Microfinance and women empowerment : to what extent has access to loans led to a change in gender responsibilities at the household level: a case study of women in Ddwaniiro sub county-Rakai district of Uganda
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Microfinance has been recognized internationally as a great strategy in promoting women’s empowerment. Currently development practitioners, international donors, policy makers, Governments, and Non-governmental organizations have introduced microfinance programs to reach out with financial services to the low-income earners, especially women. This is based on the conception that women have better repayment records and also if credit is placed in women’s hands, it leads to improvement in the wellbeing of entire household. This study therefore aimed at assessing the extent to which access to loans by women can lead to a change in gender responsibilities within the household amongst women in Ddwaniro sub county of Rakai district. Empowerment in this case was thus defined in terms of women´s ability to manage household responsibilities that were hitherto defined by society as men´s roles. Using qualitative methods of data collection, the study revealed a positive connection between women´s access to loans/income and increased household responsibilities. However women need support from their husbands, such that the increased responsibilities don’t become a burden, but rather one way of improving the family. Important to note is that, this study does not conclude that women who have not accessed loans cannot take on household responsibilities, as they may be having other sources of income other than borrowing. In other words, access to loans shouldn’t be taken as a parameter for women to take on household responsibilities.
Master thesis in development management - University of Agder 2014