Effects Of Access To Financial Services On Women Economic Empowerment

Project and Seminar Material for Business Administration and Management BAM

Project and Seminar Material for Business Administration and Management BAM


Abstract


This study was undertaken for the purpose of filling the information gap on the effects of micro finance on women economic empowerment. The study was conducted in Mbeya City and 110 respondents were covered including FINCA Regional Manager and FINCA branch Manager as key informants in Mbeya City. The study used stimulus- relationship design and the respondents were obtained through simple random sampling technique. Analysis of empowerment based on three variables namely; social, economic and psychological. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through interview using interview guide and interview schedule and questionnaire using mail survey.

Findings showed that the participation of women in microfinance programmes was the best mean of empowering women economically. It has helped women increase their income and contribute to household income. It has also increased women’s ability to acquire assets and freedom of making decision on the use of income earned from their business. Although women access to microfinance service alone does not necessarily lead to economic empowerment yet the commitment to empower women economically is an important step toward poverty reduction and gender equality goals. Also the study found that FINCA microfinance bank has enabled women to participate in trade fairs and business associations which deny their chance to gain skills to improve their business.


Chapter One


Finca Microfinance Bank And Women Economic Empowerment

1.1 Introduction

One of the unique features of microfinance institutions is to provide loans to women for economic emancipation (Cheston and Kuhn, 2002; Hassan, 2002). The basic idea is to empower women through financial assistance and allowing them to earn an independent income, contribute financially to their households and generate self employment (Anderson and Eswaran,2005; Basu ,2004). Access to microfinance services make women clients more confident and assertive and thus better able to confront gender inequalities (Littlefield, Murduch and Hashemi, 2003). Although women access to microfinance service alone does not necessarily lead to economic empowerment yet the commitment to empower women economically is an important step toward poverty reduction and gender equality goals (Esplen and Brody, 2007). According to the ILO report (2007), a microfinance service helps to empower women from poor households to make them contribute to the economic growth and this leads to financial stability and poverty reductions. This study aimed at investigating the relationship between the use of acquired loan from FINCA Microfinance bank and women economic empowerment.


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