GENDER INEQUALITY ON STATUS OF WIDOWS (A CASE STUDY OF DUTSE LOCAL GOVERNMENT JIGAWA STATE)

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Product Code: 00005990

No of Pages: 64

No of Chapters: 1 - 5

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTENTS                                                                                                          PAGES TITLE PAGE……………………............................................................i

APPROVAL PAGE…...........................................................................................ii

DECLARATION……………………...................................................................iii

CERTIFICATI……………………………...........................................................iv

DEDICATIO................................................................................................…..…v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT…………………………………………………..........vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………...........................vii

ABSTRACT……………………...…………….....................................……….. viii

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 Introduction                                                       1

1.1 Background of the Study

1.2 Statement of Problem                                 3

1.3 objectives of the study                                                4

1.4 Research question                                                  6

1.5 Significance of Study                                                                                     6

1.6 Historical Background                                              7

1.7 Definition of the Key Terms

1.8 Limitation of the study                           7

                                                                            

 

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 Literature Review                                             10

2.5    Gender roles

2.6 Religious practices and culture in regard to Gender Inequality

2.6      The relationship between Religion, Gender and Culture

3.1    Theoretical Framework

    

CHAPTER THREE

3.0 Research Methodology                          17          

3.1 Research Design                             17

3.2 Historical Background of area

3.3 Population                            17

3.3 Sources of Data collection                                          18

3.4 Instrument of Data Collection                             19

3.5 Sampling Method and Procedures                  19

3.6 Method of Data Analysis                     19


CHAPTER FOUR

4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis                      21

4.1 Introduction                                                    21

4.2 Demography data of the respondent                25


CHAPTER FIVE

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation             30

5.1 Summary                                                       30

5.2 Conclusion                                        31

5.3 Recommendation                                              31

Bibliography

Appendix





CHAPTER ONE

1.1   INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The traditional practice of widowhood and property inheritance is as old as human beings. The inevitability of death in spite of the great strides made in scientific and technological research, leads us to assert that there is no human society without widows and widowers. Yearly, there are seven million widows globally (United States Bureau of Statistics, 2008). The increasing number of widows across the world in recent times has become a social problem. In Nigeria, widowhood is a common phenomenon attributed to the high and increasing mortality rate (Oyekanmi, 2007). The fact that females have higher average life expectancy than males and the practice whereby men marry women younger than themselves likely result in more widows than widowers in the society.

As Potash (1986:1) opines, “Widows make up about half the adult female population in Africa”. Even though this view is not justifiable by available data, one striking feature in most parts of Nigeria is the fact that until the 1990s, not much research had been done on widows and their plight as determinable from relevant discourse. Yet, this is one specific sub-group that should be targeted for intervention, considering the incidence of depression among members, the socio-economic setback that the crisis of widowhood brings to them, and the sudden change in their status (Sesay and Odebiyi, 1998).

A popular Nigerian folklore has it that all enduring marriages ultimately end with the death of either the husband or wife or both. However, the challenges and traumatic experience which accompany the death of a husband tend to be greater than those which accompany the death of a wife (Oloko, 1997:9).  Even though men and women could die prematurely owing to a number of factors such as ill-health, accidents and wars amongst other unforeseen circumstances, it is observed from the relevant literature that, unlike a wife’s death, the death of a husband is culturally challenged in many African societies. When a husband dies, the ready suspect is the wife. Deaths, even in circumstances where the causes are natural and explicable, are never perceived as such. Magico-religious factors and widows’ bewitchment or sorcery are evoked for the death of the partners (Erinosho, 2000:1). The widespread belief is that someone must necessarily cause the death of a man and that person is likely to be his wife. This assertion is corroborated by a popular saying in many societies in Nigeria that “no man dies naturally, but at the hands of a bewitching wife”.

In many parts of Nigeria, death is often attributed to some unnatural causes. When a woman dies, it is more often than not taken with fatalism; even when such a death is queried, the culprit is sought amongst her contenders (e.g. co-wives or neighbours), and rarely is her husband seen as being responsible. Instead of suspicion and accusations, the husband receives more sympathies and support. For instance, in some Yoruba communities, a woman is arranged to sleep with the man for a night so that he is not haunted by the spirit of the dead wife. According to Lasebikan (2001:19), a widower is evidently pitied and consoled genuinely and encouraged out of his situation as early as possible while arrangement for a substitute is made quickly, because “Opo‘kunrin ki  da sun nitori iyawo orun” (Yoruba). In other words, “A widower does not sleep alone because of the dead wife’s spirit”. Though the widower experiences emotional trauma at the loss of a wife, he is usually given more social support  in order to cope, and to eventually re-adjust to a new life. In a polygynous setting, other living co-wives become a source of succour. A woman is seen as part of her husband’s property: at death, family members do not often challenge the husband with respect to her assets and wealth. However, if the marital relationship was undergoing stress the relatives of the woman might query the husband’s wish to inherit her property.

 Under normal circumstances, a widow is to be empathized with, and helped out of the psychological valley into which the unexpected has plunged her. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. In most Nigerian societies, she is stigmatized as the killer of her husband, oppressed, suppressed, afflicted, neglected, accused, openly insulted and consequently made to succumb to widowhood rites on account of customs and traditions. Usually, the widow’s ordeal begins the very moment her husband breathes his last.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Most African societies are patriarchal and a major element of patriarchy is the subservient position of women and the level of discrimination that accompanies widowhood practices and property sharing.  In the Hausa tradition, when a woman dies, the man is consoled. If he is a monogamist, a woman is given to accompany him for the night and within six months or a space of two years the widower remarries. If he is a polygyny’s, he naturally takes solace in his other living wives. Even though widowhood is a condition shared by both men and women, differences in experience along gender lines have made it more of a woman’s problem. While the man enjoys social support and goes through minimal widowhood rites, the Hausa woman is not so spared. Lasebikan (2001:19) aptly captures a widow’s situation in the following statement: “what the Nigerian widow experiences during widowhood are better imagined than expressed”.

In many parts of Nigeria, death is often attributed to some unnatural causes. When a woman dies, it is more often than not taken with fatalism; even when such a death is queried, the culprit is sought amongst her contenders (e.g. co-wives or neighbours), and rarely is her husband seen as being responsible. Instead of suspicion and accusations, the husband receives more sympathies and support. For instance, in some Yoruba communities, a woman is arranged to sleep with the man for a night so that he is not haunted by the spirit of the dead wife. According to Lasebikan (2001:19), a widower is evidently pitied and consoled genuinely and encouraged out of his situation as early as possible while arrangement for a substitute is made quickly, because “Opo‘kunrin ki  da sun nitori iyawo orun” (Yoruba). In other words, “A widower does not sleep alone because of the dead wife’s spirit”. Though the widower experiences emotional trauma at the loss of a wife, he is usually given more social support in order to cope, and to eventually re-adjust to a new life.

Widowhood resulting from sudden death gives no room for a will or other preparations. Thus, property inheritance becomes a big challenge. For instance, it has been a long standing custom in most parts of Nigeria, including Hausa land, for women not to inherit property (Oke, 2001:52).

Women are almost always regarded as their husband’s property and being themselves property cannot aspire to own property (Orebiyi, 2002).

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall purpose of the study is to create a conceptual theoretical framework in regard to the understanding of Gender inequality, Gender roles, religious practices and culture for development and wellbeing of women in society.

The following are the specific aims of the study:

1.               To explain the beliefs of Gender inequality, gender roles, religion and culture

2.               To determine the situations women face in both religion and secular institutions in regard to gender inequality

3.               To identify the challenges people face in regard to Gender inequality and religious practices

4.               To identify methods/measures in addressing the issue of gender inequality in the society

5.               To make recommendations in regard to gender inequality, religion practices and culture


1.4  Research Questions   

1.               What are the beliefs of Gender inequality, gender roles, religion and culture?

2.               What type of situations do women face in both religion and secular institutions in regard to gender inequality?

3.               What are the challenges people face in regard to Gender inequality and religious practices?

4.               What methods/measures can be used to address the issue of gender inequality in the society?

5.               What are the recommendations for gender inequality, religion practices and culture?


1.5 Significance of the Study

The study opted to help in studying the main problems in regard to gender inequality, gender roles, religious practices and culture for development and wellbeing of women in Nigeria. On the other hand, the study aimed at identifying the strategies for change in regard to gender inequality that might be implemented at the institutional, organizational and individual levels globally. Therefore, the study will contribute to the body of Knowledge in expanding the understanding of the situation and challenges of women in relation to gender inequality.


1.6  Limitation of the Study

The findings are to a large extent founded on previous research written by scholars in the area of gender and development, women and men studies. Consequently, this study is limited by the scholars’ understandings and perceptions due to the conduct of secondary sources. However, since there have been widespread of literature concerning gender inequality, women, and men on each part of the matter, there is still no complete study incorporating all secondary literature on this issue. For this reason, this study has adopted the method of library research in order to investigate the complex gender issue. But this further means that the research is restricted to the findings and analysis from the obtained previous literature, which can as a matter of fact be a cause of unreliable and misguided facts being presented.


1.7 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE AREA OF STUDY

Jigawa state was created on Tuesday 29th day of August in the year 1991 by the then head of state general Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida administration. Meanwhile Jigawa was formally a historical pail of the old Kano state with its headquarters at Dutse. The state could say it predominately rural and dependent on subsistence agriculture as well as small scale business out fits in the neighboring state that is I3auchi, Kano, Katsina and Yobe States.

Dutse meaning “Rock” or mountain got its name from the hilly rocks which surround the town and cover an approximate of about five square miles. Dutse also stands on sand dunes (singular-Jigawa plural Jigayi). The rocks and sand dunes stands some tens of feet’s above the sea level. Because of security offered by the rocks one finds a high concentration of people around them.

The present Dutse town “Garu” was purposely chosen as the settlement, because of the security aspects given to the populace. it is naturally surrounded by stone walls giving a narrow passage to the interior thus giving the occupants the best opportunity of checking and dealing with invaders. Like many parts of Nigeria, tradition claim that inhibitions of the area now known as “Dutse” Gadawur came as a result of incident during a hunting expeditions. Dutse is one of the important town in Hausa land with a long history, dating back to centuries before the Fulani Jihad of Shehu Othman Danfodio. Dutse is situated between latitudes 11400 and I I°N and longitudes 900 45E the emirate comprises of live local government, Birnin Kudu, Kiyawa. Jahun and Dutse with a 1991 population census of 994, 609. It Shares a common boarder with Kano, Ningi, Jama’re, Katagun, Hadejia and Ringim emirate.


1.7 Definition of the Key Terms

1.8.1 Gender: Gender refers to the attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female, and the socio-cultural relationships between women and men, and girls and boys, as well as the relations between different groups of women and different groups of men. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and learned through socialization processes. According to (Cornell, 2009), gender is a social construct that society uses to organize itself. It involves social interaction through which power relations exist. According to Foucault, a French philosopher (as cited in Balan, 2010), power relations exist between spouses, parents and children, employers and employees, as well as members of society and political institutions.

1.8.2 Religion: Religion is a system of faith and worship, which provides adherents with meaning and purpose in their lives. It is one of the major institutions in society, with almost every human civilization producing a system of religious belief. Religions may or may not include a belief in a supreme being, but all are concerned with the transcendent, the spiritual, and with aspects of life beyond the physical world. Major religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism are practiced throughout the world, but there are also numerous minor religious groups, and indigenous religions particular to specific regions. Within each organized religion, one generally finds a large number of different denominations, sects, and cults, each with their own interpretations, beliefs and practices.

1.8.3 Culture: Culture is a complex phenomenon, in terms of which people both form and express their sense of identity. Although religion and culture are two separate concepts, there is a great deal of over-lap between them. Traditional cultural practices have often found their way into religious systems, while religious beliefs influence the cultural life of communities. On the other hand, culture has also been an area in which we often find a source of controversy in the political and social arena.

1.8.4 Gender inequality: Gender inequalities can be defined as culturally and socially created differences between men and women when both sexes do not have the same share in the decision making and wealth of a society (Ridgeway, 2004). Gender inequality belongs among the most prevalent forms of social inequality and exists all over the world, with different effects in different regions. These differences are primarily due to cultural legacies, historical development, geographic location, and, last but not least, the religious norms which predominate in society (Inglehart and Norris, 2003).


1.8 Limitation of the study

The thesis is divided into five chapters. Chapter one gives a brief background of the experiences of women in regard to gender inequality. Chapter two reviews literature and empirical evidences in regard to understanding the beliefs of gender inequality, gender roles, religious practices and culture, the position of women in society in regard to gender inequality, the challenges of women in regard to gender inequality and the approach to use in addressing the issues of gender inequality in society.

The chapter three discuss the methods and research design used and how data was analyzed. The chapter will also discuss the materials used for answering the research questions of the study and show how data was collected and interpreted. Additionally, the fourth chapter will present the discussion of the main findings of the research in regard to case studies done by other scholars. Therefore, chapter five will conclude with an overview of all the chapters of the research giving a brief summary of each chapter including the recommendations in regard to gender inequality. In chapter four, the study will present the discussion of the main findings of the research in regard to case studies done by other scholars. The thesis ends with chapter five concluding with recommendations for future research in chapter four.



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