This study focused on access and utilization of information for economic empowerment by widows in Zaria local government area, Kaduna state. Five (5) research questions and two (2) null hypotheses were formulated. The research sought to find out the types of information for economic empowerment by widows, how widows accessed information for economic empowerment, extent of utilization of information for economic empowerment, purpose of utilization of information for economic empowerment and challenges in accessing information for economic empowerment. Quantitative method was used. The research design adopted was cross sectional survey. The population of the study comprised of all widows who registered under the NGO‘s of Zaria Local Government which are under thirteen wards totalling 1280. Simple random sampling technique was employed to select the sample. 30% of the wards was selected and also 30% of the widows from each ward were selected randomly arriving at 128 widows. Structured questionnaire was administered to 128 widows and 126 copies of the questionnaire were returned. The data collected from the research questions were organized, analysed and presented using frequency distribution tables, percentages, mean and standard deviation, while one way Anova was used to test hypotheses. It was discovered that, majority of the widows access the type of information on entrepreneurship and information on contribution group for economic empowerment within the local government. Radio and women leaders were the most frequent sources of accessing information by the widows; information on entrepreneurship was the most utilized type of information among them. However, the purpose of utilizing information for economic empowerment was to improve well-being, reduce poverty, educational Upliftment and to be financially independent,whereas, all of the widows in all the wards face the challenge of cost, lack of training on acquisition skills and inaccessibility. The study recommends the assistance of information providers to establish community information centres and to design awareness campaign programs on other types of information for economic empowerment through NGO‘s, religious places and profit making organisations. Training programmes should be organised by development agencies.









Declaration                                                                                                                              ii

Certification                                                                                                                            iii

Dedication                                                                                                                              iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                                 v

Abstract                                                                                                                                  vi

Table of contentList of tablesx CHAPTER ONE:                                                               INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                vii


1.1 Background to the Study1

1.2Statement of the Problem5

1.3Research Questions7

1.4 Hypotheses7

1.5 Objectives of the Study                                                                                                8

1.6 Significance of the study8

1.7Scope of the Study9

1.8 Operational Definitions of Terms9



2.1 Introduction12

2.2 Concept of information13

2.2.1 The significance of information to individuals15

2.3 Concept of Empowerment17

2.4 Types of Information for Economic Empowerment18

2.5 Access to Information for Economic Empowerment23

2.5.1 Access to information and sustainable development goals24

2.6 Utilization of Information for Economic Empowerment29

2.7 Purpose of utilizing information for economic empowerment31

2.8 Challenges to access of Information among widows33

2.9 Summary of the review35




3.1 Introduction43

3.2 Research Methodology Adopted for the Study43

3.2.1 Research Design Adopted for the Study43

3.3 Population of the Study44

3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique45

3.5 Instrument for Data Collection46

3.6 Validity of the Instrument47

3.7 Reliability of the Instrument48

3.8 Procedure for Data Collection48

3.9 Procedure for Data Analysis49



4.1 Introduction53

4.2 Response Rate of the Widows53

4.2 Demographic Analysis of the Respondents53

4.4 Descriptive Statistical Analysis53

4.4.1 Types of Information widows access for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local

Government area, Kaduna State.                                                                                      54

4.4.2 How do Widows Access Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria local

government area, Kaduna State?                                                                                    56

4.4.3 Purpose of utilization of information for economic empowerment by widows in

Zaria local government area, Kaduna state                                                                       56

4.4.4 Extent of utilization of information for economic empowerment by widows in

Zaria local government area, Kaduna state                                                                       63

4.4.5 Challenges widows face in accessing information for economic empowerment in

Zaria local government area, Kaduna state                                                                       654.5 Inferential Statistical Analysis66







5.1 Introduction71

5.2 Summary of the study71

5.3 Summary of the major findings72

5.4 Contribution to the body of knowledge                                                                      73

5.5 Limitation of the study74

5.6 Conclusion74

5.7 Recommendations                                                                                                       75

5.8 Suggestions for futher studies76


Appendix                                                                                                                           85



Table 3.1:  Distribution of Widows across Thirteen wards in Zaria Local Government

Area                                                                                                                                     46

Table 3.2 Sample distribution of Widows groups across wards in Zaria Local


Table 4.1: Response rate of the Respondent53

Table 4.2: Types of information accessed for economic empowerment by widows           55

Table 4.3: Access to information60

Table 4.4: Purpose of utilizing information62

Table 4.5 Extent of utilization of information for economic empowerment among widows

in Zaria local government, area Kaduna state                                                                      64

Table 4.6 Challenges to access and utilization of information for economic  empowerment66

Table 4.7a Difference among widows on the types of information they access for economic

empowerment                                                                                                                       68

Table 4.7b Anova                                                                                                                 69

Table 4.8 Difference among widows in the procedure through which they access

information for economic empowerment                                                                             70



















ANOVA                                               Analysis of Variance

NGO                                                     Non-Governmental Organization

S.D                                                        Standard Deviation

SDG                                                    Sustainable Development Goals






1.1 Background to the Study

Information is essential in all facets of life; it is such an important raw material in decision making, policy formulation, as well as implementation for growth and survival of an individual, societies and the nation. But, the information must be reliable, because, reliable information is the cornerstone for building the awareness, expertise and practical strategies necessary to improve the world we live in, in terms of health, physical, technical, mental, social and scientific development of humanity (Adetoro, 2010). Without adequate information, not much can be achieved especially when it comes to decision making or acquisition of knowledge (Adekanye, 2013). Information is conceived as an important resource that contributes immensely towards the development of a nation. Ideally, information brings about knowledge, and a knowledgeable community is also an informed community. This signifies that a community cannot develop without knowledge, and a community can only become knowledgeable if they recognize and use information as their tool for development (Kamba, 2009). Access to the right information by widows can help them to acquire the skills, knowledge and confidence to participate fully in community


Access to information allows the general public to access information held by governments, and often, by private entities that perform public duties or receive public funds. Access to information is critical to the exercise of other rights, the reduction of poverty, and meaningful participation and voice. Access to information helps citizens to better understand government policies and decisions taken in their name, engage in setting government priorities, and serves to increase trust and confidence between government and its citizens (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Informed citizens are better equipped to take advantage of opportunities, access services, exercise their rights, negotiate effectively, and hold state and non-state actors accountable. Without information that is relevant, timely, and presented in forms that can be understood, it is impossible for poor people to take effective action.  Laws about rights to information and freedom of the press, particularly local press in local languages, provide the enabling environment for the emergence of informed citizen action. Timely access to information in local languages from independent sources at the local level is particularly important, as more and more countries devolve authority to local government. Widows are the least likely to demand and receive access to information, yet are perhaps the most in need of this powerful tool.

Widows often face the double burden of income generation and caring for their families. Increasingly they are the key decision makers as the number of female-headed households has risen due to high rate of widows. Women represent an estimated 70 percent of the world‘s impoverished and two thirds of the world‘s illiterate as economic and educational opportunities for women remain limited. With genuine access to information, widows can take advantage of opportunities to transform their lives, families, and communities (The carter centre).

Information utilization is making use of the information retrieved from its source. It is the accurate use and proper dissemination of information to others who will need the information for decision making. This includes information handling such as storing, processing and retrieval for use. The value and impact of information utilization refers to the new conditions that re-established after the information has been used. The role of information includes ability to make relational decisions and take appropriate actions, it increases the capacity to see things more widely and become focused. Utilization of information is actualizing the information received into a workable knowledge. According to Ikoja (2004) although reading and writing play an insignificant role in rural peoples‘ life; Use of information and its contribution on how people handle information is relevant, he vividly describes how information is constrained stored, interpreted and communicated in an oral culture as quite illuminating and serves as its standard of comparison with the developers‘ approach. While market women largely depend on oral and translator of written information, the literate people are always accurate in utilization of information and the facts may be misunderstood by the users, thereby the interpretation of the translated facts may be misapplied. In utilizing the supplied information, education and training is very important, Rogers, (2002) said both formal and informal education is needed, the literate user may easily catch up with the application of the equipment‘s used for the supply of the information, but for the development of new projects, he still needs to go for training.

There are several important reasons for promoting the level of widow‘s economic empowerment, household responsibility is generally in the hands of women. Therefore, women‘s economic empowerment is necessary for ensuring the welfare, as well as wellbeing of their households. Empowerment of women is also important for the development of a country, because it enhances both the quality and quantity of human resources available for development (Kishor and Lekha, 2008). Another fundamental reason for promoting the economic empowerment of women is that failing to empower women to

reach their full potential is a violation of their basic human rights. (Alonge, 2014).

Economic empowerment is described from the viewpoint of a widow as being financially independent through her engagement in income-generating activities, these include having access to productive facilities that would enhance her income- generating capacity, having control over the income generated by investing in personal properties, having personal savings either through thrift or bank accounts and contribute  to the financial upkeep of her household, a household decision-making on issues that affect her livelihood, such as choice of health care facilities, children’s school, and  having improved self-worth gained through awareness and ability to negotiate and voice out concerns on issues that infringe on her rights as a person and as a woman (Adekanye 2013). In Nigeria, the empowerment of widows has in the recent years come to be recognized as a central issue in determining the status of women. Thus, in 1989 the National Commission for Women, charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the rights and legal entitlements of women, was established. It later metamorphosed into the Ministry of Women Affairs in 1996. Recently, the Ministry evolved a National Gender Policy (2006), which highlights the rights and privileges of women within the Nigerian State. Nigeria has also ratified various international treaties on women’s rights, such as Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

(CEDAW) committed to securing equal rights for women. Similarly, the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS, 2004) recognizes the need to integrate women into the development process by enhancing their capacity to participate in the economic, social, political and cultural life of the country through measures such as mainstreaming women’s concerns and perspectives in all policies and programmes, and promoting women’s access to micro-finance and other poverty alleviation strategies.

Widowhood has continued to bring great hardship to widows and their children all over the world, particularly in northern part of Nigeria. Widows are impoverished by the demise of their husbands who are the major contributors to household income. Studies have shown that when the father as the head of the family dies, the source of provision for the family is closed and widows and the children begin to suffer from financial hardship, Okoye(1995); Oloko (1997); Ogundipe, (2009) and Olaniyi,(2010). From that point, widows are faced with lots of problems which includes: poor financial status, low standard of living, disinheritance, frustration, loneliness and poverty. This involves the women now taking over roles that are traditionally carried by men, such as feeding, clothing, Payment for house-rent, electricity and the general household maintenance, etc. The difficulty of paying the school fees and providing essential school materials have been found to be more stressful for widows. In addition to coping with the increased burden of raising children without the help of the husband, widows are often deprived of moral and financial support when needed. Ogundipe, (2009) stressed that the economic hardship of widows include; loss of marital expectations and security, especially with respect to maintaining and raising the children, which should have been a joint responsibility of the couple. (Nwachukwu, 1993) viewed a widow from the perspective of her plight as a person who, by certain circumstances is in distress. Thus to him a widow is one who find herself in the middle of the ocean of life, struggling to survive. Technically, a widow is a woman who survives her husband and has not remarried (Oniye, 2000).

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Despite rapid advances in the standard of living of people worldwide, the condition of widows still remains deplorable, (UN division for advancement of women, 2000). Death of the spouse, affect both the sexes in different ways. It can be said that no group is affected by the sin of omission than are widows. They are painfully absent from the statistics of many developing countries and they are rarely mentioned in the multitude of reports on women‘s poverty, development, health or human rights published in the last 25 years (UN Division for the advancement of women, 2000). It was reported that in sub-Saharan Africa, widows were estimated at about 22million which represent 8.6% with a regional estimates of widows in extreme poverty at 9million globally (United Nations Population Division,2015) The Loomba foundation report that Nigeria is among the top 20 countries with the highest number of widows as 3million which represent 7.7%. In 2006 population and housing census of Nigeria, shows that about 2 percent of the same population i.e.  (those aged 10yrs and above were widowed, when disaggregated by sex, only 0.5% were widowers while 3.5% were widows. However, the proportion of widower and widow in

Nigeria in 2006 was still as high as 230,609 and 1million respectively (National Population Commission, 2009). Evidently observed by the researcher, some widows in Zaria local government area lack opportunities to develop themselves economically. This makes them feel inferior to their other women counterparts. While widows tend to bear the heaviest burden in many households in Zaria local government area, the level of information accessibility and use is relatively low. It is assumed that economic welfare of widows can improve tremendously when relevant information is provided to them. Besides the fact that the researcher is a woman, understanding very well the position, experiences, burden and responsibilities of widows, the way widows from other places in Kaduna and nationwide are trying to uplift their standards of living, and expose themselves to opportunities that would help them develop themselves, their families and their communities.

Consequently, lack of information will present a myriad of economic, social and psychological problems, particularly in the first year or so after the death of the spouse. A major problem for some widows is economic hardship. Also, for many widows in Nigeria, the implication of economic hardship includes withdrawal of children from school, and the adoption of coping strategies such as engaging in exploitative informal work, engaging the children in child labor and hawking, begging and sex work (George 2013).

However, it is in the light of the aforementioned problems that this research was set to investigate the access and utilization of information for Economic Empowerment by widows in Zaria local government area.

1.3        Research Questions

The following are the research questions the study sought to answer

  1. What types of Information do widows access for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government, area Kaduna State?
  2. What are the procedure through which widows in Zaria Local Government, area Access Information for Economic Empowerment?
  3. For what purpose do widows utilize Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area Kaduna state?
  4. To what extent do widows utilize Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna State?
  5. What challenges do widows face in accessing Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna State?





1.4 Hypotheses

The research sought to answer the following null hypotheses:

HO1. There is no significant difference among widows on the types of information they access for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna State. HO2. There is no significant difference among widows on the procedures through which they access Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria local Government area, Kaduna State.

1.5 Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of the study:

  1. To determine the types of Information widows access for Economic Empowermentin Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna State.
  2. To determine the procedures through which widows access Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna State.
  3. To determine the purpose for which widows utilize Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna State.
  4. To determine the extent at which widows utilize Information for Economic Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna State.
  5. To determine the challenges widows, face in accessing Information for Economic

Empowerment in Zaria Local Government area Kaduna State.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be of significance to the Widows in Zaria Local Government area, Kaduna state and other Widows in Nigeria. This is because it is hoped that the recommendations of the study will help them in improving access to the sources of information and proper utilization. The study will bridge the gaps of accessing and proper utilization of information and ensure continuity of information use. While on the other hand, the findings of this study will help to provide and create awareness to other widows about the significance of information from various non- governmental organizations. It will also assist the government and the non-governmental organizations to identify the possible challenges and opportunities of encouraging access and use of information to widows in Nigeria for economic empowerment. In the same vein, the study will be of importance to widows in the achievement of economic sustainable development. It will improve access to secure livelihoods, economic resources and raise social awareness through effective programs of education and mass communication. It will enhance decision making capacity of the widows.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study covered only widows in thirteen wards of Zaria local government area of

Kaduna state namely;Kwarbai ―A‖ ward, Kwarbai ―B‖, Anguwan Juma, Kaura, Limancin Kona, Tudun Wada, Gyalesu, Dambo, Wuciciri, Dutsen Abba, Anguwan Fatika and Kufena ward. Only widows who registered with the non-governmental organizations in the above wards were used as respondents.







1.8 Operational Definitions of Terms

The following concepts are defined operationally within the context of the study:

Access to information:  the opportunity by widows to use information held by governments, and often, by private entities that perform public duties or receive public funds.

Economic empowerment: the capacity of widows to participate in, contribute to and benefit from growth processes in ways that recognize the value of their contributions, respect their dignity and make it possible to negotiate a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth.

Empowerment: the ability of the widows, in particular the least privileged to have an access to productive resources that enable them to increase their earnings and obtain the goods and services they need and participate in the development process and the decision that affect them.

Information: a basic need that required fulfilling the usefulness of widows needs such as shelter, food, and cloths. It is regarded as a resource of survival.

Women empowerment: the process to acquire the ability to make the strategic life choices restricted through poverty particularly and societal or religious norms generally.

Widow: a woman whose husband has died and who has not married again.









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