Investment groups and economic empowerment of women in Ainabkoi sub-county, Kenya
Kemboi, Valentine C.
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Women empowerment has become a subject of concern across the globe for the last few decades and the World Bank recommends that women empowerment should be a key area of social development programs. Women make up around fifty percent of the total human resources in our economy. Several studies show that self-help group programmes have succeeded in changing the lives of women by economically empowering them which is the main goal of women Self Help Groups. Thus the development of the women Self Help Groups is important if this objective is to be achieved. The aim of the study was to assess the significance of investment groups on economic empowerment of women in Ainabkoi Sub County. The study utilized descriptive cross sectional survey design. This study adopted the stratified sampling technique. The target population was the 87 women groups in Ainabkoi Sub-County with an average of 15 women making a target population of 1305. From the possible 1305 target population, stratified random sampling was employed to select two women from each group making a sample size of 174 respondents. Primary information was collected using a questionnaire administered to participants and secondary data was obtained from records in the Ministry of culture and social services in Uasin Gishu County. Data was entered into computer then cleaned and analyzed using SPSS (Software package for social science) version 20 software package. Descriptive statistics such as age, residence and level of education was initially analyzed. To determine the correlation between the investment groups and the economic empowerment of women a regression model was used. The study found that respondents faced challenges in accessing credit to start up the business. The study also established that lacking accumulated wealth, education and access to affordable and trustworthy financial services, women, their families and their communities face persistent poverty and debt. The study found that membership power affects the economic empowerment of women in the group. The study also established that investment group is characterized by: starting with one’s own effort, mobilizing physical resources and savings and creating economic activities and enterprises capable of generating some income as a source of self-led (internal) financing and autonomy. In addition the study found that that credit accessibility contributed the most to the economic empowerment of women. At 5% level of significance and 95% level of confidence, credit accessibility, Membership Power, and control of economic resources were all significant, practices to increased economic empowerment of women. The study concluded that lacking accumulated wealth, education and access to affordable and trustworthy financial services, women, their families and their communities face persistent poverty and debt. The study recommended that awareness on activities of stakeholders should be increased with an aim of improving economic status of women through advertisements, promotions, community forums, bill boards and posters. More women need to undertake and use the activities/ programmes provided by stakeholders.
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