EMPOWERING RURAL WOMEN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ENUGU WEST SENATORIAL ZONE OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA.
Nwachukwu R.U, (Ph.D). Chigbo Sandra. N. & Ugwunadi Chinasa
Department of Adult Education and Extra-Mural Studies,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
The paper revealed the role of women empowerment for sustainable development. It emphasized that education is a major player for achieving other empowerment in Enugu West zone. The research design used for this study is the descriptive research design. The population of the study consists of 280 members of 10 farmers cooperatives selected from 2 Local Governments Area in Enugu west zone. The study was guided by 2 research questions and data was collected through a structured questionnaire titled ‘empowering rural women for sustainable development (ERWSD)’. The instrument was validated by two lecturers from the Department of Adult Education and one from the Measurement and Evaluation unit of Science Education Department. To measure the consistency and stability of the research instrument, the instrument was pilot tested in a similar environment and the reliability coefficient of 0.86 was obtained. Descriptive statistics such as the weighted mean were used to analyze the data. The result indicates that education empowers women to a high extent to contribute to sustainable rural development. Furthermore, the finding revealed that developing women’s business opportunities through training schemes and giving of grants and financial aids, involving women in the traditional political system; among others are some of the strategies for empowering rural women. Challenges encountered when empowering rural women were also identified; they include: inadequate materials, equipment and other media needed in empowering women, lack of qualified personnel for the planning and implementation of empowerment programmes, inadequate funds and so on. Recommendations were made some of which includes; providing formal education for girls, adult and functional literacy education for adult women who never had the opportunity of formal schooling or who prematurely dropped out of the formal school system, promoting rural women’s participation in village decision making etc. Based on the findings, the study concludes that women empowerment aids sustainable development.
Key words: rural women, empowerment, sustainable development