Analysis of the strategic options employed by women on their socio-economic empowerment through groups; the case of Ruiru district, Kenya
Kamicha, Mary Nduta
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Poverty and deprivation tend to affect women more adversely than men yet women are charged with the enormous responsibility of bringing up children and determining the quality of life a family lives. The objective of the study was to analyse the strategic options employed by women for their socio-economic empowerment through groups. The specific objectives were to find out how women groups have assisted women to improve their socio-economic status and identify the strategic employed by women through groups. The research design used was descriptive .The target population comprised of 568 women in 36 registered groups. A sample of 80 women was selected on the basis of 30% of 262 women in 10 women groups purposely selected due to the different kind of activities they are involved in. The scope of study was Ruiru Division within Ruiru District. The sampling techniques used were stratified and simple random sampling. Data was collected through a semi-structured questionnaire which were administered to the women who were selected randomly during their meetings. Interview was also conducted on illiterate women. Data collected was analysed through the help of S~SS computer software and presented through percentages, frequencies, tables and bar graphs. The study findings were that the women groups had employed various strategic options on their socio-economic empowerment through groups. This was through forming of the groups where they consisted of many members who contributed money regularly. The groups also were involved in various activities such as farming, small scale businesses and social activities like counselling sessions. The study findings revealed that the groups had assisted women improve their socio-economic status. Through the contributions, the women had been able to start their own entrepreneurial activities and improve on their social economic status. In addition, the groups also assisted the women during times of financial crisis such as when paying school fees and hospital bills. The study recommends that for women to be effective in their strategic options on their socioeconomic empowerment, they need to invest the members money in profitable businesses in order to increase the capital. The profits can be shared by the members while the initial capital is ploughed back into the business. The study also recommends that the groups need training on the management of the funds in order to be able to make the correct business decisions.