Influence of Self-help Groups Activities on the Women Empowerment in Rural Kenya: a Case of Miambani Ward, Kitui County.
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of self help groups‟ activities on women empowerment in Miambani ward, Kitui County. There are few empirical studies concerning women empowerment through self help groups and thus the research decided to study on the different activities of the self help groups which empower women. The study looked into details the activities of self help groups which included; Table banking, training on business management skills, and time management. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish the influence of table banking practice by self help groups on women empowerment in Miambani ward, Kitui County; to access the influence of self help groups‟ training on business management skills on women empowerment in Miambani ward, Kitui County; to establish the influence in time management of self help groups on women empowerment in Miambani ward, Kitui County. To answer the research questions of this study, descriptive survey research design was applied. The target population was self help groups in Miambani ward (Mutukya, Mutula, Ndithini, Kiviu),Kitui county. Random sampling was applied in selecting the study‟s sample. The data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedule. The questionnaire had both closed –ended and open ended questions. Data was summarized using descriptive statistics. Data was analyzed using statistically by SPSS. Frequency distribution tables were used to present the analyzed data. Based on the research findings researcher concluded that influence of self help groups‟ activities on empowerment of the women is far beyond letting them access loans, they are also developed socially and empowered politically. Most of the self help group members got their money from their groups in form of table banking. This was evident since it scored 80%. In training of business skills training, most of the self help group members showed to score highly in business identification(73.34%) followed by sales and marketing(13.33) and record keeping(13.33%). On time management, analysis indicates that many self help members (73.34%) spend more than eight hours on household duties. There is evidence of increased household income. Standard of living for the group members have increased and also the food security is much more for the group members. Researcher recommended that NGOs and the government should consider buying the self help group concept and try to implement it as a way of empowering women. Education should be considered as a major aspect when empowering women. Actions which undermine women‟s ability to access economic resources and business opportunities should be done away with. There is need for Kenyans and the whole world to give women a chance in the political arena. Some of the topics the researcher suggests for further study is the impact of self help groups on MSEs in rural Kenya, the different impacts of the self help groups in Kenya, compare the performance between men self help groups and women self help groups and sustainability of self help groups
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