This study,CHALLENGES FACED BY MARRIED UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATE FEMALE STUDENTS contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.
BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Women constitute more than half of this number and more than 70 per cent of them are illiterate and poor (Haese & Kirsten, 2006). The ones who are receiving schooling at various levels, especially at the tertiary level, are constrained or handicapped in various ways, making successful academic performance far from the reach of many.
Many experience a life that is a complex web of many roles and many tasks, which
require the average women to perform “different roles” at different times in a bid to fulfil her family‟s needs. These roles have been theoretically characterised as reproductive, productive and community roles (Bakare-Yusuf, 2003:10; Haese & Kirsten, 2006).
Bakare-Yusuf, like many other feminist scholars, argues that women, both now and in the past, play pivotal reproductive and productive roles that facilitate patriarchal economic and productive dominance.
The role of women across the world is changing but not always to their advantage. The most visible example of this is their contribution to economic development, but owing to the limitations arising from stagnancy or little progress being made in women’s education, that is, enrolment rate and academic performance in tertiary institutions of learning, women and, in particular, married women have yet to reach self-fulfilment and to achieve in all aspects of life. In this regards, Ossat (2005) views higher education for women as an achievement and a task.
In May 2002, the federal government of Nigeria, in a joint venture with UNICEF, published the findings on an analysis of the situation of women and children in Nigeria.
Education and women’s development were key issues on which the searchlight was
focused and these were discussed intensively. Both are regarded as being inseparable and complementary. In a different study conducted in South Africa, a further assessment shows that higher education –any type, not excluding women –has come under considerable pressure to be more responsive to the marketplace and to produce new kinds of knowledge workers (Jansen, 2001).
Women are workers at home, although most of them are not remunerated for the services they render there. In addition, poorly remunerated in their various places of work, women in Nigeria are among the poorest in Africa and the developing world. Also, they are less empowered, thereby making it difficult for them to perform their tasks and roles at home (Potokri, 2010), in the workplace and in the larger society efficiently and effectively because of the improperly connected variables: women, education and development. To be precise, higher education for a married woman cannot be neglected, quantified or overemphasised.
Arguably, there is no African country that does not want to increase the educational participation of woman at tertiary institutions of learning, or, better still, enhance their academic performance, given its importance as highlighted above. Higher education for women is worth prioritising, hence it cannot be overemphasised. Although most countries consider higher education for women a desirable instrument for development, its current under provision is a major stumbling block to economic, social, mental and political development. On account of this, the low participation and low enrolment of women in higher education has been viewed as being synonymous with low economic productivity, the prevalence of preventable diseases, malnutrition, the population explosion and mass poverty (Bolarin, 2005). Similarly, Dike (2002) reveals that higher education for women gives them a greater sense of how to reduce risks in life and change their behaviour.
The barriers to women’s participation, enrolment and academic performance, as well as to completing their education are numerous and have been documented by several studies (Howard, 2001; Jamil, 2003). These barriers are related to policy, infrastructure, household and family resources and community beliefs and practices. Jamil (2003) articulates that many notable barriers to women‟s education are not by law within the limits or responsibility of the government or the education sector. Household circumstances and community beliefs and practices are examples of the types of barrier that may not be affected by government leadership and action, but that seriously affect women’s education. He further states that the relationship is indirect and subject more to influence than control. On the other hand, while policy, school-related infrastructure, and schooling and instruction may be difficult to change, they are within government’s mandate and organisational control (Jamil, 2003; USAID, 2000).
Buttressing the opinion of Jamil, Administrator J Brandy at the USAID Symposium on Girls‟ Education (2000:7) stated: “It is apparent to say that these barriers affect female students‟ enrolment and completion rates; and each is related to the others, comprising parts of an interlocking social system that includes national and local, private and public, and group and individual dimensions.”
In addition, Noah (1997) rightly states that these barriers or problems could be attributed to three broad factors: the mode of introduction of Western education to most African countries, the absence of critical research and the dearth of essential political will on the part of African leaders and the elite. Lips (1999) suggests that if we are to grapple successfully with the problems of women’s education and economic development, of preparing women to take their rightful place in society, there are a number of issues on which to focus, one of them being indispensable higher education for women. In addition, she affirms that pay equity, the “glass ceiling”, work and family balance and the feminisation of poverty, among other things, must be addressed in order to promote and encourage women to pursue higher education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Marriage is an important cultural, traditional and religious event in Nigerian society,
particularly for women and young girls. Statistics in the CBN (2000) survey show that 86.6 per cent of women in Nigeria are married, while 3.7 per cent are widowed and 5.2 per cent are divorced or separated. In addition, cultural practices distance a huge number of women from higher education.
In Nigeria there is a popular saying that states “women’s education ends in the kitchen”, implying that education is not useful to them; in other words, education is not meant for them. The situation is exacerbated when they get married. At that point the chances of women furthering their education are very slim. Women, especially married women, in Nigeria are relegated to the kitchen and their major role is childbearing (Abe, 1987; Okeke, 2001). As such, right from early childhood, the Nigerian female child is psychologically attuned to see herself as a future homemaker and mother of children. In a nutshell, married women are restricted to the home, primarily because it is believed that their husbands will provide for all their needs. Thus, higher education for women is seen as useless and a waste of time, money and resources generally. In addition, elders and traditional chiefs regard it is as a gateway for prostitution and non-submissiveness in women, and the forfeiting of their marriage prospects. Simply put, some traditional chiefs maintain that it takes women beyond the shores of tradition and culture, thereby making them behave and live contrary to existing customs, norms and beliefs. On this basis, it is largely believed that once they are married and in their husband‟s house, they have no need for more education and can cope with whatever form or type of education they had
before marriage. Elders and traditional chiefs (male) maintain that primary and secondary education at most is enough for a married woman to run the affairs of her home as expected of her (Falola, 2001).
Higher education, especially university, is in theory an area of equal opportunity today. A century ago this was not the case, and anyone who argued for a university education for women, not to speak of married women, was regarded as eccentric. It was widely believed that higher education for women would lead to brain fever, sterility and even death; suggesting that they could not cope with studies at that level.
With regard to the above, most married women made little or no effort to enrol in higher education; this was made even more difficult for them as admission policies and programmes did not favour them and some universities and tertiary institutions of learning did not admit married women.
Equal educational opportunity at all levels is one aspect of the Millennium Development Goals that one cannot lose sight of if women are to be truly empowered. The Nigerian government has tried to move towards the attainment of this goal, but cultural practices and religion, among other things, have jeopardised their efforts immensely. At this juncture, it becomes not only necessary to take a look at the participation of married women in higher education, but also to look at how those studying are achieving academically.
Therefore, in summary, this research seeks to understand the challenges faced by married University undergraduate students in Ogun State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
There is a need to obtain empirical information on the challenges faced by female undergraduate students in Universities in Ogun State, Nigeria and the effects on them. The purpose of this study is to also find out the factors leading to the challenges faced by married undergraduate female students in Universities in Ogun State, Nigeria and the effects these have on them.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were addressed by the study.
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