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Title: The Challenges and Opportunities for Participation of Women and Children in Sustainable Development Projects in Umuebu, Nigeria.
Authors: Sunday, O.I
Keywords: Sustainable Development, Patriarchal, Soccer, Neighborhood House, and Poverty
Issue Date: Nov-2012
Publisher: Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa
Series/Report no.: 14;3
Abstract: This study is part of an ongoing development project by Umuebu Neighborhood House (UNH) in Umuebu, Delta State of Nigeria. Umuebu is a patriarchal community where women and children never participate in decision making, even in matters that affect them. Most women in Umuebu are poor; ninety-five percent (95%) of them are farmers, and seventy-five percent of them are uneducated. In sustainable development, exclusion of women and children from the process of decision-making has consequences on the individuals and the society. In order to facilitate change in the structures that promote patriarchy in the community, UNH uses soccer to promote social integration of girls, and provide them with adult mentors. Participation in these physical space activities promotes gender equity, provides girls with self-confidence, access to public spaces such as sports fields and additional income. This paper focused on the challenges and the possibilities of including women and children in the process of sustainable development in Umuebu. The study draws on the participatory action research method of data collection. Participants in this study are one hundred and twenty (120) children aged 10 to 17 years and forty-five (45) women aged 15-49 years. This study reports that the challenges for women include belief systems, poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment, while the children face the challenge of violation of their rights by adults. The implication of this study is that women and children can participate in the process of sustainable development by participating in finding ways to change patriarchal structures that are detrimental to sustainable development.
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