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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4249

Keywords: Micro finance, Omo micro finance programs,
empowerment, perception.
Copyright: Jul-2011
Date Added: 10-Dec-2012
Publisher: AAU
Abstract: The main objective of the study is to explore the extent to which women are empowered through Omo micro finance programs in Arba Minch town, Southern Ethiopia. It also attempts to assess the ways in which the programs bring economic and social impacts on women status at household and community level. In order to achieve the study objectives, mixed research methodology was used to generate data both from primary and secondary sources. Primary data were collected by means of survey questionnaire, in-depth-interview of cases, key informant interview, focus group discussion, non-participant observation, and field notes. Secondary data were generated by reviewing the works of scholars, which are both published and unpublished documents. Specifically, alternative development theory was applied as a theoretical framework of the study, where the alternative proposals of the theory and its link with empowerment were mainly discussed in attempt to investigate the research problem. Equally, an analytical framework was applied for better understandings and measuring empowerment in the context of this study. The collected data were analyzed, summarized, and interpreted through qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis. In the later case, statistical package for social sciences software was employed to code, compile, and analyze one hundred one credit beneficiaries selected for the study purpose and present the findings in various forms. The former method was used to explain and supplement the numerical data. In spite of the entry barriers into micro finance programs in the study area, it was revealed that participation in the programs has brought positive economic and social impacts on the lives of the beneficiary women. The economic impacts are more pronounced both at household and community level. But, the social impacts at household level exceeds the community level, which are in one way or another linked with long existed societal negative attitude towards women/ less recognition of women roles. It was found that there is relatively a different understanding on the meaning of micro finance in the academic literatures and the reality. Alternatively, women perception and experiences of empowerment through micro finance programs is truly interesting as viewed in the eyes of the women themselves. Women participation in Omo micro finance programs were constrained by three different yet interrelated factors (institutional, personal, and context specific). Nevertheless, institutional related factors were found to be the most serious factors holding women back from participating in the programs in the study area. The major recommendations forwarded include: revisit some of the rigid client selection criteria of the credit program; strengthen co-operations of the institute with different stakeholders and promote saving mobilizations; upgrade employees‟ capacity through various trainings and experience sharing with neighbouring micro finance institutes; scale up initiatives/best practices of women affair office of the town so far made to inculcate the roles and values women play; and uphold experience sharing mechanisms between participant and the non-participant women in the study area
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4249
Appears in:Thesis - Urban Design & Development

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