The impact of credit facilities on women empowerment: The case of FINCA in Igara County, Bushenyi District.
Namanya, Anaclet Mutiba
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This research report is about a study that aimed at establishing the impact of credit facilities on women empowerment. FINCA, in Igara county, Bushenyi district was used as the case study. The study was carried out from three sub-counties of Kyeizooba, Nyabubaare and Bushenyi-Ishaka town council. The study was guided by three objectives and null hypotheses that focused on the economic, political and psycho-social impact of FINCA on women empowerment. The study consisted of one hundred and six respondents: ninety FINCA women clients, and sixteen key informants (three FINCA staff members, three local council chairpersons, three secretaries for women and three FINCA graduates. The data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire, an interview guide and a focus group discussion guide. A review of relevant written documents was also done to supplement the primary data. The data collected was presented in frequency counts and score tables with varying percentages calculated. Interpretations and conclusions were made according to the number of occurrences on each item. Graphs and pie-charts were also used to present data. Respondents’ real words were also quoted. The study findings revealed that FINCA credit facilities have resulted into a significant positive impact on women empowerment. The credit facilities have made it possible for women to start income generating activities, increase on their incomes and make savings. They have also entered the field of politics and assumed leadership positions as a result of increased awareness, self-confidence, disposable incomes and participation in FINCA group leadership positions. Women have also realized and exploited their potential, ability to contribute to their household incomes, family welfare and support; thus, gaining respect from their family members especially men. Despite the substantial levels of empowerment, the process faces several constraints such as cultural inhibitions, limited funding sources, underdeveloped banking institutions, diseases, illiteracy, high operating costs, client attrition, staffing problems and cases of political interference. The presence of such constraints makes the sustainability of women empowerment uncertain. In light of the study findings, the researcher advanced some recommendations that all attach importance and call for concerted efforts of the government, non-governmental organizations and the general public to do everything possible that can bring about sustainable women empowerment.