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Keywords: Women Economic Empowerment
Social Work
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Publisher: St. Mary's University
Abstract: In Ethiopia women account half of the total population and the majority poor and hence due to socio - cultural discrimination the suffered a lot and have fewer opportunities. Since 1980’s the microfinance sector service accepted worldwide as a means to reduc e poverty and women empowerment (85% of the clients are women). The notion was if a women can access a credit facility she can invest on productive assets and this leads to be empowered economically. However, still the MFI service is fragile and inconsiste nt which is a true fact for this study areas too - Loka Abaya district. In the district CARE Ethiopia intervene to facilitate HH graduation from food insecurity and promoted VSLA as one means. VSLAs are a community managed saving led approaches pioneered a nd promoted by CARE to provide a financial services for poor mainly to women who are still lacked opportunity. This study was conducted to assess VSLAs contribution to women’s economic empowerment and to evaluate the empowerment status of VSLA women member ’s. The study employed a probability and non - probability sampling techniques; two Kebles (Chelbesa and Tula Gorbe) were selected purposely and 60 women from 10 VSLAs were selected using a systematic random sampling technique. The study collected both prima ry and secondary data using both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The study revealed that from 83% married women 16% of the marriage type is polygamy (P<.05); 90% of them were under working age group and only 62% of them can write and read. Most (57%) responded that as they had more than five years membership to VSLA and 58% of them received at least once where the majority (60%) accessed more than twice (P<.01) to run petty trading, to purchase farm inputs, to cover children’s school f ee and to repay another loan. However, most claimed that the amount is too small. After they joined VSLA 83% respondents IGA management skill and knowledge was improved (P<.01) where as 90% and 95% of them get opportunity to own and capable enough to contr ol over their own cash and non - cash assets, respectively. On the other hand the study revealed that 70% of women’s abled to increase HH expenditures contribution (P<.05) and hence 43% of their partners reduced the contribution (P<.01). The study also indic ated that all respondents participation on HH decision making process improved (P<.05); as a result women involved 42%, 38% , 37% , 65%, 52%, 56%, 62%, 67% and 78% on land utilization, types of crops to be grown , use of fertilizer decisions, on poultry, donk ey, shoat decision, on contraceptive use, number of children to be born and children school enrollment respectively. In addition, the study revealed that women can decide by herself 48% on types of IGA she could engaged and 36% on the amount loan she shoul d take from VSLA. However, 73% women reported as their workload is increased though they have a means to reduce it the support they get from their family is very low. 87% of the respondents have for extension workers (P<.01) and 75% of them participated at least in one form of formal and/or informal institutions while 67% of women’s participation improved after t hey join ed VSLA (P<.05). On the other hand all women’s convincing capacity to their partners and other community members improved. Hence, 74% and 6 0% of women decide by themselves on the amount of loan they requested (P<.01 ) and about its utilization (P<.01) , respectively and 51% of them on the management and allocation of income earned from IGA. The overall result indicated that as VSLA contributed a lot to empower women economically and women empow erment sta tus is promisi ng. The study finally recommends, to design a strategy to strengthen VSLAs to increase the amount of loan they provide, to facilitate a capacity building training to women members a nd to reduce women bottlenecks
Appears in Collections:Social Work

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