The role of Literacy in Economic Empowerment of Women: The Case of Nekemte Women Micro and Small Business Enterprise (WMSBE) Operators

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Addis Ababa University


The study attempted to examine the role of literacy in economic empowerment taking the case of Women MSBE operators at Nekemte town, particularly with The purposes of identifying Their educational and work background they had had, The existing gap among them because of literacy, and consequently, what benefits they gain or miss and which group of them enjoy better livelihood. Hence, qualitative case study method was used to undertake The study and to understand The condition deeply. Primarily, data were gathered from mainly women MSBE operators, and workers or TITO who were at the same time facilitators of the enterprises through questionnaire and FGD and In-depth interview. The participants were chosen Through stratified random sampling for questionnaire and FGD and purposive sampling based on Their role and responsibility, willing and cooperativeness, self expressiveness and literacy range in which they were. Accordingly, 121 sample women filled t he questionnaire, 30 women participated in three FGDs and four women and four TlTO workers were interviewed. Then, data collected through questionnaire were presented and used where if was needed. and the data gathered Through FGDs and Interviews were presented in narrative forms on the bases of informants perceptions and interpreted of the Situation supported by researcher 's reflective analysis. The finding of The study revealed that those women were unable to perform their enterprises activities efficiently to improve their economic welfare because of lack of life skills, some women MSBE operators were lacking reading, writing and numeracy skills. Therefore, The researcher recommended Functional Adult Literacy program designed for women, at all level: agencies that organize and facilitate should consider the literacy back ground of participants, and regions should undertake timely and appropriate monitoring and evaluation activities 10 strengthen the activities of those women engaged in MSBEs.