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DEMYSTIFYING WOMEN’S APATHY TOWARDS RURAL COMMUNITY-BASED COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN NIGERIA: AN EMPIRICAL INSIGHT
ABSTRACT: The main thrust of this paper was to examine women’s apathy towards rural community-based cooperative societies in Nigeria. The study specifically examined the types of cooperatives in the study area, the reasons for women’s membership of cooperatives, reasons for women’s apathy towards cooperatives and the socioeconomic determinants of women’s involvement in cooperative societies in rural communities. The study was carried out in Cross River State, Nigeria. The population of the study comprised all rural women in the study area. The respondents consisted of 145 randomly selected rural women. Data were collected with the aid of a validated structured questionnaire and interview schedule. Data obtained were analyzed using mean, mean deviation, ranking and probit regression model. The result of analysis revealed that different cooperative societies exists in the area, women join cooperatives for various reasons such as access to loan/grants, to attract government support, access to farm input, access to educational opportunities, among others. It was also noted that women’s apathy towards cooperatives is associated with their lack of land ownership right, domestic responsibilities, and poverty etc. The age, marital status, level of education and occupation of women were significantly related to their participation in cooperatives. It was recommended among others that government should provide credit facilities to rural women to enhance their financial autonomy and participation in cooperative societies.
KEYWORDS: cooperative societies, women, rural, apathy, nigeria.