The Role of womens’ organizations in empowering women in Mwingi District, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of women’s organizations in empowering women in Mwingi District, Kenya. It was guided by four objectives which included the following: to establish how the women’s organizations create awareness in ownership rights to empower women; to determine how gender policies by women’s organizations influence empowerment of women; to determine the influence of income generating activities by women’s organizations on the empowerment of women; and to establish the extent to which women’s organizations mobilize resources to empower women. The study was based on the systems theory of organizations which is an approach in philosophy of science aiming at understanding the world as a set of systems. The descriptive survey research design was used since it would collect data from members of the population in order to determine the current status without manipulating the variables. The target population consisted of all 20 women’s organizations and a total membership of 500 members in Mwingi District. Data was gathered by use of questionnaires analyzed using the quantitative and qualitative method in frequency distribution tables, pie-charts, bar graphs and percentages. Based on the findings, the study recommended that leaders should establish women’s councils to participate in leadership matters to empower them and be part of agenda formulation and decision making; that men be sensitized to influence their wives to join women’s organization groups; that women’s organization groups, be founded to enable them invest more in income generating activities and that women’s organization groups in Mwingi District collaborate with others from other districts to exchange ideas on similar projects. Based on suggestions for further research, the study recommended that a similar study should be carried out in other districts for comparison purposes. More women in the society should participate in women’s organization groups. Women should be made aware about their ownership rights and investigate challenges women’s organizations face when implementing their roles in empowering women.