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Investigating The Role Of Micro Finance In Female Empowerment, Kawangware Division, Nairobi County

1710 words - 7 pages

1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background information
Poverty is a universal phenomenon, that is found virtually everywhere and affect a large number of people in the globe. To this effect Thirlwall (2003:87) contributing to the poverty literature, says that ‘in poverty, there is feeling of powerlessness, vulnerability and fear because the poor is not free, he is exposed to greater risks and living on the margin of subsistence.’ That is to say, the poor have little or no significant say in the society; they are looked upon with contempt. In every society, especially in Africa, women are the most affected by poverty. To this effect, it is important that certain measures have to be taken to ameliorate the scourge of poverty. One of these measures is through micro-financing, which is geared towards empowering the poor in the society. Poverty is a canker worm that can extensively hinder the growth and development of any society. It is quit unfortunate that Africa as a continent suffer from poverty in different forms. Poverty in Kenya has led to the deepest depth of desperation and hopelessness leading the woman gender to indulge alcoholism and criminality and other vices that are frowned at by the society. Empowerment for (Kilby, 2010) can be defined as being related to 'agency', or the expansion of individuals' choices, these creates varieties and actions, that is the ability to do something, primarily in relation to others. In this context, when women are empowered by microfinance, they can have a variety of ‘choice’ to make in the society making them more confident in all ramifications.
Consequently, (Christabell, 2009) equally states that ‘microfinance refers to the entire or wide range of financial and non financial or monetary services which includes skills up-gradation and entrepreneurship development, rendered to the poor for enabling them overcome or fight against poverty.’ That is to say, microfinance is a vital tool meant to uplift and rehabilitate the beneficiaries which are mostly women in the society.

1.2 Research Problem
Kawangware is about 12km away from the Nairobi city and it is one of the fastest growing slums in Kenya. With a population of over 200,000 people, many households live below a dollar a day which should be the standard as proposed in the MDGs (Tesar & Kuada, 2013).
low-income of the slum dwellers; Nairobi city is divided into segments by social class, this is a problem that is evident in Kawangware and women are the ones who earn less in this regard living less than 1.25 US dollar per day(Altmann, 2010), poor housing infrastructures; as observed Kawangware is predominantly made up of dilapidated buildings that are not well planned and organised, water problem; there has been a scarcity of water which has lead people fetching water from unhealthy sources, this has lead to an increase of various diseases(Tesar & Kuada, 2013). Gender Insecurity also has been on the rise as a result of...

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