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Impact of microedit programs on women's empowerment in East Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania)

Mukhooli, Chrispus (2015) Impact of microedit programs on women's empowerment in East Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

According to UNDP, 70% of the women in the world live under $1 per day, have high unemployment rates, have lower pay rates compared to men and are mostly employed in informal sector. Government agencies, NGOs, international development organizations and community-based organizations have resorted to using microcredit loans as a means of empowering women across the globe. Thus, this paper seeks to establish the effect of microcredit interventions on women’s empowerment in East Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). The study utilizes the available literature on microcredit and empowerment of women in East Africa as its source of data. This research was guided by the following objectives: To define microcredit programs and how they operate; to define the empowerment of women; to review the international literature on microcredit and women’s empowerment; to highlight cases where women have been empowered through microcredit in East Africa; to highlight cases where women have not been empowered by microcredit in East Africa; to highlight cases where women have not been empowered by microcredit in East Africa; and make recommendations on what can be done better in cases where microcredit programs are not empowering women.

The study established that there were significant positive results of microcredit on women’s empowerment in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Through a number of published reports and articles, the study established that women are able to get capital, save and create employment for themselves and other people within their communities. The study also established that there were significant positive results in relation to education, health, access to food and property, decision-making, self-confidence and respect in family/community. However, it is important to note that in the East African literature there was no or little information on household relations and domestic violence, control over loans and property, and increased in workload and stress.

The study also established that there were some negative effects of microcredit on women in East Africa. However, it is important to note that these are not wide spread and relate to processes of administering the microcredit programs as opposed to being negative results of microcredit loans. These include; little capital, high interest rates and too much paper work involved. This study recommends that; microfinance institutions should conduct more meetings and training about the proper use of microfinance loans; microfinance institutions should redesign their packages to suit individual needs, for example in relation to the loan size, increases in the period of grace given to clients before they start repaying back the loans, and try to make the loan application process easier. Also, governments should put in place working policies that could help women to sustain their business, for example fair taxation systems and regulating interest rates, and microfinance institutions should partner with governments to conduct civic education to educate women on microfinance services.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Supervisor: Hutchinson, Jane
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29394
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