Determinants Of Self Help Groups On Women Empowerment In Kibwezi Sub-county,Makueni Kenya
Mwangangi, Peninah M
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The empowerment of women is one of the imperative Issues III the progression and improvement of countries all over the world. Association with Self Help Groups has enabled women to gain greater control over resources like materials possession, intellectual resources like knowledge, information, ideas and decision making at home, community and society. Empowerment challenges the existing norms and culture, to effectively promote women's well being. The participation of women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) has made a significant impact on their empowerment both in social and economical aspects. This study examined the determinants of Self Help Groups on women empowerment in Kibwezi Sub-county, Makueni. The objectives of the study were to examine the influence of social-economic characteristics of the group members, group activities, and the group resources management on women empowerment. The study design was a descriptive survey and the sample size was 100 respondents drawn from 20 women groups in the study area. The information required for the study was collected from primary sources using a questionnaire and an interview guide. Random sampling method was followed. Frequencies, percentage analysis and correlation coefficient were carried out to draw meaningful data analysis and interpretation of the results. The results obtained showed that most respondents, 70%, were 35 years and above, of low education levels, 53%, and peasant farmers. Those respondents who had been in the groups for more than five years, 52%, had more asset ownership than those who had shorter periods hence length of membership was a major determinant to empowerment. Most groups, 78%, were engaged in multiple activities of very small scale to contribute to any meaningful empowerment of its members, therefore the scale of the group activity could affect the level of empowerment of its members. Management of group resources was found to be highly effective in all the groups. This aspect was found to be a major determinant of women empowerment through groups since all the members were satisfied with the financial management. The policy makers should establish entrepreneurial skill development centres in Kibwezi for the women and also streamline the activities these women groups are engaged in if full potential of this approach is to be realized. Financial support for these groups should also be provided to improve the levels of success and turnover, hence women empowerment.