ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF GENDER IN COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT IN AWKA-NORTH L.G.A ANAMBRA STATE OF NIGERIA

ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF GENDER IN COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT IN AWKA-NORTH L.G.A ANAMBRA STATE OF NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study had the objective of assessing the role of gender in cooperative development, analyzing  the  socio-economic profile of the cooperators on the basis of  gender,  assessing  gender  contributions  to  cooperative  development   in terms  of   membership,  organizational  and   leadership  structures,  examining technical efficiency and factors hindering the implementation of gender  sensitive program  and  activities  in Awka  North  Local Government Area  of  Anambra State.  A field  survey  was  conducted  to  collect  data from one  hundred  and  fifty (150)  respondents. The study employed descriptive statistics,  stochastic  cobb Douglas  frontier  function  as  well  as  ranking method  in  the  analysis  of  data collected.  The  result  of  the study indicates that  female  cooperators,  who  are within  the  active  age, are reasonably literate  and  dominate  the  leadership  role in cooperatives. The result also shows  that  farm  size  and  fertilizer use lead to increase in technical or productive  efficiency  among  cooperators. The major constraint is gender imbalance  or  inequality,  conflicting  interests,  low  level  of participation, wrong  timing  of  meetings,  and  long  distance  to meeting  venue. The estimation  of  technical  efficiency  of  the  cooperators  was  estimated using cobb-Douglas  functional  form  of  stochastic c frontier  model.  The  coefficients of farm size and fertilizer possess a positive sign, while gender possessed a negative coefficient  and  highly  significant,  although  it  does  not  confirm with a  priori expectation,  it  shows  that female cooperators contribute more to technical  or productive efficiency of their enterprises than their male counterparts . Hypothesis was  tested  using chi-sqared X2. This paper recommends  that  cooperatives  should address  equality  issues  and  make  a firm  commitment  in  their  mandate  to correct  imbalances  where  they  exist and  to  attain  equitable  and  sustainable development  with  both  men  and women  in  decision- making  and  leadership position.