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Empowering and Capacitating Women Facing Challenges in the Formation of Income Generating Projects in the Nkayi District of Zimbabwe

Abstract


Studies indicate that most women living in the informal settlements are usually poor and financially excluded. As such, they rely on income generating projects for their financial upkeep. Given this backdrop, several income-generating projects exist for different purposes, and this study sought to establish challenges that women are experiencing in the formation of these income generating projects in Nkayi District, Zimbabwe. Consistent with Tashakkori and Teddlie (2003) recommendations, this study used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The target population comprised of women engaged in income generating projects in Nkayi district. A stratified random sampling technique was employed in which questionnaires were distributed to a sample of 40 women participating in 5 different projects. An in-depth case study on challenges experienced by women in the formation of such income generating projects was needed, and to this end, the study purposively identified five key informants who included the District Social Services Officer, District Community Development Officer (Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development), two elders from the informal settlement and one Chief. Findings of the study revealed that some of the major challenges experienced by women in the formation of these income generating projects were patriarchal in nature, lack of financial support and role conflict in terms of chores and duties that these women carried out in these projects. The study recommended the Gender and Development approach in order to empower men with information on the importance of women participation in income generating projects. The study further recommended capacity building for women to help them understand how to apply for government loans and bank loans. Finally, the Ministry of small-medium enterprises should play a positive and practical role to ensure a country wide coverage of financial development fund reaching the most affected areas including women in Nkayi District. 


Keywords

Formation, Income generating projects, sustainable development, Women

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