A Study on Women Participation in Saving and Credit Cooperatives of Degua-Tembien Woreda, Tigray, Ethiopia
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Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) provide the capital to improve the income of the farm and non farm sector. Still most of the poorest do not have access to the formal financial institutions in Ethiopia and they depend on informal sources for their credit needs. SACCOs are evolving as promising intermediaries to enable the poor link with the formal financial institutions. Promotion of SACCO brings in vibrancy to the local economy as it unfolds business opportunities to the poor and marginalized farmers especially women and enables them to come out of poverty. The study was conducted in Degua Tembien Woreda, South Eastern Tigray, Ethiopia, with the objectives: a) to investigate the level of participation of women in saving and credit Cooperatives b) to analyze the economic gains derived by women members after joining the cooperative c) to identify the influential factors that affects the participation of the women in saving and credit cooperatives d) to suggest possible recommendations for the participation of women in saving and credit Cooperatives. To address the objectives of the study, both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used in this study. Data were collected from primary and secondary sources, the primary data necessary for the quantitative study were collected through personal interviews from 110 farmers drawn from four saving and credit cooperatives by conducting formal survey using structured interview schedule. Qualitative data were collected through focus group discussion, observations, and formal discussion with key informant’s experts from cooperative office. This study used a two stage sampling procedure in which both purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select the tabias and sample respondents. Descriptive statistics with appropriate statistical tests, Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation, chi-square, and other relevant tests were used to analyze the data collected for the study. Tables and pie-chart were used to interpret the data. From the result of descriptive analysis, women participation at different level of management committees and in leadership was very low. 5 Accordingly, the level participation in leadership 78.1 % of the respondents are classified as simple member in the leadership, 15.5% participated in different sub committees and only 6.4% were participated or member of the management committees. This indicated that women were not given attention in leading the cooperative at higher level. But the economic again after joining RUSACCOs has increasing significantly even though the numbers of the beneficiaries were limited. The economic model analysis reveals that the combination effect of the dependent variables (leadership, different committees and general assembly meeting) of women participation in RUSACCOs has determined with independent variables of membership duration, training, saving and annual income.