Microcredit and Women’s Empowerment in Kyenjojo District of Uganda
Over the years, women empowerment has taken center stage in Uganda’s government policy and development agenda while acknowledging that women have a role to play in economic growth. Therefore, the issue of mi-crofinance institutions offering microcredits to women is top on the agenda of poverty eradication in Uganda. However, Uganda is not immune from the ongoing global competing debate on the extent that access to microcredits empowers women. Several studies in Uganda in the recent past have produced conflicting reports on the impact of microcredit on womens’ empowerment in Uganda. As a result, the study attempts to analyze the ways in which micro-credit programs have influenced the lives of women in Kyenjojo district. How has the involvement in the microcredit program affecting the women’s deci-sion-making positions in poor households and the community as a whole? Most importantly it highlights how these women can be empowered to over-come the challenges they experience in the process of accessing the micro-credit scheme. Data was collected through qualitative methodological ap-proaches such as in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews with women beneficiaries of microcredits, and men with wives participating in the schemes, together with key informants from NGOs and Micro-Finance Institution representatives that have microcredit facilities for vulnerable women. To support the analysis of data, two major concepts, Empowerment, and Patriarchal Bargain were explored. The findings show that women's access to microcredit empowered them economically by gener-ating income from their investments through profits, which are used to im-prove their standards of living, give them access to property, and pay for their children's educational needs. Those that are married were able to foster egali-tarian relationships with their spouses in the household, the divorced and wid-ows earn more respect from the community as they become financially inde-pendent, and the singles and never married were able to independently plan for a brighter future. However, there are challenges such as loan repayments due to the size of the loans, as well as husband approval or consent for married women to secure loans. In conclusion, the study shows that microcredit em-powered women in different ways, and highlights the challenges, portraying how they affect women differently. For example, single and never married women's empowerment experiences are different from those of married or divorced women. However, the study suggests that future research should look at how the financial empowerment of single and never-married women helped them in negotiating a better relationship with their future.
|Keywords||Women, Empowerment, Microcredit, Uganda, Kyenjojo, Economic, Gender, Patriarchal, bargain, Roles|
|Thesis Advisor||Kurian, Rachel|
|Series||Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)|
Kabahuma Aliya. (2019, December 20). Microcredit and Women’s Empowerment in Kyenjojo District of Uganda. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/51340