SOCIO-CULTURAL FACTORS INFLUENCING WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS IN DELTA CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT
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Women participation in sports has been a controversial issue all over the world and Nigeria is not an exception. This study examined the socio-cultural factors influencing women participation in sports in Delta Central Senatorial District. The descriptive survey design was used while simple random sampling technique was used to select a sample size of one hundred and seventy seven (177) respondents comprised of female athletes in Delta Central Senatorial District which covered eight (8) local governments. A self-structured questionnaire was employed in collecting data from the respondents while one hundred and forty eight (148) administered questionnaires were completely retrieved. Simple percentage, frequency count and mean score as well as Chi-square (x2) were statistical tool used at 0.05 alpha level of significance. Results obtained from this study revealed that physiological markup, Cultural beliefs, Social inclusion, Family background and Religion are factors that significantly influence women participation in sports in Delta Central Senatorial District. Hence, it recommended that religious institutions and societal organizations should frequently organize conferences, symposium and workshops with a view of promoting the inclusiveness and active participation of women in sports across the study area.
Literature on Nigeria's national development is relatively silent on the contributions of women. However, 1975 (the International Women's Year), was a period of ferment in ideas about the status of women (Ogunsheye, 1988).
In Nigeria, awareness about the role of women in development gained momentum in the later half of the "1980s (Omu & Makinwa, 1987). Awareness was further enhanced in 1995 as a result of the effective partic ipation of Nigerian women in the International Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
In spite of these efforts, it is appropriate to state that the role of Nigerian women in development has not been sufficiently emphasised. In highlighting the Nigerian experience, three periods namely, the precolonial, colonial and postcolonial, will be briefly looked at.