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Women’s empowerment in chief traditional authority Mposa, Machinga District of Malawi: an assessment of existing development initiatives to promote women’s economic empowerment

Malangano, Enettie (2021) Women’s empowerment in chief traditional authority Mposa, Machinga District of Malawi: an assessment of existing development initiatives to promote women’s economic empowerment. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Women’s economic empowerment still remains a critical issue in Machinga District. Despite the fact that the Malawian government partners with NGOs who are implementing strategies to empower women economically, there is still a gap. Women in Machinga district are experiencing inequalities at the household level which interferes with these development efforts. This thesis is assessing the existing economic strategies to empower women economically by answering the research question “How do we create economically sustainable strategies for subaltern women in rural areas through empowerment programs?” In order to answer this research question, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews were used to generate data for this project. Through these methods, five themes emerged. These were: (1) gender inequalities need to be addressed at the household level; (2) women should have greater access to loans; (3) capacity building needs to be done at the community level to teach women about checks and balances and to empower men to support their wives and other women in the community to engage in business; (4) there are also gendered attitudes towards women with money which could exclude women from operating their own businesses; and (5) even though women are experiencing gender and economic inequalities, they are able to assert agency and recognize their ability to manage small businesses. This study recommends that women, especially the subaltern, should be encouraged to run small scale businesses and join Village savings and Loans groups. The government should make deliberate efforts in educating rural women about policies so that women may understand the importance of knowing these policies. Lastly there is a need to raise awareness of male involvement. Future efforts should be to involve men to participate in the village savings and loans groups to create a platform for partnership between men and women. Key words: women’s empowerment, economic strategies, Malawi government, gender inequalities, subaltern women.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Malawi; Women; Economic empowerment; Gender inequality; Sustainable economic development;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sustainable Communities
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 18:58
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 18:58
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5794

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