An investigation of the self-help group approach as a poverty reduction strategy amongst poor women in Pumwani slums, Nairobi
Maina, Loise W
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This study sought to investigate whether the self-help approach, which has been taunted as an effective poverty alleviation strategy particularly amongst very poor women, is indeed reducing poverty amongst the target beneficiaries in Pumwani slums. The study was guided by the antipoverty theory that was proposed by Caroline Moser in 1993. The anti-poverty approach to women focuses mainly on productive roles on the basis that poverty alleviation and promotion of balanced economic growth requires the increased productivity of women in low-income households. A total of 105 respondents wen purposively selected from the self-help groups in Pumwani to observe changes in their lives as a result of their membership in the groups for a minimum of 2 years.The study helped to highlight the determinants of poverty amongst these women like low literacy levels, high numbers of children/dependants, limited access to credit for business, poor housing, . inadequate access to health services, poor sanitation facilities, abuse of rights and insecurity and revealed that the self-help groups have contributed significantly to improving the members' lives on the economic, social and political fronts. The study recommends that the government and other partners need to support these efforts by ensuring that there is better infrastructure in terms. of toilets, street lights and market facilities as well as an enabling environment for business that is free from violence and insecurity.