Participating in Research Surveys in Rural Communities: Challenges Women Face and Recommendations for Improvement

Women in rural communities have the responsibility of securing biomass used for cooking, water, agricultural activities that provides food and income for the family, caring for husband and children as well as household management. They wake up very early in the morning to attend to household chores, prepare the children for school where applicable before going out to securing food, trekking through distances and lonely roads. Beside these observable factors, there are other challenges women face, especially those in rural communities that makes it hard for them to attend to researchers and get a chance to contribute their experiences in the formulation of public policies. This policy brief, therefore, seeks to explore these factors and make recommendations for improvement. The data for this policy development was gotten from harnessing the stories and reports of 40 Research Assistants and Field Supervisors who worked for a period of 3 months in 10 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Delta state selected from the three ecological zones of the state. A little above 4000 household members completed household questionnaires of which 4000 were cleaned and used for this study and about 55% of the respondents were females. Also key informant interviews were conducted amongst 107 participants comprising 51.4% females and 48.6% males. Focus group discussions were organised in groups of male only, female only and a mix of male and female respondents in each of the 10 LGA. Participant observations, unstructured interaction with rural women and girls as well as note taken were also used for the development of this policy brief.