themes of importance to them to lobby governments in their respective countries for active attention to those issues (Awe, 1994).
At this conference, women national leaders such as Prime Minister Benazor Bhutto Pakistan, Gro Harlem Bund land of Norway, First Ladies and many female government top northern as heads of elegations were present. Women met at the global forum and region groupings where African Women Caucus (AWC), a baby of the Population Conference v formed. Female’s voice gradually came alive all over the world (Awe, 1994): Another global meeting was the 1995 International Women’s Day which was held during the assembly of ‘World’s leaders held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In a statement by permanent representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations, on Gender Perspectives aspect of the agenda, which is “Enhancing the Participation of Women Social Progress and development”, he expressed delight with the close ssociation which the of Copenhagen had had over the years with the International exertions to promote the welfare women. It was ins same city of Copenhagen … t the socialists international decided in 1910 establish an international women’s day as a demonstration of its support for the promotion Women’s right to work, to vote and to be voted for. The permanent representative of Nigeria to the United Nations exclaimed that while global wealth of nations has increased sevenfold in the past 50 years, the share of women in the wealth remains disproportionately low against ncreasing demands on women as mothers a contributor to the production of wealth (Gambari, 1995).
In Nigeria, concrete steps have been taken to empower women and to increase their access to national wealth and to higher quality of life so as to contribute meaningfully to economic and social development of the nation. In this connection, the “Better Life for Rural women dwellers programme of the Babangida administration was launched in 1987 The municipal objective according to Gambari (1995) was to improve the standard of living in the rural areas through private mobilization of women for productive Endeavour’s on a co-operative self-help usiness.
According to him, the basic strategy was to improve the productive capacities of women through community-based and self-help organizations. To achieve the objectives, the self-help organizations were supplied with basic production and ancillary support services to help the members improve their productive and marketing capacities. The Better Life Programme recorded significant successes in enhancing lie awareness among rural women of their capacities to create wealth through dent in rural productive enterprises.
Nigerian Journal of Social Studies Education, Vol. VI’, April, 2003. Secondly, the Federal Government of Nigeria put in place a policy priority to advance the cause of women in line with the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies by the establishment and lengthening of nation’s machinery. As the first step, National Commission for Women was established in 1989 with a mandate to coordinate national etto rts to advance the cause ot the Nigeria women witn the national priority agenda scheme for development.
Through the establishment of the National Directorate of Employment, Gambari (1995) opined that women i provided with skills, technical advice and financial assistance to further empower them economically and ocially. Gambari (1995) stated further that the establishment of Community and Peoples Banks I women to raise funds for productive enterprises on their own recognition. These banks catered for the credit needs of both urban and rural poor with no conventional collateral requirements.
This government initiative brought banking to the door steps of rural communities and benefits to women. The Peoples Bank established schemes for health matters which improved considerably literacy and health of women and children, particularly in rural areas. The establishment of the National Commission for Mass Literacy is another effort which has enhanced the raining and education of women and the girl-child. The “Women in agriculture” programme has also made it possible for women to have access to extension education and productive resources for improved food production.
The Abacha administration also put in place some programmes which enhanced the economic and social development of women in Nigeria. One of such is the ‘Family Support programme (FSP) which was launched in 1994. The E. S. P. was meant to support the family in economic or social development areas such as health care delivery, eradication of negative socio-cultural forces against women and children, family ncome generation and improved living standards, moral discipline and cohesion.
In recognition of the important role that women play in development and to lay emphasis on the needs of women with a view to harnessing their enormous potentials for development am social growth, the Federal Government of Nigeria also created the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. All these are some of the dividends of global conferences that Nigeria Attended and participated for social and economic developments of women. Nigeria has taken the enumerated steps in line with the objectives of the Copenhagen, Denmark Summit 0 1995 for the evelopment and social growth of women.
Gambari (1995) stated that the main obstacles Nigeria was facing are the negative impacts of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and external debt burdens. He emphasized that the effects of the Structural Adjustment Programmes on social services particular have created additional burden for the already over-burdened women in most developing nations like Nigeria. He stated further that the negative effects of SAP and the burden of external debts continues to undermine the capacities of several countries including Nigeria to implement what can further benefit women.
Challenges to Social Studies Education The incorporation of global education in to the Social Studies Curriculum become imperative so as to teach students about issues and problems of the inter- dependence nations, the emphasis on international relationships and cooperation, peaceful co-existence o nations, knowledge and understanding of the lives and ways of people of other nations, emergent issues and problems of international import and international disputes and above all, problem; militating against women ail over the world and how solutions are to be proffered to them it various nations.
Mezieobi (1982) opines that students of social studies cannot effectively live in their social milieu without some measures of understanding of others and the world’s people outside their own immediate geo-political content. Social studies teachers should inculcate globs awareness in the students so that they can be assisted by the knowledge of international understanding to contribute to national development and show epithetical understanding o Nigeria’s peculiar problems and background.
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