Microfinance in Mwingi Town
Microfinance services can be used as a key strategy to empower women, where finances from the microfinance institutions are used for setting up or expansion of businesses with potential impacts including increased income levels and control over income through enhanced decision roles. Economic independence of women leads to increased social and political roles enhancing women contribution to house hold income and family welfare as a whole. This is line with the argument of Mayoux (1999), where she stated that microfinance programmes were being promoted as a key strategy for addressing both poverty alleviation and women empowerment. Microfinance services has also led to the expansion of freedom of choice and action by women, from the study women have been seen to accumulate more assets, negotiate with, influence and control the assets at the individual and household levels. This has impacted positively on women in terms of more wealth, children education, better family health and enhanced decision roles. In the World Bank (2002), it was stated that microfinance services empowers women through the expansion of assets, enhanced decision roles, better health and children education. In the light of the results, government and other development agencies need to formulate policies to promote microfinance services to women as the results indicate that microfinance can empower women leading to economic growth. These findings are consistent with previous studies that have indicated microfinance leads to Women empowerment (Mayoux 1999, Hanna K.S 2003 and Johnson 1996).