AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF BROADCAST MEDIA IN WOMEN MOBILIZATION DURING THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA
Women attempting to enter into
politics in Nigeria face numerous obstacles. Those who have aspired to
office must often deal with a lack of funds to run an effective
campaign, a discriminative use of party zoning, low education and a slew
of cultural and religious barriers. The marginalization of women in
politics is certainly not new to Nigeria, having dated back to colonial
times. In fact, women did not gain the right to vote until 1976.
Though there was improvement in the
mobilization of women in the 2007 general elections but in Nigerian
politics, sexism has become a major predicament. Women have been
politically considered as an endangered species, and their low
participation in Nigerian government and politics is often associated
with cultural, religious and economic constraints, and male chauvinism
The mass media provides perspectives,
shape images of candidates and parties help highlight issues around
which a campaign would develop, and define the unique atmosphere and
areas of sensitivity with any particular campaign (Lang and Lang 1999).
This research therefore seeks to find out how well Nigerian newspaper
covered women’s participation in 2007 general elections.
In this study, mobilization here refers
to all women issues in 2015 elections whose activities and events,
influenced the electoral process.
Elections can be a key element either in
both conflict resolution and conflict escalation. Therefore, free and
fair elections are essential for democracy consolidation and conflict
prevention. The professionalism of media is crucial during election
periods. To promote fair, safe and professional media election coverage,
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) supports advocacy to encourage full, fair and efficient
disclosure of information to journalists covering the elections;
training to enhance professional election reporting; training on the
safety of journalists and their right to work without threat; and the
production and distribution of election guidelines reflecting principles
of professional reporting during elections, journalists' rights,
election processes and safety information, as well as briefing notes on
international human rights law with emphasis on freedom of expression.
It is a truism that the media play an
indispensable role in the proper functioning of a democracy. Discussion
of the media's functions usually focuses on their "watchdog" role: by
unfettered scrutiny and discussion of the successes and failures of
governments, the media can inform the public of how effectively its
representatives have performed and help to hold them to account. Yet the
media can also play a more specific part in enabling full public
participation in elections, not only by reporting on the performance of
government, but also in a number of other ways:
- By educating the voters on how to exercise their democratic rights.
- By reporting on the development of the election campaign.
- By providing a platform for the political parties to communicate their message to the electorate.
- By allowing the parties to debate with each other.
- By reporting results and monitoring vote counting.
- By scrutinizing the electoral process itself in order to evaluate its fairness, efficiency, and probity.
Studies of media coverage of
political campaigns have uncovered some disturbing trend; journalists
function as a pack; there is seldom any really distinctive political
reporting during elections. Further, journalists treat fore-runners
differently than they do the remainder of the candidate pack.
Fore-runners are the objects of closer scrutiny, but those examinations
are seldom about issues, even-though it is issue oriented reporting that
tends o provoke political interest and public participation. Instead
electoral reporting focuses on personality, a key component of political
leadership, but certainly not the only one.( Petterson & Wilkins 1994, p. 149)
There is a bewildering variety of
possible systems for regulating political advertising or free direct
access coverage and reporting. This refers to that portion of election
reporting that is under the editorial control of the parties or
candidates themselves. There may be obligations on some sections of the
newspapers to carry such material, and there will almost certainly be
conditions that they must abide by if they do.
1.1 Background to the Study
The background of this study looks into
the role played by the radio as a medium in the political mobilization
of women in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
There are other communication channels
like television, interpersonal (rituals and festivals, gongs, drums),
newspapers and magazines; these are channels of information
dissemination. But in view of how effective these channels could be used
in performing the role of mobilizing women throughout the nation into
mobilization in politics, its credibility is given to radio in getting
political message to its target audience (women) informed.
Even though the newspaper and magazines
for their non- transient features would have helped, it is found
difficult these days to be affordable by average Nigerians and women in
their own situation finds it more difficult to spend their income in
buying newspapers or magazines in order to get information in this
economic crunch situation in the country today.
Hence, the media is used as their resort
for information acquisition. Also, the television due to its high cost
is not easily affordable by every family, and for the traditional
communication, since these targeted audience (women generally) some of
which are from urban areas, it is found difficult or ineffective to
disseminate information to them. This is because they have socially
developed too. Hence they can tune to their various transistor radio
sets for information.
Obiakalusi Lynda et al (1991) in their
research work stated that Nigerians political independence in 1960 had
raised hopes of many that the nation was being set towards achieving a
free and democratic society. In such a democratic society, it is
expected that the press such as radio in particular should be the market
place of political thought. The radio therefore, should exist mainly to
serve the information need of the citizenry in politics.
Akpan (1985) mass communication in
Nigeria: book of reading (Nwuneli) say that the public is entitled to
all facts in a political situation and that on the basis of these facts,
it can make its decisions. However, these woman being to revert to
Again warren, Kendall (1985: 1990)
position that the media for its social role as a mobilization channel
made American listens to feel the brutal impact of Hitler’s demands
against the background of hysterical orator and frenzied nazi crowd
reaction. They (American) were graved when they heard morrow described
war preparation in London, relieved when kilter born predicted that
chamberlain and Hitler found a peace solution at Munich. However, it was
radio that brought to them this scene of personal participation in what
they realized was the world’s crisis not merely Europe’s.
The mass media generally
performed broad social functions to the audience and these functions are
entertainment, information and education. Therefore, the radio playing
the same function, in terms of providing messages to its listeners
while it is entertaining them thereby reminding its targeted audience
Media as an information channel
has continued to wax stronger as a medium of the people. Just like
kristie person, executive director of the Cape Town, south Africa- based
free play foundation posit that, broadcast media is the one tool that
the greatest potential to reach the most people.
Again, as an information
channel, it informs its audience about politics and enables them
participate in political programmes or transitions.
Also, for its educational
function, the F R C N in 1998 mapped out a programme time sponed by Mrs.
Florence ejoor (chair person Abia state family support programme) to
educated the woman not to stay away from the ongoing terminated in that
year (1998), but rather to came out enmasse to complete with their male
counterparts towards making them achieve their objectives of the
Apparently, development should
not be seized from being mentioned while discussing politics. According
to Nwosu 1985, he says that development and politics are so intertwined
that one cannot talk about or deal with one with the other, especially
in a developing country like Nigeria.
Hawing observed the above
statement; it is rarely difficult to distinguish between politics and
development especially as it relates to Nigeria politically.
The media could be seen as a
more possible agent of social and political mobilizing in the country
than television especially in mobilizing women towards participating in
politics. For instance, Mrs. Evenly chukwu a barrister in an interview
with the researcher discloses that she got motivated from the various
political messages she hears from the radio and felt that with these
messages she could challenge the male counterparts. She also said that
the woman who came to vote for her during the main election got
1.2 Statement of Problem
Nigeria gained independence
since 1960, although the ruling colonial government dictated pre
independence politics the Nigeria man did not want to be left out in the
art of governance. The activities of the women folk not in the same
scale as of the men were nonetheless not worthy.
Oyegbola (1986) in her address
to the intra parliamentary union meeting. The role of women in Nigeria
politics rightly points out the Aba women Riot of 1929 and the
activities of few other women which contributed to the eventual handing
over of power to the people, will always be remembered as some of the
pioneer landmarks of the journey to political independence by this great
However, a lot of write-ups are
prejudiced while others are geared towards educating the society
especially, African society, where it is frequently alleged that women
are relegated to the background of the needs integrate. Well in all
facets of life to enhance their social, political and economic
Obviously, it should be universally
acknowledged that a woman is the most useful product of the creator’s
skill. There is a “maxim” which says that, “behind every successful man
there is a woman” for instance, there were some powerful woman who were
the wheel on which their men rode to success, fame and acclaim. For
example, the case of Lincoln and his wife who literally dragged him to
the highest political seat, the United States presidency. Satellite
(march 6, 1982) “ own through the ages, there have been examples of
powerful women. The biblical Esther was a powerful, beloved of her
husband who was also to redeem her people Israelites from slavery and
oppression. The queen of Sheba gave birth to many nations. Cleopatra was
a queen who through her Armour and political inclination nearly brought
down the entire Roman Nation. Cleopatra was a queen who through her
Armour and political inclination nearly brought down the entire Roman
Nation. Queen Elizabeth l of England was one of that nation, more
capable and popular ruler.
Back to Africa, Queen Amina of Zaria, a
formidable woman, achieved many spectacular seats, ruling a vast kingdom
and is still fondly remembered as a capable strategist and rule.
Although in traditional African context woman were seen to be playing a
second fiddle role by the male counterparts especially in Nigeria
politics. It is widely held that woman are under privileged in
traditional Africa culture, but pre-colonial politics in Nigeria
represents a dual sex role, in other words, woman should stand alongside
their male counterparts to find solutions to problems of prime national
intersects. For instance, under the 1979 constitution, law prohibits
indiscrimination of any kind women and very citizen male or female of
eligible age can vote and be voted for. However, this is contrast to
what the situation was in the past.
In recent years in Nigeria, women also
engage themselves in some development projects. An example is the
“Better life for women” championed by Mrs. Maryam Babangida and “Family
support programmer” by Mrs. Maryam Abacha (Nationally).
Women also partake in petty trading
association some of them bind themselves together in socioeconomic
bodies or trade groups like “women cooperatives” to carter for the need
of their common occupations and objectives this, collectively make
substantial contribution to the social development of their immediate
areas of operation and influence.
Another good example was the “National
council of women society”, which was aimed at assisting women in towns
and villages in their important role as nation builders. These
organizations to mention but a few have strived to mobilize and
sensitize women folk on the need of modern politics.
Also, the 1995 Beijing conferences help
by women of raious categories from different countries, was also a forum
to mobilize women towards their rights to compete with the male
counterparts in politics participation. Apparently, the federal
government has created ministry of women so that Nigeria women would be
mobilized in participating in politics.
According to Agee Agult Emery (1998:45)
the media with its peculiar characteristics is being present everywhere,
the mail carrier walks a route with a transistor radio fastened to the
mail bag, the crowd on the beach listens to good music through the media
devices they carry alongside them on the beach, the carpenter on roof
nails shingles in time to rock beat. Hence, these women at their various
places be it market, the office or shops, tune on their transistor sets
and pay particular attention to political messages.
There are some who in one way or the
other participated in the past national or star like Adetoun Ogunseye,
Mrs. Ebun Oyegbola, Mrs. Janet Mokely, political advice to the Anambra
state chief Executive (1982) chief Mrs. Uche Ofia Nwuli, legal luminary,
Dr. Helen Chukwuma etc
Having looked into records or listened
to various national women who had participated in one time or the other
in Nigeria politics and seeing how decreasingly the women post in the
Nigeria political positions are being occupied by their male
counterparts, the questions which could be drawn here are.
- Will women in the state after being exposed to the media political
messages gear more interest towards participating in the national
- Could their exposure to the media political massages activate them towards holding political post?
- Could their exposure to the media political message expose them to political hatred?
1.3 Aim and Objectives of Study
The objective of this study will focus
on the credibility of the media in the dissemination of political news
and socio-political tool for mobilizing women for the 2015 general
Also, in discussing credibility in the
media reports, the researcher will consider both messages credibility
and source credibility. Media credibility here is referred to as the
ability of the broadcast reports to be believed and accepted by their
target audience (women). In relation to source credibility, the
researcher will be interested in knowing whether the source of the news
has any influence on the credibility rating of the news report.
Among other is a list of objectives that will be covered by the research work:
- To evaluate the effectiveness of the media in mobilizing women for election 2015.
- To assess the level of message from the broadcast media’s
penetration to the audience in mobilizing them for the 2015 general
- To ascertain the extent to which women in the State are exposed to the broadcast media programme
- To examine whether their political knowledge has increased as a result of their exposure to the media programme?
- To assess the role played by the mobilized women in the 2015 general election.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions shall guide the study;
- Where you geared up for the 2015 general election as a result of the broadcast media?
- To what extent has the programme raised the political interest of women to politics in the State?
- To what extent has women participation in political activities
increased as a result of their exposure to the broadcast media
- Where you able to carry out your role as a woman in this 2015 general election?
1.5 Research hypotheses
The following hypotheses will be tested in the study;
Ho: There is no significant relationship between broadcast media
to women mobilization for the 2015 general election
Hi: There is no significant relationship between broadcast media
to women mobilization for the 2015 general election
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will help the government in making policy or broadcast media use in a political situation among women.
Finally, the study will also contribute
to our political and socio-cultural development through an empirical
linkage of credibility and sycophancy in Nigerian’s environment. It6
will again enlighten our mind on the use of radio for socio-cultural
integration of the women through fair political new management in the
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The study is focused on the mobilization of women for the general election of 2015 for political participation.
The study will focus on such aspect as
the rate of usages of ride. This is because according to various
researchers made by some researchers mass communication, it is observed
that an averages of about 60 - 70 % of the women that listens to radio.
Also, the study will associate some effective theories of the mass
Finally, the researcher presumes that
the scientific nature of her samples and the standard of her measuring
instrument (questionnaire) will help her to generalize the large
1.8 Research Methodology
The study shall employ the survey
research method in the process of data collection. The method entails
identifying population of study and collection of data through
Population of Study
The population of study shall comprise
of Nkanu-East Local Government Area in Enugu-East Senatorial Zone, Udi
Local Government Area from Enugu-West Senatorial Zone while Igbo-etiti
Local Government from Enugu-North Senatorial Zone. The population size
is at about 1,671,795.
A sample size of 400 respondents was drawn from the study population. The constitution of the sample was as follows;
Because of the largeness of the
population size for this study, the researcher selected a manageable but
representative sample size using a scientific formula.
Therefore, for the sake of statistical
convenience as it concerns the management of primary data, the
researcher aligned herself with the Taro Yamane formula.
Data Collection Instrument
Data collection will be done through the
questionnaire method. The questionnaire was structured into section A
and B with close ended questions. Section A shall generate information
on respondents’ bio-data while, section B, will elicits information on
respondents perception of the role of broadcast media in women
The questionnaire is in a close ended
format which allowed the respondents to offer their views according to
the Lickert scale of responses.
Administration of the Instrument
To foster quick response to the
questionnaire, the researcher will personally administered the
questionnaires to the respondents. The effort enable the researcher to
clear some of the items contain in the instrument with the respondents
while, at the same time, respondent attention were drawn to some items
yet to be filled.
Method of Data Analysis
All data collected shall be analysed
using statistical tools such as frequency distribution table,
percentages, and chi-square analysis for testing the formulated
X2 = ∑(O-E)2
df (degree of freedom)= N-1
X2 = Chi-square calculated value.
O = Observed frequency
E = Expected frequency which is derived by
df = Degree of freedom
N = Number of Observation
∞ = level of significant (5%)
1.9 Definition of Key Terms
In this study the variables and concepts that constitute the study have to be clearly defined conceptionally and operationally.
However, the conceptual definition of variable, while the operational definitions involve the working definitions for the study.
- Message Acceptance: Someone’s favour reception of message.
- Media Exposure: An individual’s access to the media and its message contents.
- Media Mobilization: The act of influencing someone by radio programmers and news.
- Participation: The act of someone taking part in something (political).
- Politics: The act of someone taking part in leadership of a town, state or in general, public affairs.
- Media Sycophancy: Supporting the government activities by the pluralist.
- Opinion Formation: Stated emotion of political idea after listening to particular radio political information.
- Interpersonal Communication: Act of mouthpiece or face to face discussion.
- Media Accessibility: The act of someone being able to have a
transistor set and turning the radio transistor set before news