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Poverty and Educational Level as Determinants of Girl-child Participation in Politics in Ondo North Senatorial District of Ondo State, Nigeria

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Poverty and Educational Level as Determinants of Girl-child Participation in Politics in Ondo North Senatorial District of Ondo State, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT  

The main purpose of the study was to examine the influence of poverty and educational level on girl-child via their political participation in Ondo North Education (Senatorial) District of Ondo State, Nigeria. The methodology adopted for the study was a descriptive survey research design. The population for the study was 3995 SSS 3 female students in public schools; while the sample size used was three hundred and sixty-three (363) SSS 3 female students. A multi-stage sampling technique was adopted for the study.

The instrument for data collection titled “Poverty and Educational Level as Determinants of Girl-Child Participation in Politics’’ (PEDGPP) was adopted and developed by the researcher. The instrument was trial-tested and subjected to the test of internal consistency using the Cronbach Alpha procedure. A reliability coefficient of 0.82 was obtained. Data collected were analyzed using the Principal Component part of Factor Analysis, percentage, the mean, and standard deviation to answer the five research questions while the three hypotheses formulated to guide the study were tested using t-test statistical tools.

The findings of the study revealed that the poverty rate (level) of ‘poor’ and ‘not poor girl-child(ren) in Ondo North Senatorial District of Ondo State was 73% and 27% respectively. This implies that girlchild poverty in the state is quite high; Akoko North East (Ikare) girl-child poverty had the highest poverty (level) rate of 82.3% while Akoko North West (Okeagbe) had the least poverty rate of 61%; the study revealed that most of the poor people are farmers who find it difficult to provide the necessary support for their children, especially the girl-children; the rural poverty level was higher than that of an urban area with the poverty rates of 78% and 59% respectively; poverty was largely responsible for poor educational support of girl-child which affected her education and socio-political involvement in the society; the study showed that the extent poverty inhibited the educational support of urban and rural female students was not significant.

INTRODUCTION  

Poverty is a common plague afflicting people of the world including Nigeria. Poverty is multidimensional in nature because it affects various segments of the population and their corresponding needs and aspirations. It is multidimensional in the sense that poverty means different things to different persons considering time, environment, and situations. From the past century, especially in the work of Booth’s study of London poor in 1887 and Rowntree’s (1901) work on the poor in the city of York defined and measured poverty only on established numeric income and the caloric level below which poverty exist, and beyond which the people cease to be poor.

At least since the 1970s, approaches to defining poverty have included the identification of non-income dimensions such as longevity, literacy, and health. Recently, a new set of factors including vulnerability, lack of access to opportunities, exposure to risk, powerlessness, and lack of voice among others have also become part of the definition of poverty (Agrawal & Redford, 2006). Poverty can simply be described as the lack of some basic amenities of life – monetarily and materially.

Poverty refers to the condition of not having the means to afford basic human needs such as clean water, nutrition, health care, clothing, and shelter. This is often referred to as absolute poverty or destitution. Poverty can also be relative. Relative poverty is not the deprivation of very basic needs but exclusion from the standards of living broadly available to others in the same society. It is the minimum level of resources acquisition of an individual below which the individual is deemed to be inferior to the norm of that community.

Individuals, families, and groups in a population can be said to be in [relative] poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the type of diet, participate in the activities and the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or are at least widely encouraged or approved, in the society to 1 2 which they belong (Lister, 2004). Relative poverty is therefore the condition of having fewer resources, or less income, low social/political participation than others within a society or country as compared to at least widely encouraged or approved standard. 

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CSN Team.

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