Effects of access and utilization of women enterprise fund on gender relations at household level in Mvita Constituency, Mombasa County.
Kilingi, Janet Mwikali
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This study examined the effects of access and utilization of Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) on gender relations at household level in Mvita Constituency in Mombasa County. The fund is given to women who are in existing groups of ten members. The aim of the study was to find out whether access and utilization to WEF by women affects gender relations at household level. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the factors that affect the access of WEF by women, and its effect on gender relations at household level, examine how the women utilize WEF loans and the effects on gender relations at the household level, investigate gender related challenges women face in accessing and utilizing WEF loans and the effects on gender relations at the family level and find out how effective the strategies put in place by WEF for enhancing access and utilization of WEF loans are. The study was guided by Sara Longwe’s Framework Tool 1.Mvita has five wards namely Mji WA Kale, Tudor, Ganjoni/Shimanzi, Majengo and Tononoka. The total population of registered women groups under WEF in the Constituency was 108.Using systematic random sampling, the 108 women groups were arranged alphabetically, and the fifth group selected giving a total of 21 women groups .Twenty (20) women groups were taken as the random point for convenience. The 20 women groups were divided by 5 wards resulting to 4 groups per ward. Then, 2 women were picked from each group translating to 8 women in a ward and 40 women in the constituency. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews; and analyzed using descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) (Version 17.0). The study found that most women felt empowered and respected due to their ability to acquire loans. A minority felt that this new development had brought them marital challenges as their husbands and/or male relatives were not comfortable with their independence. The study recommends that an evaluation of the impact of the training offered and sustainability of the businesses be conducted by the Service providers. That a Counseling system be introduced to address any spousal conflicts related to the funds.