This study is on Participatory Communication and Women Empowerment: A Critical study of life Rehabilitation Foundation for Womanhood inTungaCommunityMinna Niger State. The aim of the study is to appraise the process and nature of communication used by the foundation to facilitate participation and empowerment among the women. To achieve this aim, three objectives were raised. The Nair-White Transactional Model was carefully selected to underpin the work. The entire approach embodies communication as a process which takes into account the indigenous knowledge and self-reliance gained through increased information access and acquisition facilitated by external experts. Inherent in the participatory approach is making people feel being a part of the process that can bring empowerment that is sustainable. The thesis then goes further to examine the Life Rehabilitation Foundation for Womanhood to ascertaining the participation or otherwise of the Tunga women in the empowerment process. There were some key findings among which the Foundation aimed to empower women using entrepreneurial and skill development, stimulating women participation in government at all levels, improving the health and nutritional status of women and improving the literacy level among women to a minimum level of basic education,lack of participation of the women in basic issue that concerns them and the low level of participation of Tunga women in the Foundation‟s entire communication approaches. The study recommended that for Life Rehabilitation Foundation for Womanhood to give an empowerment that is sustainable the women should take an active role and be involved in the activities of the Foundation from the inception to the end. Empowerment participation which is the life wire of empowering people should be fused into the approaches and strategies of the Foundation. Folkloric forms of communication which encourage participation should also be used by the Foundation.
1.1 Background to the Study
The term communication means different things to different people. To a layman, communication simply means the transfer of information from a source to a receiver via a medium. The word communication comes from the Latin word
„communis‟ which means „common‟. The aim communication is to make „common‟, and to share. Communication is achieved when the sender and receiver hold meaning in common (Mody 1991) .Participation and communication are terms with broad and multifaceted connotations. Trying to define them is a difficult task. Even harder is providing a widely acceptable definition of participatory communication. For this study, participatory communication is an approach based on dialogue, which allows the sharing of information, perceptions and opinions among the various stakeholders and thereby facilitating their empowerment, especially for those who are most vulnerable and marginalized. (World Bank 2009).
Participatory communication is not just the exchange of information and experiences, but also the exploration and generation of new knowledge aimed at addressing situations that need to be improved. Communication is beyond the transfer of information but rather it is broad, encompassing empowerment, information, education, discussion, debate, socialization, motivation, integration and development.
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