Impact of Women Enterprise Fund in promoting women empowerment on governance in Bondo District, Kenya
Ombara, Anthony O
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Achieving gender equality and empowering women in microfinance remains a key consideration in the Medium Term Plan 2008 - 2012 and Vision 2030 where entrepreneurship is identified as one of the key drivers of socio -economic transformation. It's in this respect that this study sought to explore the impact of Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) on promoting women empowerment on governance in Bondo District. Examining the relationship between access to WEF and women empowerment on governance in Bondo District was explicitly the focus of the study. The study was guided by the following objectives: To establish how access to microcredit as a component of the Women Enterprise Fund impacts on the Promotion of Women Empowerment on Governance in Bondo; To assess how promotion of sustainable livelihoods as a component of the Women Enterprise Fund impacts on the Promotion of Women Empowerment on Governance; To determine how access to training and capacity building as a component of the Women Enterprise Fund impacts on the Promotion of Women Empowerment on Governance and lastly, To examine how access to information as a component of the Women Enterprise Fund impacts on the Promotion of Women Empowerment in Governance. In order to conclusively address the research objectives, the study adopted a descriptive survey design with quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection. Using Krejcie and Morgan (1970) table of determining sample size 242 respondents were sampled from women groups that have benefitted from the WEF. 196 (81 %) of women beneficiaries of WEF responded. Primary data collection method by use of questionnaires designed by the researcher was used to assess the impact of WEF in promoting women empowerment on governance. Prior to data collection, ethical approvals were obtained from the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST) and the other relevant government departments in Bondo District. Data obtained was cleaned, verified and analyzed using graphs, frequencies, percentages, modes and mean with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data management involved checking for consistency, coding, labeling and documenting. During management, overall data quality was assessed. Content analysis was also employed to analyze qualitative data. Ultimately, this study provides information on the actual impact of the various components of women enterprise fund on women empowerment in governance in Bondo district, hence contributing to the body of knowledge on women empowerment with specific focus on women's access and control of resources. The findings indicate that increasing women's access to microfinance in Bondo district has enabled women to make greater contributions to household income which has eventually led to improved well-being and ensuring wider changes in the existent gender inequality. The study concluded that access to WEF has a great impact on promoting financial inclusion and enhancing women's participation in decision making processes at the household and community hence promoting women empowerment on governance. The study strongly recommended formulation of a policy framework to ensure prudent, efficient and effective use of credit obtained from WEF in line with the objectives of the fund. The study further recommends for more detailed investigation on individual women's access to WEF and empowerment of women on governance with larger sample needs to be undertaken in more districts. Also, the study focused on general components of women empowerment in governance, hence there is need to probe into other variables apart from those that are studied in the present investigation and their influence on promoting women empowerment in governance.