The role of village savings and loan association schemes on women empowerment among farmer organizations supported by the United Nations World Food Programme in Soroti District
Eiyo, Patricia Frances Elotu
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Village savings and loan association schemes (VSLAs) have often been argued, but not without controversy, to play vital roles in empowering women towards economic and social welfare, however women have continued to be less privileged with inadequate credit facilities thus making their economic and social empowerment limited. The purpose of the study was to assess the role of Village saving and loan association schemes on women empowerment among farmer organizations supported by the United Nations World Food Programme in Soroti, the study was guided by the following objectives; to analyze the activities of the Village savings and loan association schemes, to assess the effect of VSLAs on the economic empowerment of women, to assess the effect of VSLAs on the social empowerment of women and to identify the role of VSLA promotion among farmer groups. Data used in this study was collected from 290. The study data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, and cross tabulations Pearson correlation was used to derive relationship between the study variables. The results show 86% of the respondents had been in VSLA for more than three years and 90% of the VSLA groups had existed for more than three years. Over 77% of the respondents indicated that VSLA had helped to solve their problems. The study established that women in VSLA supported by WFP were significantly more economically empowered compared to those not supported by WFP, with significant positive Pearson correlations of (r = 0.810, p<..05) and (r = 0.620, p<0.05). Women in VSLA supported by WFP were also more socially empowered compared to those in VSLA that were not supported by WFP ((r = 0.875, p<0.05) and (r = 0.720, p<0.05) respectively The study recommends that WFP and other development-oriented organizations extend more VSLA support services as a route to socially and economically empower women. respectively.