EDUCATION AND GENDER AS DETERMINANTS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
The study investigated Education and Gender as determinants of political participation in Anambra State. Five research questions and six hypotheses guided the study. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaire and focus group interview. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The population of the study was 1,775,842 registered voters in Anambra State comprising Anambra North with 369,907 males and 246,611 females amounting to 616,518 voters, Anambra Central with 373,454 males and 248,974 females amounting to 622,428 voters, and Anambra South with 322, 189 males and 214, 737 females amounting to 536,926 voters. The sample size was 888 respondents selected through proportionate random sampling technique. Simple random sampling was used to select 485 males and 480 females. Proportionate random sampling was used to select 0.05% of the stratum resulting in 308 for Anambra North, 311 for Anambra Central, and 269 for Anambra South. Two instruments were used for data collection, namely; focus group discussion guide and a 38-item questionnaire constructed by the researcher. Three experts, one in sociology of Education and two in measurement and evaluation at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, validated the instruments. The internal consistency of (EGDPPQ) was determined using Cronbach Alpha method. In each of the clusters, the reliability indices obtained were 0.92 for profiles of political participation by gender, 0.82 for educational qualifications of males and females, 0.89 for political post held by males and females in the State, 0.99 for reasons for political participation by males and females in the State and 0.83 for measures that will help to ensure gender equality on political participation. The overall reliability value for the whole instrument was 0.89. Statistical measures that were used to analyze the data were frequency counts for research questions 1, 2 and 3 and mean for research questions 4 and 5. Multiple Regression analyses were used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of probability. Results showed that 70% of the males participate more in politics conventionally than females (30%). Educational qualification of males and females do not determine their political posts. 70% of Males hold more political posts than females (30%) and are greater in number than females in political participation. The reasons for males and females political participations are it creates the urge to contest for one of the political posts during election in the individual (x=3.15), it makes the individual a public figure (x=3.06) and it enhances the income of the individual participants (x=2.92). Measures that will ensure gender equality in political participation are, public sensitization to be receptive to female’s aspirants (x=3.10), a violent free environment which will allow females to participate in political campaigns without fear of molestation (x=3.20) and use of thugs in politics should be legislated against in order to ensure females active participation (x=2.96). Educational qualifications of the respondents are not significant predictors of their (P < 0.05) political posts in the state. Educational qualifications of the respondents are significant predictors (P < 0.05) of their reasons for political participations in the state and Education attainments of the respondents are significant predictors (P 0.05) of the measures to ensure gender equality in political participations in the state.