This research was carried out to assess women’s participation in rural development
programmes. Thisstudy took place in randomly selected communitiesin the three (3) Senatorial
Districtsin Rivers State. It involved three hundred (300) women comprising married and single
women spread over thirty (30) Communities in six (6) Local Government Areas from each
zone,using a multistage sampling technique. Data collection was done using well-structured
questionnaire administered on women of both categories. Four (4) research questions and four
(4) null hypothesis were statistically tested. Data was analyzed using Pearson’s Product
Moment Correlation Co-efficient (R), to test the relationship between married and single
women’s participation in rural development programme. This study revealed that out of the
four hypothesis tested, three (3) showed that there was a significant relationship between
married and single women in their participations in rural development programmes while only
one (1) showed zero significance. This means that women greatly participate in rural
development programmes irrespective of their marital status. Recommendations were made
towards enhancing effective participation of women in rural development programmes. These
include: ensuring adequate grassroot sensitization for rural development programmes to
create awareness and foster full participation. Full integration of women in the planning,
implementation and monitoring of rural development programmesto ensure effective grassroot
participation. Economic, educational, social and political improvement of women in order to
effectively contribute their quota to the development of the society. Successive Governments
should consolidate on programmes established by past administration and effectively monitor
and evaluate themto deliver on theirmandates.
Keywords: Development,Programmes,Community Development, Rural Development
Over the years, women in Nigeria have made several contributions in their respective
familiesin particular and communitiesin general. Thisis because apart from the production of
food through farming which is misconstrued as women activity, women are also involved in
other agricultural activities such as the growing of cash crops and rearing of animals. Infact in
most African communities, women grow most of the corps, do the marketing of the farm
produce, fetch firewood and water besides raising of children. According to Ukonze (2001)
rural women provide sixty to eighty percent of agricultural labour and they participate in all
aspects of production.
Despite the fact that the roles played by rural women in most activities are visible
enough to see, the participation of women in development programmes are not enhanced.
Commenting on women and rural development in Nigeria,Akpan (2015) opined that women in
rural areas are involved in several productive activities, yet their roles are never reflected in the
mainstreamof public development agenda.
Uedeme, Nekabari Legborsi, Department of Agricultural Edu…

Culled from: THE COLLOQUIUM: A Multi-Disciplinary Thematic Policy Journal 6(2) 2018.

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